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Many businesses have more-or-less standard email signature formats. Some go so far as to dictate font pitch, font selection, spacing, etc. Others only ensure that your name, title, and contact info is readily available.

Why should (or should not) an email signature standard be used? What benefit(s), if any, does it provide?

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    I hate official email signatures. They are so 90's. – kaptan Oct 3 '13 at 18:12
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    Unfortunately, when you're required to do this as a vendor but normal employees are not, you either look like you're spamming everybody or you leave your signature off and don't put anything. Spammer or terse jerk, pick one. – Mark Allen Oct 3 '13 at 22:40
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    @MarkAllen How does having no signature make you look like a terse jerk? I don't use my company's huge html signature (about 80% of coworkers do use it), but I'm polite, I address people by name, and I sign my name at the bottom. I think you're exaggerating a bit. – nanny Jun 10 '15 at 13:40
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    Anything that prevents users from writing their name in an italic handwriting font is a positive to me – MattP Feb 18 '16 at 5:05
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    There's a company I work with where every email has about 600 vertical pixels of boilerplate signature. It drives me insane. I can't find the content amidst all the signature crap. – Owen Feb 19 '16 at 5:32
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First and foremost this is done for branding and marketing.

Most companies have a logo and mandate its usage when corresponding in an official capacity. Why?

Because it is part of the company brand - making it recognizable.


Company email signatures are no different - they show the company brand and are a marketing tool.

Having a unified signature across the organization is the professional thing to do. Some companies are more aware than others in regards to fonts, pitch, color selection and such.


Other reasons (mentioned in other answers) are to ensure that people don't personalize their signatures - why would a company want to avoid that? Because they may not want to be associated with certain personal passions of certain employees (politics and religion for instance) and to ensure a certain professionalism (banning animated images or some inappropriate imagery/content).

  • @JoeStrazzere - seems that could be better added by the mail server the way those "legal disclaimers" which waste space and have no meaning are done – warren Oct 4 '13 at 12:50
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    Another reason why companies expect/demand this from their employees, is so every email shows the same information in the signature (contact info of sender, establishment location, phone numbers, working hours, etc). – Edwin Lambregts Jun 10 '15 at 8:54
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As an addition to the other answers:

There may also be legal reasons. For example, in Germany all business communication (email, letter, fax) sent by a company must contain certain information about the company, such as its name, address, company registration number, managing board etc (see e.g. Handelsgesetzbuch § 37a ).

Violating these rules can cost the company a heavy fine, so most companies put this information into their standard email signature. Strictly speaking, the information is only necessary in mails to recipients that you have (or intend to have) a contractual relationship with - so it's no necessary in internal mail, or if you are merely requesting information. However, since this distinction is complicated, most just always include the information.

I believe some other countries in the European Union have similar rules.

  • Yes, the UK does. – Francis Davey May 5 '17 at 12:53
  • You'd think it'd be easier to configure your mail server to append required information to every email instead of relying on users to do it – warren Jun 22 '17 at 18:28
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    @warren: Yes, and many companies do that. Microsoft Exchange Server also can add signatures to outgoing mails - even a different, individual signature specific to each user. – sleske Jun 22 '17 at 19:58
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Standards can be used to establish a floor and/or a ceiling.

Specifying the exact graphic file to be used minimizes the space on the mail server, because it makes sure that the graphic file size is not humongous. It also limits the use of inappropriate graphics, or animated gifs (unless that is what they want you to use)

Specifying minimum content means that external and internal customers can contact you even when they can't click on you email address. This is great for emails that end up being printed, or heavily forwarded/replied emails.

Font and spacing rules make sure that the signature doesn't take up too much space, or is unreadable. Which can be important when many emails are read on phones and tablets.

The development of standards usually happens when there is a perceived issue that needs to be resolved, and the non-standardization of email signatures from a part of the company are deemed to be a part of the problem.

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This is also to prevent people from using something inappropriate as part of their signature like religious or political quotes. Since emails from the company represent the company, they don't want personal stuff in it that the company may not want to be associated with.

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