An email signature can be more than a goodbye salute. Do it well and your recipients will pause before they send it to the trash. They might even find it a memorable gem in a cluttered inbox.
Just like business cards, email signatures can kick-start a conversation, attract a mentor, or help you raise money for charity. Signatures are simple communication devices, but also the most ignored parts of emails.
That’s tragic when they’re so easy to create. Popular email signature tools aside, to make cool Gmail signatures with images, Google provides everything you need to impress your contact list.
Designing Your Email Signature for Gmail
As one of the best ways to end emails professionally, the basic rules of clear and creative Gmail signatures apply. Considering people’s limited attention span, curb the information to what’s relevant.
- Keep it simple.
- Be aware of your professional needs.
- If representing the company you work for, check the rules.
- Make it small in size—too big, and it adds to the download size.
- Use text for important contact details, so these can be easily copied and pasted elsewhere.
- Ensure the signature looks nice, even if an image doesn’t load or is blocked.
How to Create an Email Signature Using Google Drive and Gmail
For everyday use, combining Gmail and Google Drive has a lot of productive merits. Hosting your signature files in one place instead of depending on a third-party plugin is one thing less to tinker with.
Consider the often ignored Google Drawings and the cool things you can do as your design canvas. With this diagram app, you can keep your work within Google Drive.
The alternative is to create the signature image file in any other graphic editor and then upload it to Google Drive.
Google Docs is also useful when you need to copy-paste symbols to Drawings (Insert > Special Characters) and use them instead of images to construct your cool Gmail signatures.
Set Up Google Drive to Create Gmail Signatures With Images
1. Log in to your Google Drive account.
2. To organize your signatures, create a folder. Give it a relevant name like “Email Signatures”. This folder can be the container for all your signature files.
3. Set the access to Anyone with a link. Then, if the email signature is for a company, different people can make changes as necessary.
4. Upload your images to the folder. They will inherit the visibility of your folder’s permissions, so anyone with a link can access them.
Set Up Your Signature In Gmail
- Open Gmail, click on the Gear icon and choose See all settings.
- Go to the General tab and then scroll down to Signature.
- Click Create New, type in a name for the signature, and a text box will open.
- To create a Gmail signature with an image, click on the Insert image icon.
- You can then upload, paste a URL, or insert an image from the “Email Signatures” Google Drive folder.
- Fine-tune your signature with necessary text information.
- Scroll down to the bottom and save your settings.
- Test the signature by sending an email to another of your accounts or a friend.
7 Creative Ways to Use Gmail Signatures
While email signatures should be concise and not too flashy, nobody is telling you they need to be boring. With a bit of creative flair, you can make eye-catching signatures that contain essential contact information.
Here are a few ideas for using the combination of Gmail and Google Drive to make a cool email signature.
1. Point to Your Social Media Presence
An email signature is a subtle way to take your conversations out of the inbox itself. Inserting social media hyperlinks is easy, but displaying social media icons is a better magnet. The basic process is simple:
- Source free social media icon sets from websites like Iconfinder or with a Google Search (remember to check license information).
- Resize them to the desired size and upload them as PNG or JPEG files.
- Upload the image files to the “Email Signature” folder you set up initially.
- Go to Gmail, click the Gear icon, and then Settings > General > Signature.
- Use the signature editor to format the name and any other detail in the text.
- Click Insert image. Browse to the “Email Signature” folder and select each image. Align them.
- Click the Link icon if you also want to insert links to your social accounts.
- Save your changes and test your signature.
Note of caution: You should think twice before including links to social media profiles that do not align with your professional goals.
2. Create a Neat Handwritten Signature
Gmail is limited by the few fonts it carries. One way to expand your choices is to add more fonts—just follow the instructions on the Google Docs support page. Handwriting fonts mimic the look of a casual signature, and there is a good range to choose from in Google’s font repository.
Use the steps above to create a PNG graphic of your “handwritten signature”. You can embellish it with any other graphic or branding image you want.
3. Quote an Industry Stat
The idea here is to quote a development or rising trend in your industry. Maybe, the stat or fact will help to incentivize an offer you are making in the email.
With the help of the Shape tools in Google Drawings, you can create quick swappable “statistical” signatures every week. The information graphic can be linked to your company website or a page that talks more about it.
You can also include a video testimonial with this little trick: insert your video file or URL into a Google Slides presentation and copy-paste it from there into Drawings.
4. Advertise an Event
Have an event coming up? Maybe, you are celebrating ten years at work, or it’s an occasion organized by your company. An interesting signature image can pull in the eyeball and spur someone to click on the hyperlink to find out more about it.
For a simple signature, you can create an image file with Google Drawings and format regular text with the options in the Signature box.
You can also use a service like Click to Tweet to generate a trackable Twitter link.
5. Support a Pet Cause
Supporting a creative project like an art exhibition could be a nice way to use your custom email signature. The tried and tested “Don’t print this email” message is great, but it is outdated.
You can start thinking about LGBT rights, promoting New Zealand’s national flag, or universal flu vaccination. The world is your stage.
6. Make a Public Pledge of Self-Improvement
Using email signatures for personal development is an offbeat idea—there’s a wonderful story about how Mauricio Estrella used a password to change his life.
A humble email signature may not have that power, but can it positively affect your daily life? It could work. So, try it out with a goal you have set for yourself.
Design an email signature around this and use it as a public pledge. It can be a signature customized for your personal emails if you wish to steer it clear of the work account. How about a public pledge to write 1000 words a day—come what may?
7. Stay Humorous
Why not brighten up someone’s day by signing off with a positively humorous quote? Go for features that make you laugh and think at the same time. The idea is to not only grab a millisecond of attention, but also use the funny signature as a memory trigger.
Nothing works better than a remarkable quote, joke, or factoid.
As a short message wrapped in pretty fonts and graphics, a signature can be anything you want it to be. The impact comes from its staccato repetition in everyone’s inbox. Here are a few more potential ideas:
- Share a point of view.
- Announce your marriage.
- Say you are searching for something.
- Spread the word about a name change.
- Appeal for fundraising contributions.
- Use it to drive traffic to your blog.
- Tease a new product or offer.
You Can Be Memorable with a Signature
Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to be an artist to learn how to create a beautiful email signature with images on Gmail. All you need is the right intent and message.
Google Drive gives you space to add images, photos, and videos to your signatures—and you can have several. Just remember that each one must be subtle and sharp.
The tools are here—the creativity has to be yours. So, use Google Drive to design your fancy Gmail signatures. If you can’t be bothered, however, email signature generators will do the job for you.
Would you like more people to open, read, and respond to your emails? Here are some tips to help you review your email-writing practices.
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