Making an email signature for college or university at first look may seem irrelevant. However, a powerful email signature can significantly improve your image and help you stand out. It doesn’t even matter if you are a professor, a teacher, a doctor, or a student. The opportunity of building your personal brand and making a positive first impression can only be accomplished by the use of email signatures.
On top of that, according to a report by Statista, email is an official means of communication for both students and employees at many colleges and universities around the world.
Why students and professors need email signatures
A university email signature is a multipurpose tool of communication that can be used for all people who are involved in the process of education and somehow affiliated with it. Professors and teachers, for instance, might take advantage of email signatures when communicating with students, parents, colleagues, and third-party establishments, providing the information that might be relevant to them.
Every message that is supported by a professional email signature ensures the reputation of the educational institution and builds up your personal image. Your email signature is designed to elevate your contact details and promote external websites that help your recipients to understand you better.
Email signatures are the reflection of your professionalism and consistent appearance. For professors, it is about impressing students and presenting yourself. For students, it is about potential hiring opportunities, overall reputation, and a tool to stand out from peers.
What you should include in your academic email signature
Professional information is the key element of your academic email signature. Make sure to present only relevant and clear details. In one of our previous articles, we’ve already talked about what you should do to make your email signatures look professional. As with every email signature, your university signature must be made according to the primary guidelines and follow the specific rules.
In this part of the article, we will go through each and every point that must be included in your academic email signature.
Your presentation as always starts with your name. Here is why, the best and most common practice is to keep your full name at the top of your email signature.
Further, the second highlighted point should be your title. The importance of your title in your email signatures is about efficient communication. Your recipients must understand who is writing, especially when it comes to communication with students and between departments.
In order to further enhance your email signature, you can add qualifications. For students, mentioning your education might have a positive impact on your recipients since it builds up your credibility.
The name and address of your department/establishment/laboratory/etc
For students, the following point can be optional. Naming your educational institution might be enough.
On the other hand, if you are an employee of a college or university, adding descriptive information about your place of work might be relevant to you. Specifying the department you belong to is relevant for your recipients.
Start this point with the full official name of your educational institution and the department you’re occupied in. Onwards, write down the exact details about the location. Don’t forget to add zip/postal code.
If you are interested in sharing the precise location of your office you can even add a link to your Google Maps.
Logo & Photo
Corporate identity plays a significant role in your email signatures. The best possible way to help your recipients associate you with your institution is by including the logo. What’s more, a logo increases trust in your email and makes you look professional inside and outside of your institution. In order to boost this effect, it is a good idea to use brand colors in the design of your email signatures.
On the other hand, replacing the logo with your personal photo might also be a good idea, especially when your job implies communication with students, since it helps them to know who is reaching out to them. When choosing a photo, keep in mind the essential guidelines that you should follow while making a professional email signature.
However, it is better to keep both the logo and your personal photo. This way, you can ensure credibility of your emails and help your recipients recognize you. When properly done, your email signatures will definitely have a positive impact on your image and professionalism.
Tips for making a perfect photo for your email signature
- Choose a clear and professional photo of yourself that shows your face and shoulders.
- Crop the photo to a square shape and resize it to fit the email signature dimensions.
- Save the photo as a JPEG or PNG file and upload it to your email provider’s settings.
- Adjust the alignment of the photo in your email signature and save the changes.
Your phone number is another significant point of your email signature that allows your recipients to reach out to you instantly. Every professional specialist must have the source of instant communication. With the ubiquitous use of different messaging applications (WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, etc.), it is quite easy to contact anyone around the world. While noting your phone number in your email signatures, you can also highlight a preferable mean of communication that is connected to your phone number.
Optional information in your academic email signatures
As social media icons, CTA (Call-to-action) banners is a great way to promote your academic activities and achievements in your email signature. They can provide more attention, engagement from your email recipients. On top of that, you can conveniently place a booking link to a meeting with you.
Here are some tips on how to create effective call to action banners in academic email signatures:
Use contrasting colors for your banner to improve its visibility and make it stand out from the rest of the content in your signature. You can also use an image or a logo to add some visual appeal and credibility.
Employ clear and concise language that delivers the value and benefit of your offer. For example, “Join our online session on Latin languages research” or “Take part in our latest conference on Climate Change”.
Include a link or a button that directs the user to the desired action. Make sure the link or button is working and leads to a relevant and user-friendly landing page.
Test different versions of your banner to see which one performs better.
URL link to school's or personal
The following line might be used to promote your personal brand by adding links to your blog/portfolio/CV or to link to the educational institution’s webpage. Adding links to your place of employment in your email signature is a common practice and used in almost every firm in the world. This practice helps to increase traffic to the website and result in potential conversions.
However, you have to understand that if you want to keep every email signature in a single style you should definitely take advantage of email signature software tools. This way you can gain unified control over all email signatures of your department, organization, or the whole university.
With the help of email signature management tools each and every detail in your email signatures will be precise and accurate.
Social Media Icons
As we’ve already pointed out in our previous articles about email signature best practices, the role of social media icons in your emails is considerable. The main purpose of social media icons in email signatures is to promote your online presence and connect you with your recipients. It is especially important for professors, since social media helps them to develop bonds with students and appear as ordinary human beings. For students, it is about self-promotion and overall openness.
The bottom line is that they can help you increase your brand awareness, drive traffic to your social media, website or blog, boost your engagement and eventually develop your personal brand. By adding social media icons to your email signature, you can show your professionalism, credibility, personality, and encourage your recipients to follow you on different platforms.
Having a Twitter account, a Youtube channel, a Facebook page, or a blog is a common thing for modern educational workers. For students, including their social media assets to their email signatures helps them broaden their social contacts, create deeper connection with them, and increase engagement.
Contrary, if you wouldn’t like to disclose any of your personal information, you might want to promote your university, college or school.
Tips for proper social media icons use:
- Use colors to match with overall theme of your email signature
- Less is more. Using too many social media icons might be confusing and eventually be ignored by your recipients.
- Use bigger size. 24 px icons are visible enough and not too large for an email signature.
- Decide which 4 social media assets you want to highlight in your email signature.
- Check if your links are relevant and up-to-date
The use of email address in your email signature might seem excessive, since the access to your email is already available through reply button. However, it is still a common practice for email signatures.
Email signature is a flexible tool that can significantly impact the way people see you. Employing the full potential of your email signatures can significantly boost your image and help you find the best opportunities for self-development, potential career growth, which is especially valuable for students. For professors and scientists, on the other hand, the biggest advantage of email signatures is about broadening the network and growing in academia.
You can also find out more details on how to professionally format your email signatures in our previous articles.