Why Your Email Signature Design Looks Different Sometimes

Simply put it like this: Your email signature design coding, is probably not correct. This is why your signature design shows differently on different platforms and apps.

Let me get right to it. I will not spend much time sweet talking about how Xink is a beauty-converter for your email signature designs. It can be, but it always requires some work. Any email signature design you attempt to deploy will require several iterations before you get it right. You will need to make compromises. Always.

“If your web site is coded to display correctly on mobiles, it will not display correctly on mobiles.
The same applies for your email signature.”

It’s a fact of life that doing anything well takes time. This is true even when developing email signature designs. At Xink, we make a clear distinction between design and distribution of your signature designs. It’s true that Xink is the best platform available for distributing your email signature designs across your network, but you know the saying: You get out what you put in… and when you feed a poorly designed signature into Xink, guess what comes back out.

“If you expect most your emails to be read on mobile, then don’t apply a wide horizontal signature design.” 

Every day, we see people trying to feed badly designed email signatures into Xink. Signatures designed in Microsoft Word, we’ve  that are then expected to look beautiful on every email client, app, and device known to Man. And again, I mean the HTML coding of your signature design, not the signature itself. Design opinions I’ll leave to others.

And when they discover that the signature design HTML code they fed into Xink doesn’t look like they expect, they instantly claim that “Xink does not work” We’re here to dispel you of this notion. Consider Xink as a kind of email signature factory. You add design (graphics, html etc), blend it with employee information and out comes the signatures.

Signature Design

“If you pour in poorly coded signature design, poor signature design will come out. It’s as easy as that.”

Let me say emphatically: Xink does work! I’m sorry to say but it is your design that is the problem here! If you feed Xink a poorly designed signature, you will get poorly designed signatures on the other end. It’s funny how that works, isn’t it? Outlook, OWA, Gmail, Salesforce or whatever you use… you need to start with a good signature design to end up with a good email signature design.

“So, why does my signature design coding suck? What do I do about it?”

Because your expectations of what you can feed into the email signature space are probably a bit too high. Consider this: you wouldn’t expect a web page to display and render 100% correctly in  all browsers unless the design is coded directly for those different browsers. You probably know that certain browsers display html code different than others. The same applies to  email signature designs!

Email Apps do usually not even have its own html rendering machine

When you design an email signature, you should not expect it out-of-the-box to render perfectly in all versions of Outlook, in addition to 20 different email apps for mobile phones (to say nothing of the web version of your email program in any of the browsers mentioned above). Have you ever considered the complexity in this? It isn’t feasible (nay, it likely isn’t even possible) to ensure universal compatibility.

“If you use common sense and normal thinking, you can eliminate most mistakes easily”

And yet, you probably didn’t consider this when crafting your email signature design, right? Perhaps now you have a better idea that the design cannot look exactly the same based on the code you feed Xink – at least not without having to compromise a bit. And especially not when you paste in a design directly from Microsoft Word. Remember the comparison to developing a website because the analogy couldn’t be more fitting.

Most of the time, your email signature design will look as you expect in 95% of all email programs and apps, but you also have to know that there is not the same kind of code control in an email signature as there is when designing a web page. Especially in Outlook. That program is an expert in changing your code without you even knowing it because it is using Word as underlying editor. You expect things to look great but they don’t. But enough browbeating. What’s the solution?

Separate Design from Distribution

See our infographic for a handy visual: Design -> Distribute -> Enjoy!

Signature Design

Don’t distribute anything without first getting your design right – even if it can take numerous iterations before finding the perfect email signature design. Consider these points:

  • Not all email programs understand and respect <style> tags
  • Remove any <script> tags you have in your signature design
  • If you made the signature design in Word, you need a serious code vacuum cleaner which is manual labour
  • Use the built-in editor in Xink to make your design
  • Get a signature design expert to clean your html code.
  • Consider if you absolutely need certain design elements where you stubbornly have them.  There might be better options
  • Keep to good old html practices to ensure maximum compatibility. You never know what email program your reader is using.
  • See more tips in our blog post 101 Do’s and Don’ts in Your Email Signature
  • And if you really want to make some serious mistakes, follow this guide: How to create an ugly email signature
  • Be open and flexible about your signature design. Not stubborn and suspicious.

I hope now you realize that designing an email signature is not just “something you do.” Thanks to the complexity of the email landscape these days, it is serious work.

So get your signature design right! And then distribute your email signatures via Xink. Then everything will look like you want it – across devices and platforms.

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