The Complete Guide to Updating Your Email Signature in Gmail

Emails often represent the first impression your contacts have of you. Make sure it‘s a good one with a polished, professional signature!

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll equip you with everything you need to know to create, customize and troubleshoot signatures in Gmail.

You‘ll learn step-by-step tips to:

  • Set up branded signatures that reinforce your identity
  • Easily add images, logo and contact details
  • Resolve common formatting or display issues
  • Optimize signatures for desktop and mobile

So let‘s dive in to maximizing those sign-off signatures!

Why Email Signatures Matter

More than 300 billion emails are sent daily. That‘s over 300 billion opportunities for your signature to get you noticed!

Prominent brands like Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle dedicate resources to optimizing their email signatures. Because they understand the impact these sign-offs can have.

But what does an email sign-off actually do? Here are three key benefits:

  1. Strengthens Brand Recognition: Every email sent displays your logo, colors and messaging. This builds familiarity with your brand in recipients‘ minds. Studies show brand recognition directly impacts loyalty and sales.

  2. Highlights Contact Options: Providing name, title, phone number and address in signatures makes you more approachable. Surveys indicate 30% of recipients will use email signatures to contact senders.

  3. Builds Trust and Credibility: Details like your credentials, certifications, and company information establish you as an expert. This makes recipients more likely to open and positively engage with your emails.

Now that you know why signatures matter, let‘s dive into the steps for how to create effective signatures in Gmail.

Step-by-Step: Basic Signature Setup

Gmail makes adding customizable signatures simple across desktop and mobile. Just follow these exact steps:

Access Signature Settings

First, access Gmail Settings using the gear icon:

Gmail settings icon

Next, select See all settings:

See all settings options

This opens the full settings management dashboard.

Configure Signature

In the left sidebar under Settings, choose General then scroll down and select Signature:

Signature settings in General settings

Here is where you can create, manage and customize signatures.

Let‘s create your first signature!

Hit the + Create new button:

Create New signature

Name your signature appropriately in the popup window:

Name new signature

After typing a name, click OK.

You‘ll now see a text field to enter your preferred signature text:

New signature text field

This is where you can get creative with text formatting using HTML tags! More on that in the next section…

For now, type in essential contact details you wish to include. Common elements are:

  • Full Name
  • Job Title/Position
  • Company Name
  • Website Link
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number

Arrange these appropriately over 2-3 lines maximum.

💡Pro Tip: Use line break tags <br> in between elements to stack vertically.

Adjust Signature Settings

Once your text is ready, choose when to insert your signature by updating New Email and Reply/Forward settings:

Signature Insertion Settings

Finally, don‘t forget to click Save Changes at the very bottom so your settings persist!

Then…that‘s it! Your signature is now active and will append automatically based on your preferences.

Take a moment to compose a test email and confirm your sign-off appears correctly.

Next I‘ll reveal some pro formatting tips to polish your signature even more.

Formatting Tips for Visually Stunning Signatures

You likely noticed the ability to add HTML formatting for your signature text…

While not strictly necessary, subtle touches like fonts, sizes and colors can make your signature stand out more.

Here are my top formatting suggestions to try:

Contrast Key Details

Highlight critical info like name, phone number or website by making them bold or italic:

<b>Mary Richards</b><br>
Senior Marketing Manager<br>  
<i>Acme Inc.</i><br>

Or set them apart through capitalization:

Senior Marketing Manager<br>
Acme Inc.<br>

Draw attention directly to calls-to-action:

Questions? Email me at <b>[email protected]</b>

Link Website and Email

Transform text links into clickable hyperlinks:

<a href=""></a> 
Email: <a href="mailto:[email protected] ">[email protected]</a>  

Add Imagery

Including logos and visuals in signatures establishes brand familiarity.

To insert images, click the image icon toolbar when composing an email:

Insert image icon

Then select an image file from your computer to upload.

Set appropriate dimensions so images don‘t distort. Square logos around 250 x 250px work very well.

Right-Align Details

Right-align less critical end portions of your signature to improve skimming:

Mary Richards
Acme Inc.

Mobile Considerations

Stack information vertically in one column so signatures remain legible on narrow mobile screens.

Also limit width to about 320px so text doesn‘t overflow awkwardly.

Sample HTML Signature

Here is an example HTML signature showing some highlighted formatting tips:

HTML Signature Example

Feel free to inspector element and reuse relevant parts for your own signature!

Now let‘s explore adding a signature specifically for mobile.

Setup Signatures for Mobile App

The Gmail mobile apps make managing signatures just as simple.

To add a custom mobile signature:

  1. Tap hamburger menu ≡ in top left
  2. Choose Settings
  3. Select Mobile Signature

Mobile signature settings

The mobile signature field works the same as desktop.

But mobile lacks HTML support so simplify formatting to plain text. Focus on only most essential info.

Once entered, emails sent from your phone will automatically append the mobile signature.

So with desktop and mobile signatures configured – you‘ve got all scenarios covered!

Advanced Customization with HTML Signatures

Looking for more advanced control and customization? HTML signatures grant the flexibility to refine designs further.

Though they only work when sending email through Gmail on the web – not mobile apps.

Here is how to add a customized HTML email signature in Gmail:

  1. Draft valid HTML and CSS code for signature graphic
  2. Add images, link stylesheets, customize layout etc
  3. Open the HTML file in your browser to preview
  4. Copy the full source code
  5. Paste into Gmail‘s signature text field
  6. Toggle on the "Insert this before quoted text" setting
  7. Click Save Changes!

Now when sending emails, Gmail will insert the rendered HTML signature automatically.

The benefits over plain text include:

✔️ Full design control with HTML & CSS
✔️ Embed custom fonts and styling
✔️ Support for large images and graphics
✔️ Animations and interactive elements
✔️ Complete branding continuity

Note Gmail does enforce character limits and restrictions around embedded <img> tags to prevent abuse. But within reasonable limits you can create highly branded signatures.

Here is a sample HTML email signature code:

<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" style="background-color:#333333; color:#ffffff">
   <td align="left" valign="top" style="padding:20px">
      <img src="" width="120" height="120" alt="Company Logo" \>
   <td valign="middle" style="padding:20px; font-family:Helvetica, Arial">
     <h3 style="margin:0 0 7px 0; font-size:18px; font-weight:normal"><b>John Smith</b></h3>
     <p style="color: #cccccc; font-size:12px; margin:0 0 10px 0"><i>Marketing Specialist</p></i>  
     <p style="margin:0">
       <a href="mailto:[email protected]" style="color:#eeeeee; text-decoration:none">[email protected]</a>

This creates a cleanly branded two-column look with logo. The styling and layout is completely customizable to match your branding.

So while more complex than basic signatures, HTML gives immense control for consistent branding and customization.

Formatting Best Practices

Optimizing your signature layout directly improves email deliverability and engagement. Follow these professional best practices:

ImagesSquare ratio
126×126 – 560x560px
Single small logo <124x124px
SpacingGenerous vertical whitespaceTight line spacing
Font ChoiceSans-serif
11-14px size
Default sans-serif
Links3 maximum1-2 essential
Information DepthHighVery concise

Testing your signature regularly across contexts ensures it renders nicely everywhere.

Litmus has an excellent Email Signature Tester covering most client scenarios.

So keep these key signature guidelines handy when designing for desktop and mobile!

Troubleshooting Common Email Signature Problems

Even with the best planning – occasional issues can arise with signatures in Gmail.

Here are systematic approaches to troubleshoot the most common signature problems:

😕 Images show broken icon or won‘t display

First isolate whether images display correctly within Gmail UI itself:

check images in signature editor

If working in editor, investigate display issues when sending test emails externally.

Potential Causes:

  • Image files exceed filesize limits
  • Images hosted externally and blocked
  • Invalid image paths or references
  • Email client compatibility issues


  • Verify images are under recommended 100KB size
  • Upload images directly to Gmail instead of hotlinking
  • Use widely supported image formats like JPG and PNG over SVG or animated GIFs
  • Reference images using absolute direct URLs

🤔 Signature formatting appears inconsistent or broken

Formatting mishaps lead to hard-to-diagnose display issues. Start fresh without any fancy styling:


  1. Completely remove custom formatting
  2. Revert to plain text signature
  3. Gradually reintroduce simplified HTML tags like bold and italic if needed
  4. Avoid unnecessary divs, spans and layers of complexity.

Code cleanly for broadest compatibility.

💬 Signature keeps resetting back to default on mobile

The Gmail mobile app ignores custom HTML signatures and also sometimes drops mobile sign-off settings.


  1. Create a dedicated plain text mobile signature
  2. Enable mobile signature option per previous steps
  3. If settings don‘t persist, try force closing/reopening Gmail app

This typically remedies unexpected mobile resets.

🚶 Line breaks shaping content unexpectedly

Extra line breaks interjecting spacing issues is very common. The email client thread view also influences apparent wrapping.


  1. Eliminate extraneous line break tags
  2. Ensure tags only appear between discrete elements
  3. Test send emails and check line breaks display expectedly

Tune line height and remove unneeded whitespace.

I hope outlining structured game plans helps overcome any signature snafus!

Key Takeaways and Next Steps

Congratulations, you now have all the knowledge needed to create stunning signatures that complement your personal or company branding.

Here are the key lessons to remember:

  • Signatures drive recognition, responses and credibility
  • Follow the step-by-step settings to add customized signatures
  • Format using HTML tags for visual appeal
  • Optimize layouts for desktop and mobile scenarios
  • Troubleshoot issues systematically

I encourage applying these tips to develop sign-off signatures that reinforce exactly the image you wish to project professionally.

You have all the tools needed to impress recipients now – so open Gmail and get designing your sign-off masterpiece!

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