Managing email signatures is a pain in the neck you can easily avoid
If you have ever been responsible for updating the company email signatures you probably know what a tedious and annoying process it can be.
You may design the signature yourself, or you may be given a design to use, but in either case you will probably have HTML code and images to contend with.
With the design completed (which means the easy part is out of the way) you now need to customise and distribute the signatures for everyone in the company, and of course you need to repeat this process whenever there are staffing changes and whenever any contact details change. Depending on the size of your organisation, that could be a lot of work!
You can try delegating the work, by sending the HTML code around to all staff by email and asking them to add their own details, but this rarely works for everyone, and if you want to ensure that the design remains intact you are guaranteed to find that at least some staff will use a different font or size in their version of the design.
Assuming you manage to have all staff using the correct design with all of their details correct, the next problem you will face is applying signatures to other devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and webmail. Setting up signatures within your email client (typically Microsoft Outlook) does NOT apply to the signatures sent by your smartphones, and does NOT apply to Outlook Web Access (webmail). This is because Microsoft Outlook is just an email client, and when you access your mailbox from other devices or clients they also have separate options to add email signatures.
It’s easy to see how this can quickly become a real headache for whoever has to manage email signatures, potentially wasting many hours per month.
But, there are solutions available.
There are two products we use and recommend that we have found to be ideal for businesses seeking to deploy and manage email signatures, and they each open up new options to use your email signatures to inform and update your customers. A key feature of both products (and really of any product we would consider recommending) is that they centrally apply signatures so that whatever device or method you use to send emails the correct signature is always applied.
A quick overview of each product is provided below –
Exclaimer – Signature Manager Exchange Edition
Exclaimer have been providing email signature solutions since 2000, and their flagship product, Signature Manager, is a widely used and highly regarded solution that addresses a wide range of challenges for even larger businesses.
Signature Manager creates and applied email signatures at the server level, using your design and information drawn from your existing user database (typically Active Directory).
It is very powerful, and can be configured to dynamically generate email signatures based on policies that you can ‘set and forget’. This approach does require some work initially, but the work pays off when signatures are created and applied centrally for all staff automatically.
It also includes a template editor which makes it very easy to create great looking signatures including fields that are dynamically filled with the relevant information for each person, as shown below.
As it has been under continuous development for over fifteen years it includes a lot of quite specific features that a typical small business won’t need, at least initially.
For example, you can create a smaller signature version to be used for email replies and for internal emails, which helps to keep email conversations readable and prevent the signature design from getting in the way of quick communications.
Exclaimer Signature Manager is very affordable, costing between $6.63-$20.4 per user initially, plus between $1.12 – 4.5 per annum after the first year.
CodeTwo – Exchange Rules for Exchange
CodeTwo was founded in 2006 and offers a range of software products with a focus on Microsoft email platforms.
Their flagship product, Exchange Rules is offered in standard and “Pro” editions, and they also offer solutions for hosted mail (Office 365 and Google Apps).
Exchange Rules provides central management of email signatures with personal details drawn from your existing Active Directory database. Emails can be designed in the included Template editor, and as with the Exclaimer offering you can define conditions to control when signatures are applied.
Exchange Rules has a number of clever features that we have not seen in any other product. It allows you to suppress or trigger signature injection when specific keywords are found in the message subject or body, and it can apply rules based on the email alias of a staff member (rather than just their overall mailbox) which is fantastic for workers who may have more than one role or are involved with more than one business.
Exchange Rules is also very affordable, ranging in price from $3.75 to $11.88 per user initially. There are no mandatory ongoing costs, but support is offered as an annual subscription from $0.75 to $4.2 per annum.
We are finding that clients are increasingly seeking solutions to improve and simplify managing their email signatures and we have had great success with both the Exclaimer and CodeTwo products.
Both products offer a comprehensive solution, with the option to make email signatures that are easily managed and controlled, and also great to look at. In our view, the best way to decide between them (or any other products) is to try them out for yourself.
We can arrange this for you, and we can also arrange for a demonstration so that you don’t have to actually install the software on your systems.
If you struggle with managing email signatures give us a call on 1300 138 761. We will be able to advise you on a solution that will save you a lot of time, and you may find a lot of opportunities for keeping your customers up to date with your products and services as part of the process.