It’s a pretty safe bet
that all of us have hunted for a client’s or expert’s phone number in an email
signature. And chances are, you’ve been frustrated when an email signature was
missing the phone number (or the mailing address, or the office number).
That’s because there are
certain conventions we’ve all come to expect from professional email
Think of your email
signature as your digital business card, not your greeting card.
That said, here are some
guidelines all Purdue Extension staff should follow when creating their email
Send Messages in
Whenever possible, send
email messages in HTML format rather than simple text format. That will let you
control the elements of the signature much better.
If you’re using Outlook on
a PC, you can make sure you are sending messages in HTML format by clicking on
the File tab, clicking on Options, and clicking on Mail. For “Compose messages
in this format” select “HTML” from the menu.
For Outlook on a Mac, go
to the Preferences menu, select Composing under E-mail, and select HTML.
Use the Right Font
and Type Size
Only use Arial font for
your email signature. It is a common font that just about all computers have
and it is common font family for Purdue Extension materials.
Make the font size of your
signature the same size as the default size for your email messages. For
example, if you email messages are in 12-point type, then use 12-point type for
A professional signature
means sticking to professional information. Avoid inserting favorite quotes,
amusing graphics, or similar touches.
Keep It ‘Purdue
Don’t forget that you
represent Purdue Extension. Avoid linking or referring to other programs — no
matter how noble. Remember: your email signature is like your business card and
you wouldn’t advertise a USDA program on your business card (no matter how
great the program).
Follow This Model
Here is a simple email
signature model that all Purdue Extension field staff should follow. It may not
be appropriate for campus staff who have split appointments to follow this
exactly, but it is a good start.
This should be your full
name as you would want it to appear on your business card. If you prefer Pete
to Peter or Angie to Angela, use that. Set this line in bold to make it stand
out. Avoid adding degrees or other certifications after your name.
Provide your official
title. Set this line in italics.
Provide your unit name.
Remember, Purdue Extension should appear first. If you have a joint
appointment, include all unit names. Set this line in italics.
Insert a blank line after
your unit name and before your contact information.
Provide your mailing
address. Use as many lines as you need. For example, if you are in an office
building, you can include the room number as well as the mailing address. You
can include a post office box number (for mailing) and a street address (for
visitors and deliveries).
Provide your business
phone number. Include the area code and separate the area code, prefix, and
number with hyphens (don’t use periods, parentheses, etc.).
Provide any additional
phone numbers you wish (mobile, fax, etc.). These
lines are optional.
Provide your email
address. Set this in dark blue and make it a live link.
Provide your county or
program area website address. Set this in dark blue and make it a live link. This line is optional.
Provide social media icons
that link to your county or program sites (not your personal site). Social
media icons and instructions for inserting them are available here under the Social
Media Icons for Email heading. This line is optional.
Provide the Purdue
Extension “Local faces. Countless connections.” graphic. Download this version
of the graphic.
Purdue Extension graphic for email signatures (Size: 29 KB)
When you create your email
signature in Outlook on a PC, place your cursor where you want the image to be
placed, and then click the image icon. Once you’ve clicked the icon, a Windows
Explorer window should appear. When it does, find the Purdue Extension graphic
and click insert.
Select the image in your
signature and click on the link icon. This will bring up another window. where
it says “Address,” enter the Purdue Extension URL (http://extension.purdue.edu
— be sure to include the http://).
All field staff should
include this graphic in their signatures. The exception is for email programs
on mobile devices or other platforms that do not allow you to include graphics.
If you wish, you may
include a link to the Purdue Extension EEO statement. This line is optional If
you include it, make it 2 point sizes smaller than your signature font (so if
your signature is in 12 point type, set the EEO statement link in 10 point
type). The link should be EEO statement. Set
the link in blue and link it to: www3.ag.purdue.edu/extension/Pages/extEEO.aspx.