The Cohen-Miller Report: Sign Up for the Sign Off

Email Signatures – Come on folks, use them!

by Emily Cohen

The next few Monday blogs will contain my ramblings and thoughts on email communications. But a word of warning, some of this (but not all) may reflect a case of the cobbler had no shoes, as I myself am not always great at using emails and continue to learn new ideas in this area.

I spoke recently at the AIGA Pivot Conference in Phoenix and noticed that many attendees who dropped me an email requesting a copy of my presentation did not always have an informative signature line. They simply wrote their first name (or, sometimes, their full name). When I get these types of emails, that lack important contact information like full name, title, company name, phone, URL and address, it’s like receiving junk mail. My immediate first impression is to discount this type of request (even if they are potential clients). Without a signature line, emails appear to be sent by a student, young designer, or freelancer – not established professionals.

I am always baffled and amazed by how few professionals (or really anyone) do not use a pre-set signature line. It is not that hard to do and is an immediately impactful way to demonstrate not only who you are, but where you are from and different ways you can be reached. It positions you as a professional. You can go further and add a logo, but I am not a fan of attached artwork, as I always open it thinking it is an attachment meant for me (plus it increases the file size). Also, there is such a thing as too much information. I personally don’t like any inspirational quotes, promotional language, or personal philosophies. Rarely are they read and, in some cases, such content may offend some recipients.

This is an immediate quick win – change your email signature now! I am betting your response rate may even increase a bit. If nothing else, you show confidence in who you are and that the recipient is important to you.

Emily has consulted with design firms and in-house corporate creative departments for over twenty years. During this time, she has provided confidential, best-practice insights and advice. She helps creatie teams improve operational effectiveness and helps companies build efficient teams and processes.

Emily currently serves on the board of advisors of InSource and on the AIGA In-House task force. Emily has also served as Secretary for the AIGA/NY Board of Directors and has taught classes and conducted seminars for many leading design schools and organizations. Emily is a frequently-requested speaker on business-related issues for the creative industry. Learn more at and

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One thought on “The Cohen-Miller Report: Sign Up for the Sign Off

  1. edr3

    Great post, this problem is an epidemic! We are preparing to launch our organizations redeveloped corporate style guide and are now requiring all employees to include a standardized email signature.