Using The Proper Email Etiquette for Business Signatures
Proper Email Etiquette for Business Signatures
In response to numerous requests to a recent series of posts covering proper email etiquette, the editors of AskTheManager.com decided it was time to put to rest the question on what should be included in a business email signature.
For those of you not familiar enough with Outlook to create your own email signature – hint: we’re describing the automatic “signature” at the bottom of every email so you don’t have to type it out each time – check out the excellent tutorial from Microsoft by clicking on this link or following the directions below:
Creating a Signature for Email Messages in Microsoft Outlook
- From the main Microsoft Outlook window, on the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Mail Format tab.
- Under Compose in this message format list, click the message format that you want to use the signature with.
- Under Signature, click Signatures, and then click New.
- In the Enter a name for your new signature box, enter a name.
- Under Choose how to create your signature, select the option you want and then click Next.
- In the Signature text box, type the text you want to include in the signature.
Proper Etiquette for an Email Signature
Over the years we’ve seen so many bad email signatures used in business that we are compelled to help the masses create an email signature that doesn’t make them look like complete buffoons.
First, we need to explain that if you are in business and sending business related emails you MUST use an email signature. An email signature is not an option as it conveys many messages beyond your title. Not the least of which is that email signatures help recipients recall your company details and link to your website for more information.
Additionally, business people will frequently rely on an email signature for contact information. Often we find ourselves searching for the contact information of someone who corresponded with us on just a few occasions. We’ve never added this person to our Contacts list and we probably don’t intend to, but a colleague invariably asks for their contact information. If this person has included a proper email signature, we can easily cut and paste that information and forward it to our colleagues. If not, we are stuck digging through a pile of business cards.
While there are certainly variations of what should and should not be included in a proper email signature, the editors of AskTheManager.com believe the following items create the most acceptable business email signature for professionals in the new millennium:
First Name (especially used when your proper first name is commonly shortened)
Full Proper Name with Middle Initial
City, State and Zip Code
Fax Number (yes, some people still send these)
Web Address (if applicable)
Standard company disclaimer (generally in a smaller, italicized font)
Here’s a sample of what this might look like:
Robert L. Smith
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
1234 Any Street
Anytown, IL 60601
Office: (312) 555-1212
Mobile: (630) 555-1212
Fax: (312) 555-1211
AskTheManager.com and its affiliates will never sell, rent, or share your email address. This email and any files transmitted with it are the confidential property of AskTheManager.com and intended solely for use by the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, please delete all copies.
In the example above, we used “Bob” for the first name entry because “Robert” is commonly shortened to “Bob.” If you prefer to go by “Robert,” you should spell this out in the first name line. If you don’t include a first name, those who don’t know you may assume (incorrectly) that you are called “Bob.” Including “Robert” in the first name line will help you avoid making new contacts feel uncomfortable when they call you “Bob” and you correct them with “it’s Robert.”
Sincerely Closing a Business Email
Some leaders will include their standard email complimentary closing automatically above the signature, though we recommend against this for a number of reasons. Primarily, we find ourselves equally using “Sincerely,” “Thank You,” “Thanks,” “Best Regards,” “Regards,” and “Best Wishes” in the emails we send. If we chose just one of these, more than half our emails would include a clumsy close.
For example, when sending a business email to someone with whom we have a close personal relationship we find ourselves using “Thanks” for the informal email and “Best Wishes” for the more formal communication. We would never want to include either of these for a first email to someone we’re never met. In those instances we’ll use either “Sincerely” or “Best Regards.” When we correspond with someone we don’t particularly care for, or when we are forced to admonish a vendor via email (not usually recommended), we will simply end with “Regards.”
Afterthoughts on Business Email Etiquette
In what should have been expected in a Murphy’s Law sort of way, it seems the use of email stationery has increased since our August series begged the business world to discontinue this. In the past two months, more than 3% of the emails we’ve received contained some form of vicious stationery that acts like malware as it attacks the format of our responses.
Unfortunately for us, we are too kind (or too busy) to personally explain to the offenders that the use of stationery is a business faux pas – they just seem so pleased with themselves that we don’t have the heart to tell them it looks amateur and impacts our ability to properly respond.
This brings up a great leadership lesson: don’t sweat the small stuff (and don’t ever tell your administrative assistant that he/she is classless.)
April 28, 2023 @ 11:09 AM
I am an executive assistant to nine. Currently, I am signing:
Kim Last Name
Executive Assitant to:
First last name title
first last name title
first last name title
etc for each of the faculty members I support.
It looks very clunky. Followed by the faculty I have the company info with my phone/fax/email and company website.
Any suggestions to simplify it?
May 26, 2023 @ 2:37 PM
Honestly, I would just write Executive Assistant. There’s no need to list each person and their title. As you wrote, it looks very clunky.
February 3, 2023 @ 11:43 AM
I need to write my Executive’s name in my signature to avoid confusion with our other CEO, lots of people misunderstand.
How can I best improve: “Executive Assistant to (CEO NAME)” or is it fine like this? thanks
February 6, 2023 @ 5:39 PM
I think the way you have it written now is the simplest and least confusing way to write it.
November 4, 2022 @ 9:13 PM
Hi, I’m an Associate Program Manager and Executive Business Partner to three executives. Could you recommend how I should create my email signature as my current job title is extremely long? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
November 11, 2022 @ 4:43 PM
I think it’s best to keep it simple, especially since most everyone you email will know where you work (they don’t necessarily need a complete org chart with the email). I recommend:
Associate Program Manager
March 28, 2022 @ 4:14 PM
I am the Co-owner and CMO of a small business. Our address is a virtual location. Shoul I put Co-Owner/CMO or Co-Founder/CMO? Also, how do I list our address on the website, email signature, and business cards without having people come to the location? Should it be “For Mailing Purposes Only” followed by the virtual address? What is the best way to format this?
March 28, 2022 @ 5:23 PM
Kisha, I always prefer simple to complicated, and short to long. As the Co-owner/Co-founder, you could simply go with one of those for your signature. Similarly, as the CMO, you already know you’re also the co-owner, so is it necessary or helpful to include both CMO and Co-Owner in your signature?
My first choice would be:
Co-Founder, ABC Widgets
I would definitely leave the mailing address off these signatures.
Regarding your website and biz cards, I think it’s important to show that this is a mailing address. So, where it fits/makes sense, something simple like:
(Whatever fits for you like firstname.lastname@example.org and your main phone number)
1234 Any Street #123
Anytown, KA 12345
February 28, 2022 @ 11:44 AM
This pertains to both email signature & positions on a resume.
I am not sure which is best / proper:
Senior Logistics & Trade Compliance Manager, or
Senior Manager, Logistics & Trade Compliance
I am not sure also how it should be listed on a resume
February 28, 2022 @ 11:50 AM
Chris – My opinion is that the latter looks best (given you are a Senior Manager of both areas). Also, I prefer this one for both an email signature and for a resume.
January 11, 2022 @ 5:48 PM
This is very helpful. Thank you. I’d like to know how to sign a document with names of both CoPresidents, but only one CoPresident signs. Is that appropriate? Second CoPresident is not available to sign right now.
January 13, 2022 @ 6:15 PM
Hmmm… My thought would be to only have the name of the co-president who is signing. No need to mention the other one, as no one expect anything other than a major contract to be signed by both.
January 4, 2022 @ 5:39 PM
Hi! I am an executive assistant to a real estate broker who is president of our company. Should my signature state:
Executive assistant to John Smith, President, Broker
Executive assistant to John Smith
January 5, 2022 @ 3:58 PM
I think you’d be okay either way, though given John Smith is the broker (and this is an important distinction in Real Estate), you’re likely better off with the first one (even though it’s longer).
June 15, 2021 @ 7:29 AM
I’m Administrative Assistant to the Director of Special Education
I feel like that’s too long to put in a signature
Special Education Department
Special Education Administrative Assistant
or Mary Jones
Administrative Assistant to the Director of Special Education
June 15, 2021 @ 8:03 AM
Shorter is always better. Most people only look at the signature to grab contact info, so the last one is clearly the best option.
May 28, 2021 @ 3:46 AM
I am an Interim Manager (from an individual contributor role to an Interim Manager role)
Is it ok to put Interim Manager in my email signature?
May 28, 2021 @ 3:48 AM
May 13, 2021 @ 3:02 PM
I have a unique question, I am an Administrative Assistant to two Directors of Marketing. What is the correct way to have my email signature when my employer requires me to list my name, my title, my bosses names and their title?
Is this acceptable?
Administrative Assistant to Directors of Marketing;
Carol Green and Sally Brown
May 13, 2021 @ 3:55 PM
As clunky as this is, it is the only way I can see to get everything your employer wants in the signature. Of course, my preference would be for something much simpler:
March 31, 2021 @ 12:23 PM
As an assistant to a real estate agent, we would like to add a disclosure to my email signature to make it clear that I am not an agent. I’m searching for templates but am having a hard time coming across any pertinent information. Would you be able to help?
March 31, 2021 @ 3:38 PM
My recommendation would be something very simple, like this:
PLEASE NOTE: Jessica Smith is not a real estate agent.
February 22, 2021 @ 7:50 AM
HI Im the Store Manager of the company and sometimes wrote letters and memos, may I ask what is the correct order of the letter if there are 2 or more signatories? Is it
Im often confused which comes first.
February 22, 2021 @ 8:15 AM
Depends on the leader. A good leader would insist their signature comes last. I would default to that position: Manager, then Director, then CEO. If the CEO signature comes first, it devalues the signatories that follow.
January 8, 2021 @ 12:08 PM
as an interim Director, what is the proper etiquette to include it in my email signature? working at a university
Interim Program Director
Program Director a.i.?
January 8, 2021 @ 12:45 PM
Just my opinion, but I like Interim Program Director.
September 10, 2020 @ 2:42 PM
My husband and I are the owners of a medical practice and I am also the Senior VP. I want my email signature to be accurate and “up to date” with the current trends. Should it read:
Co-Owner, Senior Vice President
………. etc. or
Co-Founder, Senior VP
? So confused and feel stupid for asking. Thanks for your help and suggestions 🙂
September 10, 2020 @ 3:01 PM
Personally, I like “Co-Founder” over “Co-Owner,” and I think that’s the trend. On a separate note, I do find cleaner is better with email signatures. Given this, I’d also remove Senior VP and go with just Co-Founder – just my preference.
February 21, 2020 @ 7:43 PM
What if you report directly to the CEO but also are the EA to the CFO, CTO, CMO, CPO, CLO when they need it? I report directly to our CEO but also manage the calendars to the CPO and CMO. Thank you.
February 22, 2020 @ 7:48 AM
I think in these instances it’s best to go for simplicity:
February 19, 2020 @ 11:34 AM
I have recently been promoted to an interim manager. Is it appropriate to put that in my email signature?
February 19, 2020 @ 11:35 AM
Absolutely! Go for it – you’ve earned it.
November 14, 2019 @ 3:37 AM
I am an executive assistant and was supporting only the CEO until recently. I now support both the CEO and Chairman. My signature line I wanted to use was:
Executive Assistant to:
Our company name
Is that acceptable as a signature?
November 14, 2019 @ 7:00 AM
Yes, that would appropriate.
March 27, 2019 @ 3:14 PM
How should I sign Practice Manager and indicated my retired status on a scholarship recommendation letter?
Since the scholarship is in the medical field I want to indicate my background. Please advise, thank you.
March 27, 2019 @ 4:08 PM
I think this is likely industry-specific; though if it were me, I would use something like this:
Practice Manager, Retired
If the retirement was from an institution, then I would use something closer to the military style of showing retirement in a signature block:
ABC University, Retired
January 2, 2019 @ 4:55 PM
I support two people
the chief marketing officer and the VP, Orlando
There are many regions and EA’s in this company
DOes this look too clunky ?
First name last name
Office of the chief marketing officer & VP, Orlando
January 2, 2019 @ 6:44 PM
I like “Office of” but might abbreviate Chief Marketing Officer to CMO, since this is a well-known abbreviation.
October 24, 2018 @ 11:42 AM
I am the director of a medical practice, and the chair of a committee at the hospital. I have historically left off the committee chair part, but how do I incorporate this in committee emails? Or emails to those affected by the committee? Do I put the committee or the directorship first?
Jane Doe, MS, CNM
Director of X
Chair of X Committee
October 24, 2018 @ 11:46 AM
I think your example is the most appropriate way to show this, given that both positions are important.
If you were char of the party planning committee, I would leave that off the signature, of course. 😉
May 8, 2018 @ 8:19 AM
I manage the Installation, Quality and Warranty Departments for my employer.
Over the past 1.5 years we haven’t been able to come up with a better title and it continues to change from: Install and Quality Manager to
Installation and Quality Dept. Manager to
Install, Quality, and Warranty Department Manager
What in your opinion would be best to use for a title so customer’s are clear who they’re contacting?
May 8, 2018 @ 8:59 AM
IMO, a title doesn’t have to reflect every responsibility a manager might have under his/her belt for the customers to understand what they do. I suspect your customers will know what you do if your title was simply Customer Operations Manager. That would be my first choice based on what you wrote.
May 9, 2018 @ 7:40 AM
Excellent, thank you for your support.
April 23, 2018 @ 2:52 PM
I just started with a company that is in corporated and would like to set up my signature line but I have no idea where to start…
I’m an Administrative assistant for 1 gentlemen and would have access to his emails. Would be replying back and managing his emails. I want them knowing its me when I reply. How should my signature look like.
Thanks so much
April 23, 2018 @ 3:02 PM
I would recommend keeping it simple, but also including his information. Something like:
Administrative Assistant to Mr. Jones
December 5, 2017 @ 5:38 PM
My husband – Founder, and I – Chief Operations Manager own a small business and was wondering if having both of our titles on the email signature is appropriate?
December 5, 2017 @ 5:40 PM
If there is a reason to have the email come from two people (as opposed to one), then both signatures make sense. Most emails, of course, only need to come from one person, so that person’s signature is all that’s required.
If the desire is to look professional – thus, the need for the titles – then having a different email address for each person (and each with its own signature) would be most appropriate in my opinion.
November 6, 2017 @ 11:32 AM
is it offensive to use all capitalization in an email signature?
November 6, 2017 @ 11:44 AM
Personally, I wouldn’t say it’s offensive; but it’s likely to appear unprofessional to some.
Anyone else have a thought on this one?
August 30, 2017 @ 9:54 PM
To all of the awesome folks who are in the same boat I am and to TheManger: Thank you for the great insights and advice! (exclamation point = indicating the “intensity of emotion” in this case) As the Office Manager (among other things) at a small business, I’ve often wondered what the content and signatures of our office employees (all three of us =) portrays to our customers. I’ve definitely received some food for thought here.
August 30, 2017 @ 9:59 PM
My pleasure, Shelley! (Exclamation point used to indicate I’m way too excited about your comment.)
August 4, 2017 @ 12:00 PM
I work in the IT industry (Network Administrator). I recently received an MBA degree. My wife says that I should add MBA to my email signature. However I’m on the fence. From the websites that I’ve seen it’s generally frowned upon. Should I add MBA to my signature?
August 4, 2017 @ 12:05 PM
Congratulations on earning your MBA! I absolutely mean that.
And…. no, you should not put it in your signature. The only exception to this that I can imagine would be a PhD or a Masters that is related closely to your position (like an educator).
May 4, 2017 @ 7:23 AM
I have a unique situation. I have two separate emails for two separate companies. I wonder if I should update my signatures to include the names of the executives that I should support and how that might look beings as though I feel my titles are a bit long. Please advise.
Operations Manager & Executive Assistant to the CEO (Should I say Exective Assistant to First Last, CEO?)
The other is
Executive Associate (Should I make it Executive Associate to First Last, CEO?)
May 4, 2017 @ 8:43 AM
You do have a unique situation! For the first signature, I believe adding the CEO’s name is redundant and would definitely make that title too long.
For the latter, I would most likely just add “to the CEO” as you have it in the first signature.
The goal here is to convey a little about what your role is in the signature, though without completely distracting from the body of the email. Not any wrong answers, but certainly brevity is appreciated over the opposite.
April 13, 2017 @ 12:02 PM
I am going on maternity leave for two months and my right hand man is overseeing my duties while I’m away. The company, at this time, is not interested in getting him his own email address, all corporate email will continue to come to mine. Which is myfirstname.lastname(at)companyemail.com. 90% of my email is internal. However it’s a decent sized company and we’re spread out all over the U.S. I’m confident people will forget about my situation and be confused. I’d like to make this as painless as possible for my replacement. My current signature reads pretty much word for word as you’ve suggested in this article. He could add his name above mine every time but I think that will get tedious. What is your suggestion in this case to eliminate as much confusion as possible? Thanks.
April 13, 2017 @ 12:12 PM
Ugh. First, I am concerned that this is 2017 and we have companies that don’t just give everyone an email address of their own.
That said, I think the best way to manage this (since he will be handling all or most of your email for some time) is to amend your permanent signature to include his information, the words “On behalf of” and then your information. In those instances where you are the one responding, you can simply remove the extra verbiage. So, here’s what this would look like:
Assistant to Ms. Lastname
On behalf of:
(Your Standard Signature)
April 13, 2017 @ 3:11 PM
Not many of corp’s ideas make sense here. However, your idea makes perfect sense. I will use that, thanks!
February 16, 2017 @ 6:26 PM
I run a small event planning business with a partner. We share an emaill for the business and I was wondering if the signature should have both our names on it with the title of “partner” or should I have my own name with the title? Should we have a different title instead of “partner?”
Thanks for the help,
February 16, 2017 @ 6:40 PM
I assume you’ve moved beyond the idea of two email addresses that you both can monitor and respond to. (Which would be my first choice for a solution.)
Because I think it’s critical that the other party know who is responding to their email, I’m not a fan of both signatures on any email.
This leaves us with you and your partner amending the signature when you’re the one responding. In this case, I would use whatever title fits best with your role. If one of you is officially the CEO and the other the President, then I would go with that. If neither of you really has a title (which is quite common in small companies), I would likely include a simple signature like this:
(I noticed you use Gmail, so I thought you might like to know that, as of this writing, Gmail makes it quite easy to have multiple emails managed by multiple people.)
December 23, 2016 @ 10:00 AM
Hey, I have a question, I am the owner of a small business. I wanted to know what would be the ideal signature as a owner of the company. I currently have
My first & last name
Founder & President, Company
O: (123) 456-7890 | M: (123) 456-7890
Would it be better overall if I put President or owner ? If possible thanks.
December 23, 2016 @ 10:04 AM
Great question, Joel.
It appears that “Owner” is falling out of style, while “Founder” conjures up an entrepreneurial picture and “President” or “CEO” clearly lets everyone know that the buck stops with you.
My recommendation would be to leave it as you have it now.
December 23, 2016 @ 1:23 PM
Awesome, will do thanks for your advice it’s much appreciated.
November 2, 2016 @ 2:18 PM
If I am an exec. assistant to 2-3 executives (in different departments), how should I add/format their names and titles my signature?
November 2, 2016 @ 2:22 PM
Hi C Girl,
That’s a new one. My advice is that if the executives want you to include their names, then I would simply write it like this:
Executive Assistant to:
Of course, if I was Mary, Robert or Carmen, I would likely prefer that no one outside of the company knew that I shared an Executive Assistant with two others, and so I would prefer that the signature just read “Executive Assistant” or something similar.
October 24, 2016 @ 11:21 AM
My manager asked me to delete my PhD and MBA from my signature, claiming this adds confusion to my position (Executive Assistant to President). I thought these titles should be assets to the company. Can you please advise if this is a common practice? Thank you.
October 24, 2016 @ 4:03 PM
Wow, Ivona, I can tell you this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this happening.
While I think it makes sense for companies to oversee what their employees use in their official signatures; and even makes sense to limit their use of confusing or dubious acronyms after the name (those outside of the mainstream), everyone in business knows and appreciates what MBA and PhD mean. It seems petty that they are asking you to remove those. These acronyms do reflect well on the company.
That said, your manager is your boss and so long as the rule applies to all, it’s better to comply happily and pick a more important battle (if any) to fight.
October 10, 2016 @ 12:24 PM
My tittle is pretty confused I am a receptionist /Administration duty beyond any regular receptionist should have ,Can I leave my title only as a receptionist or should also add Admin as well .
October 10, 2016 @ 12:27 PM
Great question, but probably one for your supervisor to answer. (I’m not dodging the question, though some supervisors might want your title to sound more important, so that when you respond to someone, they feel like they heard from someone high up. While, there are other supervisors who might want your title to sound more “serving” to their needs, like “Assistant to the CEO.”)
Personally, I like any title that can sound more important until you become a manager, then I prefer those that downplay the position a little. So, for a Receptionist, I like “Administrative Assistant.”
October 17, 2016 @ 12:15 PM
Thank you very much for the information .
October 17, 2016 @ 1:20 PM
April 26, 2016 @ 3:31 AM
Do i need to italicize my name and my title end of email
April 26, 2016 @ 8:09 AM
I like to use the same font, font size and font settings as the body of the email; though if italicizing doesn’t look strange or out of place to you – and you want to italicize – feel free.
April 27, 2016 @ 10:13 PM
Many thanks for your advice.
April 27, 2016 @ 10:14 PM
My pleasure! Best wishes.
April 23, 2016 @ 12:31 AM
My title is Senior Accout Support Representative. Should it be listed that way on my Outlook signature, or should it be listed “Sr Account Support Representative?” Or does it matter?
April 23, 2016 @ 10:34 AM
Great question! My preference is to spell out words like Senior and omit words like Junior. You should proudly display:
Senior Account Support Representative
(555) 555-5555 Ext. 555
P.S. The only titles I generally abbreviate in a signature line are the VP and C-Level titles.
February 16, 2016 @ 12:42 PM
What if you have multiple office locations and you work from both. Should you put both addresses in your signature line?
February 16, 2016 @ 12:46 PM
If you’re expecting potential visits to either location from those who receive your emails, then yes, I recommend it. The assumption is that they may want to refer to one of your emails to get your address. I am comfortable with something like this:
1234 Any Street
Fresno, CA 93704
4321 Any Street
Sacramento, CA 94207
May 22, 2014 @ 11:06 AM
Signature files have been around since, well, before most current Netizens were even aware that email existed. Before the Web, folks generally had basic contact info and included their favorite quote to show their feelings or perspective on certain issues.
May 9, 2014 @ 1:28 PM
I am setting up a signature for the President of the Company. I am his Assistant. He has asked that I also include my information to be contacted on his behalf. How do I go about adding this?
May 18, 2014 @ 4:46 PM
I would simply change the “Reply To” address to yours. Your IT Team should be able to help with this.
If that is not possible, then I would add “Please Reply to Deanne@xxxxxxx.com” in his signature. However, even with this added, you will need access to his email address to handle the bulk of his emails. (Regardless of what you write or say in a signature, most people will simply hit “reply.” You need control of his email if you are expected to manage this aspect of his communication.)
Hope that helps.
March 4, 2014 @ 2:02 AM
I have an email signature at the end of every email, which includes my name, designation and contact details.
So, when I draft an email do I need to still end by typing my name after the “Thanks and best regards”
or it is ok to stop after the thanks and followed by the signature?
March 4, 2014 @ 8:22 AM
Great question! Yes, it is okay to stop after your closing “Thanks and best regards,” if your signature is already set up in your email program. It would be redundant to include it manually.
November 27, 2012 @ 9:26 AM
Is there a proper way to address your gender in an email signature?
Having an uncommon name like mine, I am used to mispronunciation (Cit is pronounced Kit) but an even bigger issue I am having in the IT profession is the constant reply of “Thank you Mr. Waters”. I am female…
Would “Ms Cit Waters” look completely strange?
November 27, 2012 @ 9:40 AM
While “Ms. Cit Waters” might look strange, it is correct; and it does help the receiver of your message to communicate more clearly with you in the future.
If Cit is short for something, then you could use a modified version of the example in the post:
Mr. Robert L. Smith
Vice President, Sales & Marketing… etc.
August 28, 2012 @ 11:33 AM
I am an administrative assisant to several GMs. Since they travel almost every day, their customers have a hard time reaching them by phone. Instead of having these customers call several different people to try and reach a “live” voice, how do we include that in a signature line and a voice mail. The idea is to get them to call me if they cannot reach a GM while they are in the air.
August 16, 2012 @ 11:25 AM
I have a work peer, who has a predefined signature in outlook, that automatically goes out with every email he send. The problem is I find his closing above his signature a little sarcastic with the exclamation mark ending it. Please advise.
His signature is as so:
Department Phone Number
August 21, 2012 @ 6:21 PM
I absolutely HATE the exclamation point in almost every business communication!
Exclamation points, like ANYTHING IN ALL CAPS, make it appear like you’re shouting at the reader!
When coupled with something like “Thank You,” the exclamation point seems like an odd command (or as you wrote, sarcastic).
July 13, 2016 @ 3:20 PM
I manage a small office and find this topic very interesting as I was recomposing my email signature for my business email accounts and looking for some general input.
Regarding both your comments about an exclamation point.
I agree with Char that the exclamation point is out-of-context in the signature area, whereas used as a closing comment at the end of the email paragraph prior to and before the signature generally indicates excitement or gratitude.
The screen name TheManager (as written) is improper as well, however I disagree with your opinion regarding exclamation points and their meaning. I suppose different folks will take the meaning they perceive based on the sentences construction. Potato patato. It’s all in the composers word smithing ability as to the message or emotion portrayed or intended.
Shouting is: ALL CAPS… as in your comments “I absolutely HATE the exclamation point in almost every business communication!” & “Exclamation points, like ANYTHING IN ALL CAPS, make it appear like you’re shouting at the reader!”
To me caps are shouting with few exceptions, and if I want to highlight a word for emphasis regarding the exclamation point in text areas or mediums that don’t offer the ability to italicize words I simply put the word or phrase in quotation marks. i.e…. I absolutely “hate” the exclamation point in almost every business communication! Seems to make things clearer when your composing text of any kind without the aforementioned offerings. Caps combined with an exclamation point indicates anger to me, or at the least a very intense statement/point.
Exclamation Point as defined by Dictionary[dot]com; (ref) http://www.dictionary.com/browse/exclamation-point?&o=100074&s=t
1. the sign (!) used in writing after an exclamation.
2. this mark sometimes used in writing two or more times in succession to indicate intensity of emotion, loudness, etc.: Long live the Queen!!
3. this mark sometimes used without accompanying words in writing direct discourse to indicate a speaker’s dumbfounded astonishment: “His wife just gave birth to quintuplets.”(!)
Also called an exclamation mark.
I couldn’t resist inputting my 2¢ worth here.
August 30, 2017 @ 9:44 PM
Yes, Biz Stuf!
I have to agree with you. In my situation, my official title is “Office Manager”, although I handle everything from purchasing to accounting to HR. While I do feel and recognize as previously mentioned that ALL CAPS does, in any form of text, indicate yelling, I also recognize the beneficial use of the exclamation point. When I am addressing regular customers who know me (I work in a small business) I sometimes use the exclamation point to “indicate intensity of emotion” – ex: We have received your purchase order. Thank you!
This – to me – shows excitement and gratitude to a regular customer for continuing his or her business with us.
Also, when sending invoices via email to this same section – for lack of a better word at the moment – of customers, I finish my request for processing the invoice for payment with “Thank you!” or “Thanks!” Again, to me (although others may not share my opinion) that indicates an excitement in working with a particular customer.
March 26, 2012 @ 7:35 AM
That signature is long as hell! I don’t like short replies (two lines) being followed by long signatures… :/
March 1, 2012 @ 4:30 PM
I find this comment…
This brings up a great leadership lesson: don’t sweat the small
stuff (and don’t ever tell your administrative assistant that he/she is classless.)
July 11, 2011 @ 11:46 AM
Is it customary for organizations listed in the signature to go from most specific to least or vice versa? (Assuming your organization is large enough where this may be pertinent.)
January 9, 2018 @ 8:58 PM
My suggestion (and it is only that) would be to start at the most discrete level and become more general as you go:
Hope that helps!