"Modern Email Signature" solution proposal

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New Contributor

Unsure where to put this, since UserVoice is closing. Please move to appropriate discussion group.

 

Email signatures are ubiquitous. They are necessary, whether we like them or not. The focus of this topic really is the idea of a "modern centralised HTML signature".

 

The present email signature experience in 365 is lacking in the following ways:

  1. Difficult/near-impossible for non-technical business owners to implement - at least without a third party solution
  2. There is no unified solution for which a user and/or an "owner/manager" can ensure quality of email signatures across the organisation
  3. Cross-platform implementations are sketchy - try setting up a HTML signature on an Android phone with Outlook
  4. Compared to some competitors, Microsoft 365 is lacking - for example within the Google G Suite, a person can setup a universal signature within Gmail, which will work via the Gmail app (yes there are other caveats here but let's ignore those)

How do we do it now?

There are various methods of escape. Third parties, or crafting one's own HTML signature in Outlook (desktop or OWA), copying and pasting this into Outlook app on smartphone/tablet.

 

The issue with this method is that when changes to role/details occur, the signature contents need to be redistributed. If an employee leaves the business, and their mail account is kept and monitored, or you would like existing signatures to be updated, this can also present problems.

 

A method I use for a number of clients is linking a web hosted image. This isn't ideal either, as there is limited opportunity for links. At least if changes are made to the image on the web server, this reflects everywhere, including historical emails. Works well for shared mailboxes as well.

 

Some companies decide to implement signatures using the company disclaimer text. This simply doesn't work.

 

Proposal

  1. An email signature crafting tool within a user's 365 profile - which can be enabled/disabled as the organisation chooses
  2. Same signature crafting tool available in the user details pane in 365 - allowing owners/managers to set appropriate signatures
  3. Users may have multiple email signatures (as is the case in some corporates)
  4. All Outlook apps (desktop, OWA, mobile) pick up the signature and place in the email **

How?

  • Outlook apps updated with a feature to select/change signature, or always run with default
  • Outlook apps display a preview of the signature within the email, however the email itself contains either of the following:
    1. The HTML content of the signature - simple and effective, but is not "retroactive"
    2. Linked HTML content - meaning changes to the signature are drawn from 365 servers whenever an email is viewed

Option 1 is probably acceptable. Option 2 no doubt presents cross-site issues, linked content and so on + email client/browser compatibility.

 

Some kind of fall back txt option would be great for non-HTML email clients. Maybe this just takes care of itself anyway, as is the nature of HTML.

 

Implementation

I don't see this as being overly difficult to implement.

 

Mobile - A switch in settings, which is default to enabled if a "profile signature/s" are detected, therefore it pulls the signature content in.

 

Desktop - Shift the signature function to within account settings, rather than being within Outlook Profile (or the desktop installation). Selection or default can still be managed appropriately. If Outlook on desktop/Mac is updated (which it could do with some modernisation) this may also help with signature migration in Enterprise State Roaming. At present signatures do not roam.

 

The Goal

Something modern, that goes with Microsoft's current "modernisation" efforts. Something that is ultimately browser/client compatible across the board. Centrally managed. Bring email signatures into the now.

2 Replies
Thanks Christian, this is great news there is a solution on the horizon, for Outlook for Windows at least.

I hope there can be a solution for Outlook on Mac, OWA and mobile too.