What Would John Hancock’s Email Signature Look Like?

Quick:  Who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Don’t worry, this isn’t a history or immigration test.  The first name (and probably only one) that pops in your head, though, is John Hancock.   People who don’t even know what the Declaration of Independence is, are familiar with his name.  Why?

a unique signature from John Hancock

Personal branding from one of our forefathers.

Because he has a signature with mojo.

There was no missing a distinctive signature like his. Today, parchment and feather quills aren’t as popular as they were back when John was making his mark. Instead we have digital signatures at the bottom of our emails.  Yet few people take advantage of that. Instead, they write it like Elbridge Gerry’s — the smallest, least noticeable signature on the document.

What does your email signature look like?

When you start to compose an email (go ahead, open yours now) what do you see?  A completely blank page?  That means you currently have no automated signature at the bottom.

This is a digital shame for two reasons.  One: It makes it difficult for clients, employers, and others to find your contact information. And two:  it’s a great opportunity to get in a plug for your company, website or blog, and show off your creative side.

At the bare minimum you should have the following:

  • Your full name
  • Your position at the company or what you do (ex:  Graphic Designer, Search Engine Optimization Guru)
  • How you want to be contacted (Which phone numbers?  Hate phone? Then put an email address in)
  • Website of your company  (or your blog)

The extras you can include:

  • Your LinkedIn profile  URL
  • What you specialize in  (Accounting for freelance creatives/ Environmentally friendly interior design)
  • Latest tweet  (more on how to do that below)
  • A favorite quote — don’t be afraid to go for humorous

How to automate your email signature

From Gmail to AOL,  virtually every email provider has a way of automating your signature.

Almost all begin with clicking on the Settings hyperlink.  I’ll go through a few and then explain how you can do it from one central place — with an app.


  1. Go to your Gmail Inbox
  2. In the upper right corner, click on “Settings”
  3. Scroll half way down the page and you’ll see “Signature,” fill that out and click save
  4. You’ll see a whole lot of cool stuff on the Settings page, go ahead and explore


  1. Go to your Inbox
  2. In the upper right corner, click on “Settings”
  3. On the left side, you will see “Compose,”  click on that
  4. You’ll see “Signature,” fill that out

Other email providers — it’s almost always a repeat of going to “Settings” and then looking for “Signature.”

How to add cool stuff to your signature

There is an email app called WiseStamp that’s totally free and lets you centralize your email signature, plus add a lot of other cool things. Options for bling include your lastest tweet, icons linking to your Facebook or LinkedIn pages, and even buttons that connect to your favorite song on Pandora.  You can create both a business and personal signature and toggle between the two.

Here’s how to get the wisestamp app (note — we get no money from this, it’s just a service we like and use)

  1. Go to WisesStamp.com.
  2. It figures out what browser you are using and has a big orange button that says “click to install.”
  3. Follow the very simple directions.
  4. When you are done, you will see a little icon in the bottom right side of your browser — it looks like some blue circles and an old school stamper.  Click on that. At any time you can change your signature.

Here’s what mine looks like:

Email signature of Susan Kim that includes a Twitter feed

Susan Kim's current email signature, slightly cut off to fit this post.

Because so many people don’t have an email signature, by having one you’ll stand out a bit more and people will remember you.  After all, who wants to end up as the Elbridge Gerry of today?

Mojo Moves

  • Start checking out some email signature examples and figure out what you want yours to look like
  • Automate your signature
  • Experiment and change it up every once in a while
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Did you enjoy this post?
  • http://www.nyackbackyard.blogspot.com Jen

    Good to know about wisestamp – I’ll check it out. We have a standard corporate signature that we’re supposed to use for automated signatures, but I would love to add a facebook button (though not necessary my latest status update…) I’d also love to be able to scan my cursive signature and include that. I know a couple of people who have and it looks great.

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It’s about getting you up to speed with today’s digital networking tools, and sharing a roadmap to elevate your career that doesn’t assume you grew up with wi-fi in your bassinet. Ready to get your career mojo back?

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