The story often goes like this: one day an Exchange administrator gets a phone call from his boss and hears … “We have a problem – signatures in the company’s emails are a mess: some users have incorrect data, formatting is inconsistent, the company’s logo is not there, and above all, legal disclaimers on Exchange are missing. We need unified signatures in all emails now!”
OK – looks like a simple thing – you go to Hub Transport service, create a new transport rule “Append disclaimer text” fill out the necessary data and click ”Finish”. So far so good. Now – wait a minute – before you mark the task as completed just check the following:
1. Does the signature include all the required legal information?
The regulations in this subject depend on the country (or state) you live in. One thing is certain though: lack of the required information or incorrectly composed text can be used against your company by a government agency or dissatisfied client. It’s better to consult the disclaimer content with your legal department.
A complete and properly phrased legal disclaimer helps protect your company.
2. Are email signatures archived and shown in the Sent Items folders in users’ email clients?
Signatures appended by the server are not visible in the sender’s email client. Even if your mail signature was complete and contained all the necessary information, this can be difficult to prove.
Each sent message is archived along with the signature in the ‘Sent Items’ folder. Now you really have it covered!
3. Are the signatures defined on users’ computers being removed and replaced with those configured on the Exchange server?
The result is ‘signature chaos’ – emails from those users who have defined their own signatures in Outlook will have two signatures. To prevent this, you can refer to the GPO – for more click here.
User defined Outlook signatures are automatically removed, and replaced by centrally defined Exchange signatures.
4. Are signatures properly added to emails sent from mobile devices?
Your nicely formatted HTML signatures are properly added only to emails sent from Outlook. Unfortunately when email clients (e.g. smartphones or other mobile devices) use RTF or plain text format, your signature will not be correctly appended.
Regardless of whether the message was sent using an iPhone, Android or OWA – all emails are stamped on the server using the appropriate format (HTML, RTF or Plain Text).
5. Are your company’s logo and other graphics used in signatures visible directly in recipient’s email?
Graphics used in signatures appear as email attachments. To see the graphic, the recipient must click on the attachment, which is annoying. Result: clients can’t see your logo – all your branding work is wasted.
Recipients see professional-looking signatures containing graphics (logo, promotional banner, sender’s photo etc) directly in their mail. The branding effect has been achieved.
6. Are signatures in email conversation appended directly below the latest reply?
In email conversations, signatures in replies are added at the very bottom of emails, instead of directly under the latest reply. This results in a long text where you quickly lose track of who wrote what, and makes the entire email difficult to read.
Each new message ends with a signature of the sender. Signatures are located directly below the reply and look professional. The whole correspondence is clear and you can easily identify who wrote what.
7. Does every signature include personalized information of the sender?
Example: An email to a client doesn’t contain the sender’s contact details. This makes it difficult for the client to contact the seller and place a new order.
All outgoing message contain contact details of the sender. Clients can call their contact persons directly, which facilitates communication and boosts sales.
8. Are all Active Directory fields used in signatures filled with users’ data?
Do you have empty values in users’ data in Active Directory? If you use empty AD fields in signature templates, they will result in blank spaces in signatures for those users (e.g. “Mobile phone [empty space] “), which looks unprofessional. You can prevent that by filling all required information in Active Directory, OR (safer & better!) by defining a condition adding only those signature lines where all AD fields have values.
There are no empty spaces in your email signatures caused by missing Active Directory values.
9. Is the complete signature added only once in a mail correspondence?
The full signature & disclaimer is added to each email reply, occupying lots of space and forcing readers to scroll down the email.
One full signature/disclaimer per email is enough to be protected by law. Just add it to the first message, and in subsequent responses add only the abbreviated version of the signature.
10. Is the appended signature based on who is sending an email to whom?
You use only one signature template for all emails. This may result in internal emails having too much information or outgoing emails having no legal disclaimer.
You have defined separate signature templates for separate sender and recipient groups. Emails sent to clients include a full signature with legal disclaimer; on the other hand the internal emails contain only the minimal set of information.
Meeting these requirements using only the built-in mechanisms of the Exchange Server is very difficult, if not impossible. If you want to avoid the problems described above, you can download our program which will help you centrally manage email signatures on Exchange Server. The program is used on thousands of installations in over 80 countries, and is now available in versions for Exchange Server 2000/2003, Exchange 2007, Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2013.