Insert different signatures for new mail and replies/forwarded messages

CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro lets you create personalized signatures / disclaimers that will be inserted to your mail. Furthermore, you can adjust the program's settings to automatically insert either the detailed or the simplified signature depending if the email is sent for the first time or later in the correspondence. This can be achieved by creating two signature adding rules, of which the first one will be always stamping emails with short signature, and the second one which will be its extension, added only to the first email, right after the first signature creating together a big, detailed version of it.

Let us say, in the first email in the conversation you would like your users to have full info in the signature: name, job title, phone numbers, website, address, social media buttons etc.

Mike's full signature.
Fig. 1. Mike's full signature added only once to his first email to John.

However, you do not want so much info to be inserted under every further email - name and title is enough under every subsequent reply.

Mike's short signature stamped when continuing discussing with John.
Fig. 2. Mike's short signature stamped when continuing discussing with John.

This can be achieved two ways: by creating a rule with two Insert Signature actions - let us call it two actions method (recommended) or by using message type condition - let us call it message type method.

Two actions method

This method works based on a rule with two Insert signature actions. The first footer will be added every single time - in the first email, as well as in all replies and forwards. It will contain just a short info you always need (name and title). The second action will add the rest of the info (phone numbers, company name, website, address, social media buttons etc.) and it will be inserted only once. The software will make sure it is not included in further emails by taking advantage of the mechanism that checks if the signature that is supposed to be inserted is already found in the message body - if this is the case, the software will skip adding this signature again, leaving email body with only the first (short) signature in it.

Follow the steps below to achieve the above described effect:

  1. Add a new clean rule.
  2. There are no specific requirements for the discussed feature to work when it comes to Conditions, Exceptions or Options, so customize them to suit your needs.
  3. In Actions tab add Insert Signature action.
  4. Click Edit and prepare a short footer design that will be added to all emails, this includes both: the first email that starts a thread and all further replies and forwards in that thread.
    Short signature prepared in the editor.
    Fig. 3. Short signature prepared in the editor.
  5. Click on PRO - Cogwheel icon cogwheel icon on the right-hand side of the editor window to edit Settings - make sure that:
    1. If disclaimer / signature is already found in the conversation, then option add new one is checked.
    2. For Add disclaimer / signature option right under the original reply message is selected.
      Short signature settings configuration.
      Fig. 4. Short signature settings configuration.
  6. Click Save icon and close the editor.
  7. In Actions tab add Insert Signature action again so there are two of them.
    One rule with two signature adding actions.
    Fig. 5. One rule with two signature adding actions.
  8. Click Edit and prepare an extension of the first signature that will be added only to the first email a user sends in a thread.
    Additional info prepared as a second signature in the editor.
    Fig. 6. Additional info prepared as a second signature in the editor.
  9. Click on PRO - Cogwheel icon cogwheel icon on the right-hand side of the editor window to edit Settings - make sure that:
    1. If disclaimer / signature is already found in the conversation, then option add new one is NOT checked.
    2. For Add disclaimer / signature option right under the original reply message is selected.
      Long signature settings configuration.
      Fig. 7. Long signature settings configuration.
  10. Click Save icon and close the editor.
  11. Click Submit changes to apply new settings.

Following the above procedure you will create just one simple signature that is added every time. The detailed signature that is added only to the first email comes from combining the simple signature and its extension added by the second insert signature action.

Message type method

The two actions method described above, might not be satisfying if you want to add completely different signature to the first email. In such a scenario you can create two signature adding rules and stamp emails with appropriate rule, based on the message type condition.

Message type condition.
Fig. 8. Message type condition.

Define first rule's condition as Message type is new email and prepare full signature design for it. Then, define second rule's condition as Message type is reply or forward and prepare a different, shorter footer design. However, you must be aware that this method has some downsides.

First of all, it will work only if your email is the one that starts the correspondence exchange. If someone emails you first and you respond to that, even though this is your first email, the short signature will be added as your message is already of reply type.

Secondly, programmatically recognizing email type is not always as easy job as it might seen. CodeTwo software tries to find out the message type based on message's header. This mostly works, but it is not unusual for emails to be stripped off some parts of headers as not every email client follows official standards for email headers. When it is not possible to judge email type based on headers, CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro reads message subject and looks for prefixes typical for replies and forwarded emails such as "RE:" or "FW:". However again, this is not perfect either. Subject may be manually modified by the user and not contain these keywords. Also, even if keywords are always there it is difficult to cover all languages and multiple versions of keywords that might be in use within every single language.

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