How to add different signatures to the first and subsequent messages

Learn how to automatically add different signatures to the first messages and replies/forwards in email conversations with CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365.

It is usually a good idea to provide your full contact information, an advertising banner, and a legal disclaimer in the signature of your first (opening) email. These elements can help you generate more leads, promote your products and services, and secure compliance with various regulations.

However, as you continue exchanging messages with the same person, these items have already fulfilled their role. They are no longer needed in your second, third and further emails in a conversation. What is more, at that point, a repeating and overly large email signature makes messages uncomfortably long and the conversation hard to read. Most importantly, due to their complex structure, messages with numerous repeating signatures might be blocked by some spam filters. Instead, you can create a different signature for use in your first email and a different signature for subsequent messages.

A signature for the first email could contain the following elements:

  • full contact information (sender's name, job title, phone number, company address, etc.),
  • a company logo,
  • a marketing banner,
  • links to social media profiles,
  • a legal disclaimer*,
  • and more.

A signature for replies and forwards should be simpler and include:

  • sender’s name, job title, telephone number,
  • a company name,
  • a small company logo,
  • a legal disclaimer*.

* The decision to add or remove a legal disclaimer from your email should always be made in accordance with the guidelines provided by your legal team and should follow the practices specified in your company policies.

Basics

This article shows how to configure CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 for a specific email signatures usage scenario. If you need more basic information, use the links below:

How to configure the program for this scenario

Use the links below to learn how to use different signatures for new messages, replies and forwards in:

Server-side mode

In server-side mode, CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 can automatically add the right signature depending if the email being sent is your first message in a conversation or a subsequent message. You simply need to create a signature rule containing two different signature template variants and select which template should be added to which message type. This is done the following way:

Create a new server-side signature rule and name it (Fig. 1.). Make sure that the new rule is turned on. Configure the conditions and exceptions on the Senders, Recipients and Keywords tabs as needed.

Creating a server-side signature rule.
Fig. 1. Creating a server-side signature rule.

On the Design tab, expand the Choose how signatures should be added in email conversations drop-down list and select Different signature in the first email and different in subsequent emails (Fig. 2.).

Selecting the signature adding method on the Design tab.
Fig. 2. Selecting the signature adding method on the Design tab.

Select the First signature tab and click Edit signature to open an existing signature template or create one from scratch (Fig. 3.). Learn more about how to design your first template in the signature template editor

Opening the Signature template editor to create a signature template for new emails.
Fig. 3. Opening the Signature template editor to create a signature template for new emails.

This will be the signature template used in your first email in a conversation. Make it the more complex of the two signatures. You can use complete contact information as well as additional items including a larger company logo, marketing banner, disclaimer, etc.

When your signature template is complete, save your changes and close the editor. On the Design tab, select Subsequent signatures and click Edit signature once again to create another signature template (Fig. 4.).

Opening the Signature template editor to create a signature template for replies and forwards.
Fig. 4. Opening the Signature template editor to create a signature template for replies and forwards.

This signature will be added to subsequent messages in an email conversation. Make it simpler and make sure it contains only the items that are really required such as sender’s name, job title, telephone number, etc.

When your second signature template is ready, submit the changes to CodeTwo Azure servers by clicking Save (ESIG for O365 rule save). You can close the program.

Client-side mode

In client-side mode, CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 can automatically provide different signatures for new messages and for replies and forwards as you type an email in Outlook.

To configure the program for this scenario, you need to create two separate client-side signature rules with identical groups of senders but different signature templates. Then, select which template will be used as the default one for new emails and which when you are replying or forwarding messages. To do this:

Create a new client-side signature rule and name it (e.g. Signature for new emails), as shown in Fig. 5. Configure the conditions and exceptions on the Senders tab as required. Learn more

Creating a new client-side signature rule.
Fig. 5. Creating a new client-side signature rule.

Go to the Design tab and create or edit an existing signature template as discussed, here.

This will be the default signature rule for new emails. Make the signature template more complex. We recommend using complete contact information and additional items, such as marketing banners, links to social media profiles, a legal disclaimer, etc.

When your signature template is complete, save your changes and close the editor. Go to the Options tab and select the Set this signature as default for new messages checkbox (Fig. 6., item 1).

Selecting the signature rule as default for new emails and cloning the signature rule.
Fig. 6. Selecting the signature rule as default for new emails and cloning the signature rule.

Click the ESIG 365 clone rule button button in the Signature rules section to clone the rule you have just created (Fig. 6., item 2). That way you make sure that both signatures are assigned to the same users. Cloning is especially useful if you are using more complex sets of conditions and exceptions to define senders.

Select the rule you just cloned and go to the Overview tab to rename it (e.g. Signature for replies). On the Design tab, open the Signature template editor and create or edit a signature template that will be added to replies and forwards. Keep it simple and make sure it contains only the items that are really required, such as sender’s name, job title, telephone number, etc.

When your second signature template is complete, save your changes and close the editor. On the Options tab, select the Set this signature as default for replies and forwards checkbox (Fig. 7.).

Selecting the signature rule as default for replies.
Fig. 7. Selecting the signature rule as default for replies.

Finally, submit the changes to CodeTwo Azure servers by clicking ESIG for O365 rule save and close the program. Client-side signatures will be made available in Outlook to defined users once our services sync with the CodeTwo Signatures Add-in for Outlook (this happens every couple of minutes) or after using the Force signature refresh option in the add-in.

Result

In server-side mode, the correct signature template is applied automatically without user interaction. The program detects if the message being sent is a new message in a given conversation or a subsequent one (a reply or forward). In this example, Megan initiates a conversation with Alex and her first email contains a full signature (Fig. 8., item 1). Later, she responds to Alex’s email and her reply now has the simplified email signature (Fig. 8., item 2).

Different signatures in an email conversation.
Fig. 8. Different signatures in an email conversation.

Your first reply

In a scenario where someone else writes to you and initiates an email conversation, CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 will add the full signature to your first message even though, strictly speaking, it will be a reply message. Your subsequent emails in this conversation will receive the simpler email signature.

In client-side mode, the default signature will be inserted as you compose the email depending if it is a new message or a reply or forwarded message. In this example John wrote to Alex and the program added a full signature (Fig. 9., item 1). When John continued the conversation with Alex, the default signature changed to the simplified version (Fig. 9., item 2).

Different signatures in an email conversation in client-side mode.
Fig. 9. Different signatures in an email conversation in client-side mode.

Your first reply

In a scenario where someone else writes to you and initiates an email conversation, CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 will add the simpler email signature to your first message by default, as it is considered a reply. However, since this is your first message in the conversation, we recommended changing the signature to the full signature manually (Fig. 10.). Then, you can use the simplified signature in subsequent emails in this conversation.

Manually changing between the full and simplified email signature.
Fig. 10. Manually changing between the full and simplified email signature.

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