The Value of a First Impression from Your Email Signature

Posted by Ron Runyon, Application Developer, - Dec 8, 2014

As more companies embrace Google Apps, we are seeing a surge in demand for custom applications. Companies are realizing the potential within the Google Cloud Platform. One common requests we get is for a standard email signature creator tool.

Today, Gmail allows people to set up their own email signature from within the Mail settings. For users who choose to use this built-in feature, they have the option to add text in different fonts, colors, and sizes, and/or inserting images such as a company logo. Since employee efforts are not necessarily standardized, companies have seen hundreds and thousands of variations in the signatures on employees’ email messages. When it comes to employee creativity, let’s just say that not all employees were created equally. So inevitably, there will be cases where, for example, corporate logos are displayed incorrectly, unapproved images may be included, or text could be too big or too small. This huge assortment of signature styles — whether approved or not —  that are being appended to every outgoing email could end up damaging the corporate image the company is trying to project. It’s in these instances, that employees might not be making a positive first impression.

To address this, Onix has developed an Email Signature Creator tool. In a nutshell, this application allows users to enter some information that might be unique to them — such as Job Title, Department, or Cell Phone — into a web form. Once submitted, the app will display a preview of how that user’s corporate signature will appear, using official font colors, corporate logos, social media links, etc. When the user is satisfied that the information is correct, he or she simply clicks a button; that new, professional signature is automatically copied to that user’s mail account, becoming the user’s default email signature from that point on.

On the back end, the user should already be authenticated to Google by being logged into his or her Google Apps account. When he or she navigates to the Email Signature app, the tool recognizes the user and can pull in data contained in his or her profile, such as Full Name, or Phone number. At this time, the user may enter in additional data for the signature, such as Title and one or more phone numbers. We can offer a number of approved corporate colors for the signature text.

Walkthrough of the Onix Email Signature Creator

email signature creator

Next, the user clicks the Preview button and will be shown how the signature will appear.

email signature tool

The user may choose to go back and make edits to his or her information, or may simply click “Accept make default signature”. This will cause the application to programmatically set the email signature for the user. From this point on, when the user sends out an email, it will contain his or her approved, corporate signature appended to the email message.

The application is also remarkably light on Google App Engine resources! In one instance, our application created over 14,000 signatures for employees of a global manufacturer in a period of 2 to 3 days, and the total cost for using Google App Engine came to a mere $1.24! (That is is not a typo!) On most days, this application runs for free, as it does not exceed the daily free quota provided by Google.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much — or cost much — to be able to ensure that your company makes a great first impression! Having a clean, uniform signature for all employees promotes a sophisticated and polished look for all email being sent out from the organization!

email signature tool

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Ron Runyon, Application Developer

Ron Runyon, Application Developer

Ron is a Senior Java Developer. He specializes in application development using the Google App Engine platform. Previously, Ron worked as a Senior Application Developer in the financial services industry, creating both internal and customer-facing applications.