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Why Microsoft Word email signatures are bad for your business

If you use Microsoft Outlook to send emails, you might think an easy solution to generating an email signature would be using Microsoft Word. But did you know, your Microsoft Word generated email signature could be doing more harm than good to your business?


If you're used to using Microsoft products like Outlook, Word and Excel, it's understandable you might think that using Word to generate an email signature, is an easy solution to a complicated problem of creating and coding a HTML email signature.

But what you might not know is that by using Microsoft Word to create your "professional" email signature, you actually risk looking unprofessional to many of the customers and clients you are emailing.


email signature design example/

Why is using Microsoft Word to create email signatures a bad idea?

Three Words; "Word Rendering Engine".

As of May 2016, nearly all Microsoft Outlook products now use the Word Rendering Engine to create and send HTML emails. In fact the only products that don't use it are Outlook Mac 2011 and Outlook 2003.

Outlook Email Clients that use the Word Rendering Engine

Outlook Mac 2016 (15.22+)
Outlook 2007
Outlook 2010
Outlook 2013
Outlook 2016

Outlook Email Clients that do not use the Word Rendering Engine

Outlook Mac 2011
Outlook 2003

What is the Word Rendering Engine?

Essentially, it's a program, designed by Microsoft, used to create HTML and it plays nicely with all Microsoft Products like Outlook, Word and Excel.

For example, you could copy a table, or an email signature design from Word and paste it directly into an email message in Outlook and it would look the same across most versions of Outlook, because they both use the Word Rendering Engine to generate the HTML.

created an email signature in Word today. that's not going to work in any other email client

What if my Word generated email signature is sent to someone that doesn't use Outlook?

This is the part where we tell you why it's bad for business. Unfortunately, your professional-looking email signature that you created in Word and you thought looked great in Outlook, will most likely look terrible and un-formatted in all other major email clients, including Outlook versions that don't use the Word Rendering Engine.

Why does it look terrible? Because email clients like Gmail, Apple Mail and Thunderbird can't read the gobbly-gook of messed up "HTML code" that is produced by the Word Rendering Engine. It adds extra spacing, gaps, fonts and can even embed images into your email signature causing unnecessary file attachments.

"Essentially, this means there's a huge amount of clients, customers and business contacts that are receiving your Microsoft Word generated email signature, that aren't getting a professional-looking email signature."

In fact, it's more than likely they are getting something completely different than what you think you are sending, because you are generating your email signature using Word.


litmus email client market share april 2016

Most of my customers and other business contacts use Outlook, right?

Wrong! Outlook once was the largest major email client. But as you can see from this latest list (April 2016) of most used email clients (provided and regularly updated by Litmus), Outlook is now down to number 6 on the list.

So if you're not catering to customers with other email clients like Apple iPhone, iPad, Gmail and Apple Mail, you're missing out on a large chunk of market share.

You must take into account that there are more players in the email client space than there was five years ago. Sending from Outlook and receiving to Outlook is only one of many, many possible combinations that your email signature must be designed and tested for.

"You wouldn't send out an email newsletter that wasn't properly designed, coded and tested for all major email clients and your email signature should be treated the same."


How can I create a professional email signature for Outlook that will look good in all major email clients?

The email signatures that you create using Email Signature Rescue have been custom developed over three years to work in all major email clients. With over 3,500 satisfied clients and 40,000 email signatures under our belt, you can be sure that the email signature you paste into Outlook, is the best possible HTML code to work across all major email clients.

tested all major email clients

We have taken the Word Rendering Engine into consideration when creating our email signature templates. We have the best HTML code available today to overcome the issues caused by the Word Rendering Engine and sending email signatures from Outlook.

So if you're after the best email signature for your business, using Outlook (or any other of our supported email clients), and want an email signature that will stand up to the challenge of looking good across all major email clients, we are the best and wisest choice.

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