Weekend Poll Results: Your Email Etiquette

With thanks to all who participated, here are the results of my latest weekend poll. Our focus: Do you routinely include a signature line when sending email messages?

81% of respondents routinely insert signature lines

… and, in a number of instances, the insertion is automated. Just over 13% of respondents are comfortable with the absence of such a signature, but 77% are not. Why? Well, if you’ve ever tried to phone or send written correspondence that requires a sender’s job title or mailing address, you’ll understand.


Saying no to quotations, and no messages encouraging people to avoid printing

… is the norm for many of you. However, 42% of respondents do include statements to the effect that the message is privileged and not to be disclosed or used by other parties.


Note: Information below reflects the percentage of respondents who selected specific responses from multiple choice options.  In instances where more than one person offers similar responses to an open ended question, I typically cluster or paraphrase such responses rather than duplicating all of them.


Do you routinely include a signature line/file in your email messages?

  • Yes: 81% of respondents
  • No: 13% of respondents
  • 6% of respondents selected “Other”.  Comments were as follows.
    • It’s automatically set up for all business emails, and it’s policy
    • (answer reflects) assumption (that it’s) work e-mail
    • At work, yes; privately, I forego them


Do you find it frustrating when people don’t include a signature line/file?

  • Yes: 77.33% of respondents
  • No: 13.33% of respondents
  • 11.33% of respondents selected “Other”.  Comments were as follows.
    • You need to have their contact details as a POC (point of contact). It’s business.
    • It depends – internally, no; externally, yes
    • Extremely
    • Especially when I need to call them and no phone number is listed
    • Sometimes
    • In business, omitting signatures is unprofessional.


Does your principal/executive routinely include a signature line/file in her/his messages?

  • Yes: 71.5% of respondents
  • No: 17% of respondents
  • 12% of respondents selected “Other”. Readers commented as follows.
    • It’s automatically set up for every email
    • For messages to externals
    • Some do, some don’t
    • On emails sent on laptop, but not always on emails sent by iPhone
    • Not in messages sent from the smartphone
    • It depends on the addressee


If you don’t use a signature line/file, why not?

  • It’s an internal message within the department.
  • Sometimes I don’t in an email chain – internal only
  • Only after the initially sent email
  • I do not use one in private communication, since those people know my contact details


If you use a signature line/file, does yours include a statement noting that the message is privileged/not to be disclosed or used by other parties?

  • No: 48% of respondents
  • Yes: 42% of respondents
  • 10% of respondents selected “Other”. Readers commented as follows.
    • It’s company policy that this be included in all outgoing emails
    • I have multiple signatures – so yes; on some
    • This is automatically added by our signature generator
    • It is automatically a part of my signature at work
    • This part is automatically added by the IT provider


Do you have a quote/inspirational message in your signature line/file?

  • No: 96% of respondents
  • Yes: 2% of respondents
  • 2% of respondents selected “Other”. One person reported that the corporate quote is part of the signature line.


Do you have a note discouraging unnecessary printing of the email message in your signature line/file?

  • No: 72% of respondents
  • Yes: 28 % of respondents

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