Is Your Signature Lying?

Lately I’ve seen several clients with email signatures that included incorrect information. You may be thinking “That can’t be, because I set my signature file myself.” But did you really? We often see a new employee setting their signature file by copying another employee’s existing signature file and changing the name, phone number, and email address. This preserves the basic structure of, and information in, the signature file, possibly with the same standard fonts and colors. But what people often overlook in HTML signatures is that email addresses come through as links, and when you simply change the text in a link, you only change what you see, not where the link goes.

For instance, here’s a sample signature file:

Joe Friday, VP Sales and Marketing
XYZ Corp.
(123) 456-7890  [email protected]

If you hover your mouse over Joe’s email address, you should see that it points to [email protected], which is good!

Now, Jane comes along and copies Joe’s signature file, changing it to:

Jane Thursday, VP Operations
XYZ Corp.
(123) 456-7891  [email protected]

If you hover the mouse over Jane’s email, you’ll see that it points to… Joe’s email address! Just as we covered in our very first blog post, links are not always what they seem. If you are going to copy a coworker’s signature file, be sure to double-check the email address and, if it’s wrong, delete the entire thing and start fresh.

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