Email Footer Design: Best Practices and Examples
Nov 29, 2023
Hook, line, and sinker.
You’ve likely heard this phrase in different contexts before.
It’s also applicable to email marketing. It’s how you can capture your recipient’s attention with an email.
The hook is your subject line, grabbing your recipient’s attention and prompting them to open your message.
The line is your email body, reeling them in with compelling content.
The sinker is… your email footer. Yes, you read that right!
The email footer is an often overlooked and underutilized aspect of an email but it is just as important as the glamorous subject line and email body.
Just as a fisherman needs all three to make a successful catch, your email needs a captivating subject line, engaging body, and a well-crafted footer to make a true lasting impact.
In this guide, we will dive deep into the art of creating email footers that do more than just sign off or offer a way for your readers to unsubscribe.
Continue reading as we explore how to integrate branding, encourage reader engagement, and adhere to legal requirements in your email footer. With a mix of practical advice, best practices, and visual examples, we're here to help you create email footers that are as impactful and memorable as the rest of your message.
What is an Email Footer
An email footer serves as the anchor to your entire message. It is used to reinforce your brand's identity, ensure legal compliance, enhance reader engagement, and offer additional links or calls to action.
It is the final aspect of your email that your reader will see, putting a close to your message.
Email Footer Best Practices
Email footer best practices involve a combination of design and content to ensure that the footer is both effective and user-friendly. Here are some key best practices:
Keep It Concise and Relevant: Overloading the email footer with too much text or too many links can be overwhelming and reduce its effectiveness.
Include Contact Information: Provide your company’s contact details for easy communication.
Unsubscribe Link: Include a clear and straightforward way for recipients to opt-out of future emails. This is not only a best practice but a legal requirement in most places.
Legal Compliance: We will touch on this more below!
Branding Consistency: Ensure that your footer reflects your brand’s visual identity, using the same colors, fonts, and style as the rest of your email and other marketing materials.
Social Media Links: If applicable, include icons or links to your social media profiles to encourage further engagement.
Mobile Responsiveness: Design the footer to be easily readable on mobile devices, considering that a significant portion of emails are read on smartphones or tablets.
Update Regularly: Keep the information in your footer up-to-date. No one wants to click on a broken link.
Test and Optimize: Regularly test your footer’s layout and links to ensure everything works as intended and make adjustments based on recipient engagement and feedback.
Every email footer has different needs but by following these best practices you can create an email footer that not only strengthens your brand’s presence but also increases engagement with your readers in your email communications.
Email Footer legal requirements
Legal requirements for email footers will vary depending on the country and the nature of the email, especially for commercial or marketing emails.
Here are some key legal aspects to consider in email footers:
Identification of the Sender: The footer should clearly identify the person or company sending the email. This usually includes the full name of the entity or individual, physical address, and contact information.
Unsubscribe Options: Laws such as the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union require that marketing emails provide a clear and easy way for recipients to opt-out or unsubscribe from future communications.
Disclaimers: These can include confidentiality notes (stating that the email is intended only for the intended recipient and may contain confidential information), liability disclaimers (for any errors or omissions in the email content), and legal disclaimers (relating to the content and any attachments).
Regulatory Information: For certain professions (like legal or financial services), specific regulatory information may need to be included.
Note: we are not lawyers so it’s important to consult a legal professional of your own to ensure that your emails are in full compliance with the specific legal requirements applicable to you and your business.
Email Footer examples
It’s easy to overlook the footer — both as an email marketer and as the reader. Lucky for you, this is likely the case for your competitors as well.
Here are a number of email footer examples that will give you the inspiration needed to spice up your own email footer to stand out from your competitors.
Polywork keeps their email footer simple while letting readers know that they should stay tuned for more “exciting” news from them.
The addition of social media icons makes it easy for readers to also follow them on their favorite platforms to stay as up to date as possible.
2. Opal Camera
3. Morning Brew
Morning Brew has a lot going on in their email footer — but that isn’t a bad thing.
They start it off by offering every social media channel they’re on as an icon. If you’re a longtime reader of their newsletter you know that they have set a high bar for quality. It’s safe to assume that following them on other mediums would also be high quality.
Next, they give credit to every author who played a part in the edition of the newsletter you just read. This might seem subtle but it goes a long way in building trust among their employees as well as anyone interested in working with them in the future.
Finally, they offer links to valuable pages like their podcast, careers page, and advertising page.
If you enjoy enough of the content they put out there’s a good chance you might consider advertising with them or even applying for a job.
They take advantage of this prime email footer real estate opportunity.
4. Product Hunt
Product Hunt has always been a community-first platform and that doesn’t need to stop at their daily newsletter.
They use their email footer space to ask readers for feedback through a simple survey by asking the question “What do you love? How could we do better? All feedback is helpful.”
It’s always a good idea to get a pulse check on your readers to ensure that you are sending them wanted and valuable content and Product Hunt does a great job of this.
Medium uses their prominent email footer space to encourage readers to download their app on the Apple and Google app stores.
As a publishing platform, it’s important that they keep readers in their orbit. By converting email readers to app users they can begin to push additional content outside of their typical publishing cadence.
6. Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery is a newsletter that sells out their sponsorship slots months in advance.
Every so often they will send an email that announces new sponsor openings. This email footer does a great job of ensuring that longtime readers have first dibs at securing a slot if they wish to have one. It also does a great job of ensuring that Dense Discovery itself continues to book out their slots well in advance of the actual publishing date.
Vrbo does a great job of staying on brand in their email footer.
They have their logo front and center and immediately follow it by offering readers a link to their help center for additional information and FAQs.
They make this feel welcoming with the words “We’re here to help”, important for a vacation rental business.
Robinhood is one of the businesses that needs to highlight regulatory information in their email footer.
Pipe helps businesses connect with capital needed to run their business.
They also recently started a newsletter.
They take up space in their email footer to disclose the difference of the two communications and that the newsletter is for informational purposes only and that Pipe itself is not associated with the multiple sources included in the newsletter.
They also then link to each of the sources mentioned one by one below the disclaimer. If you were seeking out the sources it would be impossible to also miss the disclaimer.
They viewed this as very important to their core business and made sure that their email footer clearly labeled the difference.
Substack has one of the simplest email footers out there. And it works.
Their email footer gives you two options. Get the app or Start writing. Both are crucial to their business.
As a newsletter platform they hope readers stay in their ecosystem with their app (similar to Medium above) and they also want readers to try writing their own newsletter.
They use this prime real estate to offer large buttons for the two calls to action that are most crucial to their business.
This is proof that just because you can link to everything A-Z (couldn’t help myself), doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.
12. The Ringer
The Ringer opted for some brand consistency with their email footer and it works great.
Their bright green brand color stands out and draws attention to their main calls to action of their social media channels. As a website and newsletter they are hoping you also follow them on other channels so that they can continue to give you other forms of content outside of the typical email newsletter.
There you have it… email footers!
While often overlooked, you should now understand that crafting an effective email footer should be much more than a simple necessity. It should be viewed as an integral part of your email's identity and a powerful tool for branding, compliance, and engagement.
A true equal to your email’s subject line and email body.
As you apply these insights and best practices, you're not just concluding your emails with an abrupt ending; you're extending an invitation for continued connection and trust.
So, take this opportunity to revisit your email footers and transform them into a compelling element of your email marketing strategy.