A site visitor was curious and pondered:
You claim we should create our business emails the same as if they were on our business letterhead. After my closing (Sincerely,) am I supposed to include my actual handwritten signature like I do on off-line business letterhead, before my signature file?
No, you are not supposed to include your actual signature.
“Don’t do anything in an email that you wouldn’t do on your company’s letterhead” is a statement I use quite often as a guide to help you to maintain the same level of decorum and formality as you would on your business letterhead to ensure you maintain a professional presentation and perception. Typing your name is just fine and standard and customary.
To have your actual signature display would require that you embed code that points to the graphical image of your handwritten signature where it is stored on a server — which could cause some security concerns. By embedding a graphic or any file for that matter, you risk raising ISP blocks and spam filters as it is common practice for those who propagate viruses to use the very same type of code in emails to unsuspecting Netizens.
While many other issues such as proper grammar, greetings, closings and spell checks are the same with email as with off-line business letterhead, simply typing your name in your email is sufficient. Even though you may see others using fancy-schmancy signatures above their signature, you can rest assured that by using plain text instead of a graphical image that your emails stand a better chance of reaching their intended destination while maintaining a professional appearance.