Marketing Published: 11 April 2024 Update: 11 April 2024

How to Add Social Media Icons to Your Email Signature [+ Free Resources]

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Using social media icons for email signatures is a simple yet effective way to make it easy for your recipients to find and connect with your brand on social media.

To help you do that, I share the easiest ways to add social media icons to your email signature, plus offer a few free resources to get it done.

Create a new, on-brand email signature in just a few clicks. Get started here.  (It's free.)

Throughout this blog post, I’ll cover the following topics:

Why use social media icons in email signatures?

Statista predicts global social media users will reach almost 6 billion by 2027.

But even as we speak, the sheer volume of people already on some form of social media means it just makes sense to do business there in 2024.

That’s especially true if you want to increase brand exposure and improve traffic and lead generation.

According to Statista, these were the most commonly cited advantages of using social media for marketing purposes among global industry professionals.

And that’s not all. Did you know that nearly 80% of consumers are willing to purchase from a company after having a positive experience with them on social media?

But here’s the kicker: That can‘t happen if consumers can’t find your company’s social media channels in the first place.

So, from a business perspective, yes, you want to be on social media. But you should also actively direct people to your channels, and you can use your email signature to do just that.

Let’s dive into both methods one by one.

Method 1: Use an email signature generator.

I recommend using a signature generator, like HubSpot’s free signature generator, for a few reasons. A generator will:

  • Automatically size the social media icons properly.
  • Make sure your icons match your theme.
  • Align the icons properly with the rest of the signature.
  • Ensure your links are active.

Otherwise, you’ll have to manually add the social media icons to your email signature as images and link these images with your social profiles. This method requires more effort and technical know-how.

Using HubSpot’s free signature generator, you can save a lot of time and effort.

Follow these steps to add social media icons to your email signature with HubSpot’s free signature generator:

1. Choose your preferred email signature template.

2. Simply paste your social links into the correct fields. The generator does the rest. (I’ll cover where to find your social links below.)

3. Adjust the look to suit your brand or style.

4. Add your headshot, company logo, and CTA (optional).

5. Copy the image or the source code and paste it into your email client.

Make your email signature for free.

Method 2: Add an Image Within Your Email Client

Maybe you’re already happy with your existing signature, and you just need to add social media icons.

If that’s the case, most email clients (like Gmail, Outlook, etc.) will allow you to add them as an image to your signature. You can then link them with your social media channels.

But there’s a problem with this approach. Adding images as attachments to your outgoing emails can affect your delivery rates.

While Gmail allows you to add social media icons as images using the image address or URL, that’s impossible for other email clients like Outlook, Yahoo Mail, and Apple Mail.

To add social media icons as images to your email signature, follow these steps:

  1. Find icons of the right size, shape, and color. (I’ve shared some options below).
  2. Right-click the image of the icon and select “Copy image address” or “Copy image URL,” in case you’re looking to upload to Gmail. For other email clients, you’ll have to download the social media icons as images and link them to your profiles.
  3. In your email client’s signature editor, click on “Insert image.”
  4. Paste the image URL into the field given (in Gmail) or upload social media icons as images (in the case of other email clients).
  5. Adjust the placement and alignment of the icon if needed.
  6. Copy the social link that matches the icon you’re adding.
  7. Highlight the newly added icon image and click “Insert link.”
  8. Paste the social link into the field.

That being said, let’s understand how to add social media icons to your email signatures across Gmail, Outlook, and Apple Mail.

How to Add Social Media Icons to Gmail Signature

To add social media icons to your Gmail signature, follow these steps.

1. Click on the settings icon in the top-right corner.

2. Click on “See all settings.”

3. Scroll down until you see the email signature editor.

4. Click on “+ Create New” button.

5. You’ll be asked to name your new signature. In this case, I’ll name it “John Smith.” Once you type in the name, click on “Create.”

If you’re looking to add social media icons to your existing signature, just click on the edit icon for that particular signature.

6. Now, you can either paste the signature from HubSpot’s free signature generator. Or you can follow the instructions in Method II to add social media icons to your existing signature in the form of images.

7. Under “Signature defaults,” select your new signature. You can do it for both — new and reply/forwarded emails.

8. Scroll to the bottom and click “Save changes.”

See more detailed instructions on how to add a signature in Gmail.

How to Add Social Media Icons to My Outlook Signature

To add social media icons to your Outlook signature, follow these steps:

1. Click on the gear icon in the top-right corner.

2. Click on “View all Outlook settings.”

3. Select “Compose and reply.”

4. Under “Email Signature,” add your Signature name. In this case, I’ll name it “John Smith.” On the other hand, if you’re looking to edit your existing signature, choose the name of the signature you’re looking to edit from the drop-down menu.

5. Paste your email signature (the one we created in HubSpot’s free signature generator.)

Or, if you’re just looking to add social media icons to your existing signature in the form of images, follow the instructions mentioned in the Method II section.

6. Under “Select default signature,” select your new signature. You can do it for both – new and reply/forwarded emails.

7. Click on “Save” to save the changes.

See more detailed instructions on how to add a signature in Outlook.

How to Add Social Media Icons to Apple Mail Signature

1. Click on “Mail” and then “Settings” in the top-left corner.

2. Click on the “Signatures” tab.

3. Click on the “+” button, as displayed in the screenshot below.

4. Name your email signature. In this case, I’ll name it “John Smith.”

5. Paste your email signature (the one we created in HubSpot’s free signature generator). Or follow the instructions in the Method II section to add images.

6. Uncheck the box that says “Always match my default message font.”

7. Close the pop-up window.

How can I create custom social media icons?

If you want to create custom social media icons and have the budget, I recommend working with a graphic designer.

They will a) know how to keep your custom social icons in line with your brand and b) have paid versions and knowledge of tools like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.

Overall, a good designer will make sure the icon designs are eye-catching, sleek, and professional.

That said, if you want to take a DIY approach, you can use Canva’s free plan to do simple icon customizations like color changes.

To create custom social media icons, load up Canva and then follow these steps:

1. Search for “email signature templates.”

If you don’t already have an email signature template, you can search for an existing one through Canva. To do this, enter “email signature” into the search bar.

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Note: You can use Canva to create individual social icons so that you can use them for purposes outside of an email signature. For the purpose of this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to customize social media icons directly on an email signature template so you can see the whole thing in context.

But remember, adding images as attachments to your outgoing emails can affect your delivery rates.

2. Choose your preferred email signature template.

Now, there should be a range of templates to choose from.

If you have basic design skills, it’s probably best to choose an existing template that catches your eye. If you’re feeling confident, try a blank email signature.

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(I’m going to choose a blank one so it’s easier for you to see what I do with the social icons.)

3. Choose your social media icon(s).

So, your email signature template (in my case, a blank one) should be loaded up on the screen.

Now it’s time to browse social media icons. I’m starting with Instagram. To do this, I selected “Elements,” added “Instagram icon” into the search bar, and then clicked “See all.”

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(For context, I added that line into my blank template to help me visualize the email signature, specifically where to put the icons.)

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You should now be able to see the full range of Instagram icons.

Note: Even though I’m using the free variant of Canva, you might need to join the paid “Pro” plan to remove the watermark on some of the design elements. It all depends on which ones you choose.

4. Customize your social media icon(s).

Let’s start with a simple customization. I picked the top left variant of the Instagram icon, which looks like a simple black outline on the canvas.

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Now, I’m going to do a simple color customization. But, I want to use colors specifically from some of my artwork. To do this, I uploaded a picture of the piece in question, and the colors were then registered in “Photo colors.”

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Original Artwork Source

You can access “Photo colors” by clicking the “Colors” icon through the top menu bar.

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I’ve gone for the light beige color and shrunk the icon down to size. (There’s still a watermark on the Instagram icon if you’re wondering why it doesn’t look its best.)

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You can then rinse and repeat for all the social media icons that represent where you have a social presence. Or…

5. Bonus: Customize your social media icon background.

If you want to take it a step further, consider experimenting with the background of your social media icon(s).

Since I’ve already got some of my artwork loaded up on the canvas, I’ll show you what I mean. I’ve reverted the Instagram social icon back to a bigger size and placed my artwork behind the icon.

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To reposition your image, head to “Position,” click “Arrange,” and then either select “Backward” or “Forward,” depending on how you want to position the image. In this case, I clicked “Backward” to position the art behind the icon.

I then resized the background art so that it’s slightly bigger than the icon outline. You can now see the artwork behind the social media icon below.

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I’m happy with the alignment, so the next step is to join the elements together. To do that, I left-clicked and selected both images at once, then clicked “Group.”

I can now move the social icon and background art around the canvas together and resize them simultaneously.

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I’m not quite happy with this yet, as I think the artwork is overpowering the social icon. To counteract this, I will experiment with customizing the icon color and reducing the transparency of the background art.

(Below is a quick example of those changes.)

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I can then “Copy” and “Paste” this variant and “Ungroup” to replace the Instagram icon with other social icons.

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Free Social Media Icons for Email Signatures

Feel free to use social media icons in your signature or add some automatically with HubSpot’s free email signature generator.

Below, you’ll find links to each social media site’s brand kit. You’ll find other sizes, shapes, colors, and file types in each kit.

Please note: By downloading the icons from a brand kit and uploading them to your email client, you’ll be adding them as an attachment to all your outgoing emails. Adding attachments could affect your delivery rate.

You can avoid this by adding them using the method described earlier in the blog. However, that’s only applicable to Gmail and not other email clients. So, using HubSpot’s email signature generator is a better option.

Apart from this, you may have several questions, so I’ve answered some of the most common questions related to adding social media icons in email signatures below.

Here we go.

Should I put social media icons in my email signature?

Yes, you should put social media icons in your email signature. According to Sprout Social:

“Around 74% of online adults say they feel more connected with a business when they can message the business directly on Messenger, Facebook’s direct messaging platform.”

Further, “35% of U.S. consumers use Instagram for customer service.”

Those are just two examples of how customers use social media to connect with brands in a way that‘s convenient for them. You can make it easier for your customers to do that if you let them know you’re on social media in the first place.

What size should my social media icons be?

Your social media icons should be large enough for recipients to easily click or tap on them. But they must still be small enough to prevent distraction from the rest of your email signature.

If you’re adding them manually, start by looking for icons that are roughly 21px by 21px and adjust from there.

Otherwise, an email signature generator should automatically size them to fit your signature.

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What shape should my social media icons be?

Social media icons come in various shapes, including circles, rounded corner squares, and even hexagons. When choosing the best shape for your social media icon, there’s really no “right” or “wrong” answer.

It all depends on your individual preferences, existing brand style, and your brand guidelines (if you have them.)

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What social media sites should I include in my email signature?

Your email signature should include three to five links to the social media sites that are most relevant to your business.

For example, a freelance photographer may want to include Instagram. On the other hand, a recruiting agency might want to include LinkedIn.

Whatever you decide, just be sure not to include any unused icons. Broken links of any kind can make your emails seem unprofessional.

Some popular social media sites to consider include:

  • TikTok.
  • WhatsApp.
  • Pinterest.
  • YouTube.
  • Facebook.
  • Twitter.
  • Instagram.
  • LinkedIn.

Should my social media icons link to my business or personal account?

In general, your social media icons should link to your business’s social media accounts. This creates a uniform customer experience and is also a great way to boost your followers.

The exception to this rule is an employee who needs to be contacted directly. For example, a recruiter or sales rep may find linking to their professional LinkedIn account useful.

You’ll want to avoid linking to personal accounts, even if you’re the sole owner of the business. Your private social media may not always reflect the image you want to convey to your customers.

Where do I find my social media link?

To find your LinkedIn URL, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the “Me” icon in the top right of the homepage.
  2. You’ll see a drop-down menu. Click on “View Profile.”
  3. Copy the URL from the URL bar of your browser.
  4. Your link will look like this: www.linkedin.com/in/[username]

To find your Facebook URL, follow these steps:

  1. Click on your Facebook account’s profile picture icon in the top-right corner.
  2. Select your account’s name to land on your profile.
  3. Copy the URL from the URL bar of your browser.
  4. Your link will look like this: https://www.facebook.com/[username]

To find your X (formerly Twitter) URL, follow these steps:

  1. Click on “Profile” in the left-hand navigation bar.
  2. Copy the URL from the URL bar of your browser.
  3. Your link will look like this: https://www.twitter.com/[username]

To find your Instagram URL, follow these steps:

  1. Click on your username in the top-right corner.
  2. Copy the URL from the URL bar of your browser.
  3. Your link will look like this: https://www.instagram.com/[username]/

To find your TikTok URL, follow these steps:

  1. Click on your profile picture in the top-right corner.
  2. Copy the URL from the URL bar of your browser.
  3. Your link will look like this: https://www.tiktok.com/@[username]

To find your YouTube URL, follow these steps:

  1. Click on your profile picture in the top-right corner.
  2. Select “Your channel.”
  3. Click on “Customize channel.”
  4. You’ll be redirected to YouTube Studio. Now, select “Basic info.”
  5. Scroll down to find the Channel URL or Custom URL. You can use either of these links.
  6. Your link will either look like: www.youtube.com/c/[username] or www.youtube.com/channel/[channel ID]

To find your Pinterest URL, follow these steps:

  1. Click on your profile picture in the top-right corner.
  2. Copy the URL from the URL bar of your browser.
  3. Your link will look like this: https://www.pinterest.com/[username]

Be More Social

No matter which method you choose, adding social media icons to your email signature benefits you and your customers.

You’ll boost engagement with your brand, and your customers can use the platforms they’re already comfortable with.

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Author:
Flavius Trica Creatif Agency Flavius Trica

Web designer and Co-Founder of Creatif.Agency, with more than 8 years in the design industry and a strong passion for digital art, has successfully managed to deliver one of the most creative web design agencies in San Francisco, California. Valuing quality, creativity, and customer satisfaction, always strive to improve!

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