Do Mobile Email Signatures Get On Your Goat?

Do Mobile Email Signatures Get On Your Goat?

Smart phones are invariably configured to add a “Sent from my iPhone” or “Sent from my BlackBerry” signature. While their presence often reflects users who can’t be bothered (or don’t how) to change default settings, they can also convey a dismissive attitude to the recipient.

Gartner research analyst Craig Roth argues on his blog that the “sent from” tag can suggest that the recipient doesn’t value your message very much, and is only replying briefly from their phone rather than giving you their full attention:

I still find an increasing proportion of instances where that signature follows an email that is annoyingly short on details and fails to form a connection. For example, I may have brought up a complex issue and just had one minor part of it responded to.

Of course, “sent from” tags also help explain any typos in a message, so their role isn’t necessarily dismissive. But I’m interested in how Lifehacker readers react to those tags. Do you even notice them? Do they bother you? Have you changed yours? Tell us in the comments.

Sent from my iPhone [Gartner: Craig Roth]


  • I work for a telecommunications company, so i use it to both advertise the netwrok/phone and the fact that i have my email on it, and that i won’t give a very detailed response including standard greetings, attaching files and font formatting.

  • I personally don’t find it dismissive at all as long as an entire discussion doesn’t go like that. This might be Mr Roth’s experience, but I haven’t had that occur. Good relationships aren’t about how long or “attentive” a single reply is.

    My mobile signature asks readers to “excuse my brevity” and is followed up with a proper reply later if one is warranted. The fact that I’m replying at all from my mobile is more than was previously the case. If people don’t like it, they can phone me instead.

  • I removed the “Sent from my iPhone” signature on mine because it’s completely unnecessary. My recipient doesn’t care what device I replied from. Not to mention it’s an extra four words that they are obliged to read.

    Having said that, I make sure that my reply on a phone is just as complete as it would be if I had replied on a computer. If I feel that I can’t for whatever reason, I don’t reply at all until I get to a computer.

  • I have a colleague who’s signature says: “Sent from my iPhone, WOW the future is good” and that really grinds my gears as he comes off almost bragging about his phone, which we’ve been able to do for sooooooo many years already.

    That’s what irks me the most.

  • I’m glad they are there, however you should customise them first.

    I do like to let people know that yes I have responded from a mobile device. So my reply isn’t as verbose as it normally would be.

    But I’m in the business of giving tax advice, so while in a mobile email I may answer their direct question, I have not however covered all of the other questions they didn’t think to ask.

    Nomally I would word the emails along the lines of:

    “Hi Name, I’m out of the office at the moment, but the answer to your question is ‘answer’. I will call or email you once I’m back in the office to cover issues of xyz that may relate to your situation. Regards, Blake. Sent from device. Contact deatils.”

    Usually the client is already with a finance broker, insurance agent, solicitor or in the yard buying a car. The need a rough answer straight away. But rough answers are never as simple as that.

  • It futher bugs me when people adjust it, specifically apologising for poor spelling due to the iPhone, it’s not the phones fault that words are spelled wrong.

    Take the time to respect the recipient, or they may not always have the time to bother with your messages.

  • I’d rather not advertise the device (especially as I work with a few people with attitude issues to iPhone users).

    Mine therefore is “Sent on a mobile device. Please excuse the brevity.” I’m interested to see Robert uses something very similar.

  • I have changed mine to “sent via mobile device” because who cares what device it is, it is just to let the recipient know that there may be typos, it may be brief. I’m not into bragging about what phone I have, nobody cares.

  • MY IPAD defaults to a “Sent from my iPad” signature even though MY IPAD is just as easy to write a full length email from as a netbook. I changed the signature on MY IPAD to my normal “All the best, David” because I don’t want emails from MY IPAD to look like this comment.

  • The tag, “Sent from my [DEVICE]” is gratuitous advertising on the part of the device vendor. I just can’t wait to see other *large* software vendors begin adding self-promotional and perhaps even other unsolicited advertising signatures to every electronic message I send via their application and hardware.

    What next? Taken to the illogical, we’ll have every ISP and intermediary adding their little signature msg, stating that my message was routed via their [BRAND] servers, their [BRAND] ISP, their [BRAND] teleco infrastructure, etc. etc. We’ve already got the various anti-virus creators adding their purportedly reassuring “checked for viruses by [BRAND]” signatures.

    So what have I done? I’ve removed the signature of course. Where, when and how I get the message to the recipient is irrelevant to them, they’re simply interested in my considered response free of fluff and nonsense, and any attempt to either big-note myself, or promote someone else’s hardware/software solution for delivering this message.

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