Stationery Layouts: Inline Signatures

Document created by user.oxriBaJeN4 Employee on Sep 8, 2015Last modified by user.oxriBaJeN4 Employee on Mar 24, 2017
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Mimecast provides functionality to apply email branding and disclaimers to outbound and inbound email messages.  This functionality is referred to as Stationery, and is available in both HTML and Plain Text formats.  Stationery is applied to emails using a Stationery Assignment Policy.

 

Signatures can also be applied to emails with the use of Stationery and Attributes.  Attributes can be LDAP linked (and therefore synchronized from the network Directory), or manually configured and managed using a spreadsheet import.

 

Applying Stationery to Emails

 

When an email is processed through the Stationery Assignment Policy, Stationery Layout components are applied to the message.  The original email is kept as a single unit, and through the use of HTML tags, Stationery components are placed around the original email message.

 

For example, a Stationery item is created in Mimecast to apply the company logo at the top of the message, a signature below the message, and a disclaimer below the signature. A sender would compose and send an email message as per normal. Mimecast would then wrap the Stationery components around the message body, and deliver the email contents to the recipient. In this way, the message is not modified in any way, and Mimecast has simply added content around the original email itself.

 

Without additional configuration, Mimecast will continue to re-apply the email branding to each email - i.e. if the recipient of the email replies, and then the original sender replies to the email as well, it is treated as a regular outbound email.  Mimecast will then keep the original message intact (with all the replies), and apply the logo, signature and disclaimer to the whole email once again.  This will lead to repetitive application of Stationery components.

If a sender applies an email signature or other Stationery components from within their email application, and Mimecast is configured to apply similar elements, it is likely that multiple instances of the components will be applied to the same email message.

Mimecast can be configured to not re-apply email Stationery components through the use of Unique Identification Text (UIT).  The UIT is applied as part of the first email Stationery set of components, so if that same message passes through Mimecast again, the UIT is recognized.  Mimecast does not re-apply the Stationery components.

 

Adding Signatures to Replies and Forwards

 

If the organization has a requirement to apply signatures under each Reply within the email chain, a modification to the Stationery HTML is required. This can be achieved by one of the following methods:

  • Using comment tags
  • Repetition of disclaimers
  • Other solutions

 

Using Comment Tags

 

Typically, the <MC Type=Body> tag is used to insert the entire email chain, and the rest of the Stationery components are wrapped around this single entity.  The Body tag can be replaced with two separate tags, which will allow the insertion of the Signature at the reply thread, as follows:

 

Comment TagDescription
<MC Type='Comment'>Inserts that last reply from the email chain only.
<MC Type='Previouscomment'>Inserts the rest of the email chain, excluding the latest reply.

 

The placement of the tags is important to consider. The example below shows a simple Layout:

 

HTML CodeOutput

<html><head></head><body>

    <mc type="clickimage" code="imagetop">

    <br />

    <br />

    <mc type="comment">

    <br />

    [Signature elements,e.g. Attributes]

    <br/>

   <mc type=”previouscomment”>

   <br/>

   [Disclaimer]

</body></html>

[Image]

 

 

 

[Body – only the most recent reply in the chain]

 

[Signature elements]

 

[All other threads in the email chain]

 

[Disclaimer]

The UIT must be disabled when using the Comment/Previouscomment tags to apply in line reply signatures.

Repetition of Disclaimers

 

Using the Comment or Previouscomment configuration as described above results in the repetition of Disclaimers at the bottom of the email chain. To avoid this repetition, a Content Examination Policy must be used to identify if the Disclaimer has been applied on the current email, and if it has, to override the Stationery Policy with a secondary Stationery Layout.  This secondary Layout will not contain the Disclaimer.

 

Complete the following steps:

  1. Duplicate the Stationery Layout (right-click the Layout and Copy Stationery).
  2. Configure the new layout to remove the disclaimer, then save the changes to both the HTML and Plain Text versions.
  3. Create a Content Examination Definition to match part of the disclaimer, and set the Stationery Override to apply the new Stationery Layout copy.
  4. Create a Content Examination Policy that matches the Stationery Assignment policy for the original Stationery Layout (typically, this would be from Internal to External addresses, if applying to all outbound emails).

 

Other Solutions

 

If an organization has a requirement for Signature application on reply and forward email threads, there are two other potential workaround options:

  • Use the native Signature functionality within the user email application for Replies and Forwards only.  In this way, Mimecast will only apply full email Stationery components on new email messages, and the user application will correctly insert the signature for each reply/forward thread.
  • Apply a hybrid model of Mimecast Stationery.  Email branding and signatures are applied by the user's email server, and Mimecast applies components such as the legal disclaimer.
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