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The Do’s and Don'ts of Email Signatures

Posted by Brian Wilson on Aug 22, 2017, 7:30:00 AM
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The Best Seven Seconds You’ll Ever Send – Why Email Signatures Matter

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One of our favorite questions to ask a new branding client is, “If you have seven seconds to tell your story, what would you say?” With internet speeds approaching warp speed, we are no longer managing emails at the pace of dial-up. The average person’s attention span is less than 3 seconds probably shorter and with the flurry of emails that get sent daily, no one has time to digest a lengthy, link-filled and graphically styled email signature. Here are a few ways to keep your email signature simple while still serving your business goals and objectives for the long haul.

Volume + Quality = Relationships

According to the Radicati Group, the number of email users worldwide is 3.7 billion, and about 269 billion emails are sent per day. That means at least 2.4 million emails are sent every second — and some 74 trillion are sent per year.  

Email is probably the most widely used form of correspondence for an organization. A single business can send millions of emails within a short span of time. As a result, the email signature is the most important form of online professional communications.

The email signature can function on many levels. It can double as your personal business card and custom-made letterhead. They not only promote a business, but they can also be individualized for unique marketing and branding campaigns.

It’s important to note, not all emails are created equal. They can vary within an organization, with wildly differing marketing effects. To help with brand management, it’s important to make sure your email signatures have the right structure and appearance – across the entire business.

As I make suggestions below, it’s important to note that these are all the elements you could include within your email signature, but as you’ll see in the diagram below you should truly limit your signature to provide the most relevant information for your company objectives or individual job responsibilities. Keep it simple. Be direct. Reach you goals. 

Why Are They So Important?

A consistent and simple email signature provides…

  • Legitimacy
  • Professionalism
  • Brand Management
  • Brand Recognition
  • Digital Business Card
  • Personal Association

But Wait, There’s More!

Here are more ways an email signature can help your professional communications:

  • Landing Page Link:  Unlike the home page, this page aims to convert.
  • Personal Social Media Page
  • Blog Link
  • Book Promotion Link
  • Conference & Event Link
  • New Marketing Offer
  • Industry Research Link
  • Case Studies
  • Link to a Free Tool
  • Free Consultation/Demo
  • News about the company
  • Promo Video Link
  • Your latest feature in Forbes

Creating Your Brand Management

Like other facets of a business, the email signature helps define the nature, character, and style of a business. It tells the world:

  • Who You Are
  • What Brand You Represent
  • What Your Role is Within the Company
  • How to Contact You Directly
  • Where They Can Learn About You
  • What Sets You Apart (a tagline?)
  • Social Media
  • Blog Link

How to Craft an Effective Email Signature

Creating a professional email signature is easier than you think – and can help bring in more business with only a small amount of tinkering.

In theory, an email signature can be pretty complex: Some people take the ‘more is more’ approach — often adding too many elements. However, it’s better to keep them relatively short: Four to six lines, but no longer than seven — we mean it!

The Basics…

  • Your Full Name
  • Your Position
  • Company Name
  • Your Phone Number
  • Your Email
  • Relevant Link
  • Legal Disclaimer

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Beyond these crucial items, people sometimes add a photo of themselves and social media icons however it truly is best to avoid graphics all together. Anti-virus and other types of security software often intercept emails with images attached and/or embedded in them. Also, those inspirational quotes? Save them for your Instagram feed, friends.

 

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Be Mobile-First

Did you know almost 63% of people use their mobile phone to check their email? True story. The three things to keep in mind for mobile email signatures are the following.

  1. The number of characters that are on one line
  2. What you would like to see in a signature from your colleagues – the good ol’ “do unto others as you would like to be done to you” method
  3. When email threads get rather dense, it helps not to have additional lines taken up by huge email signatures.

One of the great things about email signatures is their frequency and repetition:   The branding elements such as the tagline, colors, logo will be reinforced into the minds of your prospects. This will produce a subtle relationship and familiarity in your market and industry. And establishing relationships is a crucial step in the sales funnel process. Make sure your email signature is updated today! 

Do you need help composing your email signature, or would you like to talk to someone about branding or marketing? We're happy to assist!

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Topics: Branding

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