The world of business emails and formalities can be a little stuffy at times. Everyone wants to make a great first impression, but how can you stand out from the corporate crowd? How can you one-up your competition when everyone’s striving towards the same goal?
The answer is simpler than you might think: an email signature. This personalized email section goes a long way in terms of branding and marketing your company, as well as creating a bond with clients. Let’s take a closer look at how you can use it to your advantage.
What Is an Email Signature?
An email signature is a block of text, usually at the bottom of an email, that contains information about the sender. Think of it as a business card that’s automatically appended to the end of your message. It typically includes details that are relevant to the recipient, such as your name, title, company, website, and social media profiles.
Obviously, you want your signature to be as professional and polished as possible. But there’s more to it than that. An effective email signature should also be concise, well-designed, and easy to scan. Remember, people are busy, and they don’t have time to sift through a bunch of extraneous information.
Why Is an Email Signature Important?
As small as it may seem, an email signature can actually have a big impact on your business. While some individuals overlook its importance, the truth is that it’s a powerful tool for branding, marketing, and building relationships. Here are a few reasons why you should make sure your signature is up to par:
Your email sign-off is a great opportunity to promote your brand. Just a simple glimpse of your logo or company name can make a big impression on the recipient. If you’re not already using your signature as a marketing tool, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity.
Create Bonds with Clients
A bland sign-off conveys a sense of detachment or over-formality, which isn’t necessarily what you want when trying to build rapport with clients. Including nothing but your name at the end of your emails comes off as cold and impersonal.
On the other hand, a warm, engaging signature at the end of your email conveys a sense of friendliness and approachability. By making this small effort, you’ll be more likely to create a bond with clients and foster long-lasting relationships.
Encourage User Traffic
The internet is a vast and ever-expanding place. In order to make a splash, you need to direct people to your corner of the web. And what better way to do that than with an email signature?
By including links to your website or social media profiles, you make it easy for recipients to find you online. And if your signature is eye-catching and well-designed, you’re more likely to encourage click-throughs.
Email Signature Ideas and Practices
Now it’s time to get into the good stuff – actually designing your signature. When it comes to crafting the perfect sign-off, there are a few key elements you’ll want to take note of. Let’s take a look at some of the best email signature examples.
Include your Contact Information
First and foremost, make sure your signature includes all relevant contact information – but remember to keep it short and simple, without going over seven lines of text. The goal is to make it easy for people to get in touch with you, not overwhelm them with details. Stick to the essentials, such as your name, title, company, and how you can be reached.
Add a Basic Photo
Including a photo along with your signature is a great way to add a personal touch. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – just a simple headshot will do the trick. Make sure the resolution is high enough that it doesn’t appear grainy or blurry. Avoid using group photos, as they can be confusing for clients.
Keep Company Logos Small
You don’t want a huge company logo taking up half the screen. Not only is this bad for branding, but it also comes across as unprofessional. A good rule of thumb is to keep your logo under 125 pixels wide or up to 50 KB. This will ensure that it doesn’t overpower the rest of your closing remarks.
Attach Links to Websites and Social Media
In relation to the user traffic aspect mentioned earlier, you’ll obviously have to add links to your website and social media profiles. No one wants to go through the trouble of manually typing in a URL, so make it easy for them by including clickable links. Just remember to keep the number of links to a minimum – two or three should suffice.
Include a Call-to-Action
A call-to-action (CTA) is a prompt that encourages recipients to take a desired action. This could be anything from subscribing to your newsletter to attending an upcoming event. By including a CTA in your signature, you increase the chances of people actually following through. Just make sure your CTA is clear, concise and relevant to your target audience.
For instance, if you’ve recently released a book or guide, you could use this opportunity to promote it. Something like, “Check out my new book on XYZ” would be appropriate in this case. Free trials and coupons are also effective CTAs, as they offer recipients an incentive without requiring too much effort on their part.
Use Warm Sign-Offs
When it comes to actually signing off, choose something that’s both recognisable and friendly. The goal is to come across as approachable, not stiff or robotic. It doesn’t have to be anything too cutesy – just a simple, sincere statement will suffice. You can try something like, ‘Cheers!’ or, if you want to be more formal, ‘Kind Regards’, both of which are fairly standard yet still convey a sense of warmth.
Check Your Signature
Last but not least, don’t forget to regularly check your signature for any errors or outdated information. This includes typos, broken links and old contact details. Sending out an email with a mistake in your signature is the quickest way to lose credibility, so it’s important to proofread everything before hitting send.
And there you have it – everything you need to know about email signatures, along with some helpful tips and examples. Remember to keep your signature short, sweet and error-free, as this will help you leave a lasting impression on clients and customers alike.
Ilija Sekulov is a digital marketing consultant & senior SEO/SEM specialist. @sekulovile
Email signature stock image by oatawa/Shutterstock