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Effective Email Signature Tips

Email is a powerful small business tool for lead generation, marketing and general communication. If your business relies on reaching out to potential clients or interacting with current customers then email can be one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. But many people are not using email to its full potential. A commonly overlooked piece of the equation is a properly optimized email signature. Here’s some effective email signature tips.

A well-crafted email signature can project a sense of professionalism and help establish your online presence. Think of it as a “business card” that you get to include in your email. The best email signatures are kept short, simple and clutter free.  Here are some key ingredients to consider when you are tailoring your perfect email signature.

Professional Background

Your Name & Professional Title
Your name and title are a must and should always be included. Plain and simple: People need to know who you are. Including your name will give your conversation a more personal feel and including your title will let them know you mean business. When including your professional title, make sure that it is the actual title of your position.

Protip: Consider hyperlinking your name to a professional profile such as a linkedin.com page or your bio on the company website if you have one.

Company Name | Website
Including the your companies name and a hyperlink to your website is the very least you can do when sending a business email. This information will boost the credibility to your emails and let the recipient know you are not trying to pull a fast one on them

Protip: Thinking about including your company logo or image? Many times your recipient’s email service provider or smart phone will remove those images from the email and will never be seen. Stick with hyper-links; this will keep your signature clutter free and formatted correctly.

Relevant Contact Information

The contact information that you include in your signature should be kept relevant and ensure that you are accessible to the people you are trying to reach.

Phone Number
Phone numbers are the only contact information that I believe are always relevant to include in signatures. Listing both an office phone number and a mobile number will ensure that you are accessible and your contacts have a direct line to you at all times.

Fax
Fax machines are slowing going the way of the dinosaurs. There are many other alternatives these days so including a fax number really isn’t necessary.

Mailing Address
A physical mailing address does not need to be included in most email signatures, they take up a lot of valuable space and since you have already included a link to your website, you know this information can easily be found there.

Email
Lastly, including your email address in your signature is silly.  If your intended recipients received your email, then you know they already have your email address.

Social Presence

Sharing your social media presence is great to add to our signature, just limit it to about two social profiles to avoid information overload. Preferably include the profiles that you or your company is more active on. If your company is more business oriented then include your twitter and linkedin profiles, and if your company is more social swap out the linkedin profile for your company’s facebook page.

Protip: To keep your signatures sleek consider hyperlinking the social media name or your username to your profile page. This will cut down on clutter and get rid of a ling URL string in your signature.

Stuff to Skip

We already mentioned skipping the logos but here are a few more things to skip when crafting your signature.

Legal Disclaimers
Nobody reads the fine print and they probably wont help you in court anyway. Go ahead and skip it.

Quotes
I’m sure that the inspirational tidings of the Dali Llama mean the world to you but your recipients might not agree. Keep it professional and skip the quotes.

Awards & Achievements
Awards and achievements can be included, but limit it to one relevant award. Listing more than one award or achievement looks like bragging and you don’t want to come off as arrogant. Also, Being named this years “Fastest Growing Company” might be a nice piece of flair for your signature, but it’s a good idea to skip listing that 6th grade science fair participation ribbon you have.

Every email signature is different depending on the industry that your work in, here is an example of mine.

Brian DeBelle
Public Relations | Brian White & Associates PC
P: (888) 888-8888 | M: (777) 777-7777
Twitter @thebriandebelle | Google+

What does yours look like?

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3 Responses to Effective Email Signature Tips

  1. C.J. McELEAVY August 29, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    Excellent post Brain.

    Thanks!

  2. Piaras MacDonnell August 31, 2013 at 7:46 am #

    Good post on an oft forgotten piece of marketing.

    Some suggestions:

    I would include you email address as it is common for the detail to be hidden when an email is forwarded

    I agree cute quotes should be avoided I do think the company tagline should be included e.g “we go further to get you there”

    Finally, do the “plan text” test on your email signature. Open in your email client (outlook), switch to plain text and see what it looks like

    • Brian DeBelle September 3, 2013 at 5:19 am #

      Great suggestions Piaras! I totally agree that checking your email in plain text is a great way to test how others will see it. Also sending a test email to yourself is another great way to test your signature.

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