Your corporate email signature is so much more powerful than you realize. Not only is your company email signature a representation of you as an employee, but it serves as a brand ambassador for your entire organization. For these reasons and more, you should be putting real thought into how best to use this space to your advantage. Here are 20 fast facts on email signatures that might put you in the right mindset to create email signatures that matter!
01. You Should Have an Email Signature!
Rule number one: include a branded email signature in your email messages! This space is free to use and will be potentially seen by hundreds, if not thousands of people over the course of a year. Wouldn’t you rather it contain some branded messaging of some sort than nothing at all?
02. You Can and Should be Including Images
Yes, your email messages can include imagery. We are far removed from the days of Internet 1.0, so don’t shy away from a photo or two. Just be sure that they will render properly across devices, are quick to load, and are “bug-proof,” for lack of a better word. The last thing that you want is a Red X!
03. Your Email Signature is Valuable Marketing Real Estate
Your email signature should contain much more than your contact information (though it should contain this too; more on that below).
Consider leveraging your email signature for marketing and promotional campaigns as well.
Whether you announce an upcoming event or promote a sale, your signature is a terrific tool to draw attention to what matters.
04. It Costs You Nothing to Include an Email Signature
Banner ads cost money. Pay-per-Click text ads cost money. Video ads cost money. Email signature ads cost you nothing, and depending on the size of your organization, they may reach millions of people. Imagine how many eyes an email signature can reach on a daily basis in a company of 10,000 people; suffice to say, it’s a lot! Market for free!
05. Your Email Signature Should Change Often
A static email signature is one that is quickly forgotten and ignored. Remember, a large portion of your email audience (that is, the audience that sees your employees’ emails; not the audience that receives your promotional emails) will be seeing your emails over and over through constant back-and-forth communication. Give them something to spark their interest. Change your email signature often.
06. Email Signatures Are Versatile
An email signature can be used for branding, marketing, upcoming promotions, or a specific call-to-action (see fact #20). This is to say, your email signature is incredibly versatile. It can change from department to department, so that different audiences receive different messaging. It can also be changed quickly to reflect new corporate developments. Use this versatility to your company’s advantage.
07. Don’t Forget the Basics: Name, Phone Number, Etc.!
This should go without saying, but be sure to include basic contact information in your email signature. Yes, you may even want to include your email address, even though your recipient could simply hit “Reply.” In addition to that, consider listing your work and mobile phone numbers, your name and title, perhaps your Skype or instant message handle.
08. Include Your Social Media Accounts
If you have social media accounts that you use for business, be sure to include these in your email signature.
If your social accounts are private or used strictly for personal use, then consider including your company’s social channels at the bottom of your email signature.
This may include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
09. Your Reply Emails Should Use a Separate Signature
When you are replying to an email, it means that the person on the other end — that is, the person receiving your response — has already seen your email signature. Don’t beat him or her over the head with it. Include a pared down, simpler version of your standard email signature for replies and forwards so that the thread doesn’t become weighed down by unnecessary and repetitive email signatures.
10. Emails Don’t Have to be Boring — Include Your Headshot
Looking to make a personal connection? Include your headshot in your email signature. A simple signature with nothing more than your name, title, and phone number is boring. It might get the job done, but it’s just as likely to be ignored or all but missed entirely. Let your recipients know who they’re talking to!
11. When it Comes to Email Signatures, Consistency Counts
A company email signature is a form of branding, and one of the key tenets of branding is consistency. Logos, fonts, and corporate colors should be displayed accurately and precisely, and should be included in all outgoing communication. It is this consistency, over hundreds and thousands of individual email messages, which drives brand awareness.
12. Email Signatures Should be Designed with All Devices in Mind
Your email messages are just as likely to be viewed on a smartphone or tablet than a desktop computer. Make certain that your email signature looks good across all devices to ensure that your message is being presented in a professional manner (and more importantly, actually being viewed correctly). Consider using an email signature tester, or distribute emails using a platform like Xink to ensure the best chance of success.
13. Signatures Should Draw the Eye — Don’t Shy Away from Color
An email signature that is ignored or missed altogether because it blends in with the background doesn’t do you or your company much good. Don’t be afraid to inject a splash of color into your email signature; if not in the signature itself, than with a promotional banner beneath your contact information. Anything that draws the eye and catches a person’s attention is worth considering. At the end of the day, something is better than nothing.
14. You Can (and Should) be Tracking Performance Data on Signature Campaigns
If you aren’t tracking click-throughs and opens, then there’s no way of knowing how well your signature campaigns are performing. You’re essentially taking shots in the dark. Don’t make this simple mistake.
Use analytics tools (like Xink Campaign) to track your email signature campaigns in real time, so that you can make adjustments as needed. Don’t rely on hunches: use hard data to inform your decisions.
15. A Signature that Can’t Get Past the Spam Filter is Pointless
Email messages that go into the spam folder might as well not exist in the first place. Put simply, if your email messages aren’t being viewed and read, they can serve no purpose. But how do you avoid spam filters? Well, it starts with avoiding deceptive subject lines, including unsubscribe links where applicable (on commercial emails, for example), and employing clean code and content structure. A well put-together email has a much better chance of being seen than a poor one.
16. Use ALT Tags for Images
Some individuals automatically filter out images from all inbound email messages. There’s nothing you can do about this if their email provider grants them this level of control, other than include relevant ALT tags for all imagery. Do so, and you can at least guarantee that the content of the imagery makes its way to the reader. If you do this, however, remember one thing: describe the image accurately and be concise.
17. Keep Your Audience in Mind When Designing a Signature
A catch-all email signature may be designed to please everyone, but the odds are good that it will end up pleasing hardly anyone at all. And that is because marketing should be as personalized as possible in order to make a real impact. Consider the likely audience for your emails: are they industry peers and associates, or potential customers? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you craft your message around their needs. Do you offer thought leadership, for example, or product promotion? This is the idea behind audience-centric marketing.
18. Don’t Waste Space with Disclaimers Unless You Have To
Include only as much of a disclaimer as required by law; anything more than that is a waste of space. In fact, a disclaimer that takes up too much space, or that is included too repetitively (for example, in reply and forward messages), may trigger spam filters. Don’t make this mistake. Take regulatory compliance into consideration, of course (see below), but also consider your recipients’ user experience. Don’t inundate them with lengthy legalese, especially when best practices encourage concise, approachable language only when needed.
19. Take Regulatory Compliance Into Account
Yes, regulatory compliance is important! You should be including a disclaimer, and you should be taking every possible action to ensure that your emails are in compliance with the law. Fail to do so and you could find your company fined for each individual offense. Every single email address that received a non-compliant email could be considered a separate infraction, which could result in millions of dollars in fines. Clearly, it’s best to avoid this. If in doubt, consult with your company’s legal department or outside counsel to ensure your organization is compliant to the law.
20. Finally, Remember to Include a Clear Call-to-Action
You want to drive people to action by doing their decision-making for them. This is a call-to-action in a nutshell; you prompt people to action through directives.
You should be doing this with your email signatures! Do you want your recipients to download a quarterly earnings report? Or perhaps sign up for a free trial?
Then make it easy to do so and provide an appropriate (and compelling) CTA! Don’t make your readers figure out what their supposed to do on their own; tell them!
Looking for More Facts on Email Signatures?
We hope you’ve found our 20 Fast Facts on email signatures useful and inspiring. You could also take a look at our 6 Facts for IT and Marketing Decisions or browse our post on Best Professional Email Signature Examples.