To many people, an email signature is not a topic that deserves attention. The truth is that an email signature is a good way to sell your product, or highlight important information you want the recipient to remember. The signature needs to be mastered, just as the subject line does – but bear in mind that if it is not done properly, it could cause your mail to be labeled as spam.
It is on record that an average office worker sends at least 40 emails per day. This translates to 40 opportunities to market yourself, your business or product. Email signatures can make it easy for people to reach you, clarify your identity, and give the reader a sense of direction if they need more information about you or your business. There are some basic rules that need to be adhered to while constructing an email signature to avoid a red flag. A handful of them have been highlighted below:
1. Keep it short
An email signature is not meant for you to compose another message. It should contain information about your business, such as company name, address, and phone number. Three to four lines should be enough to pass the message.
2. Insert an image
An email signature is meant to make your message stand out amid all the others the recipient receives. If a picture can boost that experience, then it has no reason not to be there. Little wonder some of the best email signature samples have pictures on them. But take care, and do not use just any picture. It has to be captivating – like your company logo – and be in line with the values you represent. When using images, never forget to use alternate text (ALT TEXT) to avoid a situation where the recipient gets a blank box.
3. Ensure your signature is mobile-friendly
Our world is increasingly fast-paced, and users often read their emails while on the move. This means a large proportion are read on mobile devices. Bear this in mind when crafting your signature, and make sure it is suitable for all mobile devices. Usability is priced above design. Pick a design that is effective on small screens, and use the right font size so clients can easily click on links with their finger or thumb.
4. Present ideas in a hierarchy
A good design presents information in an easily readable and digestible format. An email signature is usually a list of information, so it is important to place the information in a hierarchy. This will direct the reader’s eye to the most important information first. Your name should have a larger font size, as is common practice on a resume. Decide which information to bold, and which will have a different font color. This guides the reader through the design in a logical manner.
5. Don’t overwhelm your recipients with contacts
It is always tempting to include an extensive list of ways through which you can be contacted, but be sure not to overwhelm your recipients. Select the most relevant ways, and incorporate them in your email signature. You could link to your website here, because it will drive traffic to your website and generate leads. It is also a good idea to include social media buttons in your email signature. Laura Spencer has listed the essential elements of a good email signature to include the name (title and company), contact information, social links, logo (optional), photo (optional), responsive design and legal requirements.
6. Choose the right color combination
Color is an easy way to attract attention, and readers will pay more attention to a mail with a splash of colors. But using too many colors will give your signature a sloppy or childish look. Pick just three colors that compliment each other and the company logo.
7. Have more than one option
An email signature is a representation of your brand, and it’s a good idea to have a variety of choices in case the need for change arises. You may rebrand your business, or change your position, and this will have to be reflected in your email signature. It is wise to have a flexible signature template which can be easily modified to represent your new status.
8. Using an email template builder
You don’t have to be a professional editor or graphic designer to have a stunning email signature. Online editors create email signature templates which are accessible to all. The template will allow you to customize your email signature without HTML knowledge or coding skills. Some of the things you can achieve using a builder are changing the colors, quickly editing the text, incorporating your social media links and exporting the customized result. When using a HTML-based email signature, it is wise to test it with as many email accounts as you can, because they may not always appear the way you want them to.
9. Create interest with your choice of words
The word “free” is a magnet to capture the attention of the reader. This can be strategically incorporated into an email signature to generate interest, or drive leads to a product or service. If you can offer something free – maybe a game, a download, or online calculator, you will create interest. An email signature can be used to highlight new offers.
10. Chip in a call-to-action
Call-to-Action (CTA) can be infused smartly into an email signature for a better result (especially for email marketers). A good CTA is simple, non-pushy, up-to-date, and resonates with the email style, thereby giving it a post-script appearance rather than a sales pitch. Your CTA should align with your business goals, and be updated as required. Links to videos are prominent when sent through some email clients (Gmail, for example), because a video thumbnail pops up below the signature.
11. Be consistent in the format
When using visuals in your email signature, it is a wise idea to make sure it tallies with every other visual identification of your company. For example, you could add colors from your logo or company design. When you are consistent with your email signature over an extended period, it becomes easier for your clients to identify impersonating emails, if any. Branding email signatures for your company helps to eliminate the problems that are aggravated by each employee having individual signatures.
12. Retain both short and long versions of your email signature
If all the information listed on points 1 and 5 are to be included in an email signature, it may result in a lengthy footer. To eliminate this problem, two versions of email signatures may need to be prepared. The longer signature containing all your details can be used for a first-time contact, while the second and shorter version can be used for follow-up conversations and replies. Automatically switching between the two is possible, and you can find more details from your email client.
If a little personal detail can help you to get a better response, then it is okay to add that too, since your goal is to get a better response from both your existing customers and prospective ones.
Have you been using an email signature? Has it transformed your business for the better? What details do you consider essential to be there? Feel free to join the discussion in the comments below!