Did you know that your email signature is the easiest, cheapest marketing tool in your toolbox?
Think of your email signature as your digital business card. You “hand it out” every time you contact someone. No printing costs. No awkwardness. (“Can I, uh… um, give you my card?”) Send an email and BAM. Digital business card, right in their inbox.
What you should include
What you should include varies based on your business and your goals. You don’t have a blog or a Twitter account? No worries. These are just some suggestions:
- Organization Name
- Tag line
- Street Address, City, State, Zip
- Email address
- Quick line describing what you do, especially if you don’t have a tag line (“Professional coaching for corporations, small businesses and individual leaders”)
- Social Media Links (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Link to your latest blog post
- Link to your items for sale (eBay, Etsy, etc.)
- A sample image of your work (great for artists)
- Add a personal touch with a quote that is meaningful to you or your organization
- An announcement of a new program or service
- An invitation to an event
- A note informing people when you will be out of the office (For example, “Please note: I will be out of the office September 10-15.”)
Including all of these in one signature would be WAY too much. I route almost all of my email through my Gmail account (including my work email). As much as I love Gmail, the formatting options for signatures suck. You can only save plain text as a true signature that will pop up automatically.
To get around this, I applied some basic formatting and saved it as a canned response.
It’s still pretty ugly and clunky. Plus, I had to click to insert it into every message. Very annoying.
Then, I heard about WiseStamp, an awesome browser plug-in to beautify your email signature. It works with Firefox, Chrome, Flock, Thunderbird, and support for Safari is in beta. If you’re on a PC and use Internet Explorer, dump it for Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox (they’re both free and way better than Explorer.)
This is my new signature, created with WiseStamp:
Whew. Much better.
It has everything from the first signature, PLUS: my logo, a link to my Yelp profile, screen names for Google Chat and Skype, and a link to my most recent blog post (this will automatically update). Plus, by adding my logo, I’m increasing brand recognition with every email I send. I’ve also noticed that my blog traffic has picked up since I added my feed to my signature.
WiseStamp has tons of templates for you to choose from and customize. As soon as you go to compose an email, your signature automatically appears. You can create Personal and Business signatures and easily switch between the two (or select “None”) by clicking a button at the bottom of your browser window. WiseStamp only supports web-based mail clients: Gmail, Yahoo mail, Windows Live and AOL.
As you can see in the examples above, I was able to pump up the marketing value of my email signature, without making it 20 lines long.
Even if you can’t try WiseStamp, experiment with adding different links to your email signature and see if your traffic increases. Non-profits might consider adding a link to a donate or “get involved” page.
- Include as much contact and company information as possible, without making it overwhelming
- Brand your signature as much as possible (logo, company colors, etc.). It increases brand recognition and adds a professional feel.
- Experiment with adding social media links and monitor traffic
Make sense? If you’d like to see anything explained in more detail, let me know in the comments.
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