Many people think of email signatures as an afterthought (especially small and medium sized businesses). Unfortunately, that’s a major missed opportunity to increase brand awareness.
Those signatures are a chance for you to:
- Make it clear who you are
- Make it easy for people to reach you
- Give people a place to go to find out more—about you, about your business, or about something you’re working on
- Leave a lasting impression
If you’re just putting your name and a point or two of contact information in your signature, you’re not taking full advantage of the opportunity to connect and engage with the people you’re emailing. (Don’t go overboard, either. Jamming your signature full of links and a lot of unnecessary information is just plain spammy and self-promotional. And, if you fill it up with too much stuff, your email is likely to get sent to the spam filter instead of being delivered to your target.)
Here are 11 tips for creating email signatures that are helpful and professional.
- Limit your signature to 3 or 4 lines of text
Don’t overthink it. All you really need is your name, your title (optional), Your company name (linked to website), and your phone number.
- Add your social media profiles that show off your professional brand
Use appropriate business-related social media icons that link to your profiles (try to limit to icons to 5 or 6). You can include icons for: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Vimeo, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, and whatever else relates to you and where you are active. Icons are easily recognizable, it only takes seconds to recognize a symbol, and they are space savers. Your social media presence is a major Integral part of your brand and how you portray yourself.
- Keep colors simple and brand-consistent
Your email signature has to be consistent with your branding. Plus, make sure the text is dark enough to be legible.
- Organize and prioritize information
Using basic design hierarchy, you help create impact and emphasize elements based on level of importance, so the reader can quickly see what to read first. For example, your name should probably be larger and in color to stand out.
- Include a call-to-action (CTA) that you regularly update
The best email signatures appear like a P.S. and less like a sales pitch. They are simple, up-to-date, non-pushy, and in line with your email style, Choose a CTA that aligns current business goals, and update it when those goals change. For example, “Have you checked out Solamar’s newly updated website? You can do it here!”
- Make links trackable
If you include CTA links and social media icons, see if people are really clicking on them and what is driving the most clicks.
- Make your email signature design mobile friendly
InLitmus’ analysis of over a billion email opens, they reported that 56% of opened emails were opened on mobile devices in April 2016. This figure represents an 8% increase in mobile opens in the past year. So make sure your email signature is readable and clickable for mobile users, with legible type, adequate spacing, and large enough CTA buttons.
- Do NOT put your email address in your email signature
It’s like putting two return address labels on an envelope or reintroducing yourself again right after your host introduces you. It’s an unnecessary waste of space because nearly every email provider will display the address when you hover the mouse over the name and all the recipient has to do it his reply to respond.
- Include an image
People remember visuals, especially if they are in color. Try a photo of you so they can put a face with the name.
- Forget the legal disclosure and silly salutations
Since so many emails are opened on smartphones, no one can see them anyway. And skip the motivational junk (unless it’s part of your brand).
- Don’t change your email signature more than quarterly
That way it will make multiple impressions on recipients.
Here’s a bonus tip. Make sure your email and your email signature look as good to your recipients as you intended. Try sending it to a variety of email service providers, like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Outlook, etc.
Want your email signatures and your emails to shine? Give a shout to the Email Mavens at Solamar!