Putting your signature to work for you

Companies today have a lot on their plate, from the skittish economy, to the ever-changing landscape of social media “must have” trends. It’s difficult to keep up, let alone get ahead, whether you are a small business or large enterprise organization. And each company has its own unique set of needs and challenges.

There is, however, one thing that we have in common. And that is our email signature.

One of the first things a company invests in is its stationery, particularly business cards. One of the last things, unfortunately, is ensuring a consistent, compelling, and brand-centric email signature.

Think about it. When was the last time you changed your signature? Are you still using the default setting on your smartphone? Compare that to the last time you sent out an email campaign, or tweaked your website.

If you’re nodding your head and realizing that you have an untapped resource at your fingertips, you are not alone. But before you jump the gun, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Ensure that you are using the most current and appropriate company logo and/or tagline. If you have a marketing department they can help you with that. Make sure to hyperlink it back to your company’s website.
  2. Lead with the most important information: name, title, phone number, website
  3. Add newsworthy items, such as upcoming events, recent press releases, awards, etc. by using a hyperlink.
  4. Does your company have a Facebook fan page or Twitter profile? Be sure to include them. One caveat: DO NOT link to your own personal social media pages. You are representing your company, not yourself. Save those for your own personal emails.
  5. Don’t include large images….these can often take a long time to download and annoy the recipient on the other end
  6. Check your signature settings in your email client (i.e. Outlook). I often use the full “kitchen sink” email for new messages only. But for replies or forwards, I create a simplified version, with no logo, but with links to the website, etc.
  7. Finally, as is the case with all things, TEST, TEST, TEST. You’d be amazed at the weird line breaks, funky images, and oddities that can occur when you cut-and-paste text into an email signature field.

Once you get the hang of having a branded signature, you’ll realize the reach and potential. You can customize it with departmental promotions. You can tailor it to link to landing pages. You can drive open rates for content such as whitepapers or webinars. The opportunities are endless. What are you waiting for?

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