What to Include in Your Email Signature
On average, office workers spend 28 per cent of their day reading and answering email. With so much time spent online, cutting out excess in favour of brevity can go a long way in helping improve business communication, especially for startups. For companies just starting out, email has become a valuable marketing tool – shortening response times and reducing overhead costs.
According to Mashable features writer Christine Erickson, “don’t make email recipients search for your web presence…your email signature can give people a taste of your personality and the culture of your business.” More importantly, it's a little secret marketing tool you may have overlooked.
Projecting a professional and impressive online presence starts with a clear and concise email signature. Below are five things to consider when crafting one:
1. Highlight Your Professional Background
Name & Title
Including your name is a given and so is your professional title, but make sure it matches the job description you were hired for. Additionally, if you’ve received a promotion, wait until it’s been announced company-wide before you update your email signature.
To add another level of interest, consider hyperlinking your name to a personal about.me page that includes a short bio and dynamic photo of yourself. It can give recipients more insight into both your personal and professional interests.
Company Name & Website
The least you can do when sending an email to a client or business contact is to promote your company and its website. Consider hyperlinking your company name or logo to help drive traffic and direct recipients to a specific webpage.
2. Include Appropriate Contact Info
Startups come in many different shapes and sizes. Some may be based out of a personal residence or rented office space. Unless there is a high volume of deliveries and returns that need to be dealt with, keep your mailing address out of your signature and easy to find on the company website.
To ensure accessibility it’s best to list both an office and mobile number in order of preference. If you are just starting out, launching or making any company announcement, you want to be easily accessible to the media, so having a direct line to you and your co-founder is ideal.
“This is overkill,” wrote Communications Specialist David Clarke in a contributed piece for GigaOm. “The fact that the recipient received your email guarantees that they have your email address.” Therefore, to avoid redundancy he recommends leaving it out.
With cheap scanners and smart photocopiers as common as pens at most startups, fax machines are quickly becoming obsolete. If someone really needs to fax you something, you are most likely talking to a lawyer. At Onboardly, we use signnow.com for all our PDF documents that need to be signed.
3. Share Your Social Media Presence
There’s no need to list every social network you’ve joined to show off how connected you are. Clarke recommends only including two social methods of contacts – “if you’re heavy on the social media side of things, go with Facebook and Twitter. More business-oriented? LinkedIn and Twitter.” Use the social accounts you are most active on and avoid information overload.
Switch it up if need be. Running a contest on Facebook? Promoting a great blog post? Include the link in your email.
4. Forget the Legal Disclaimer
Located at the foot of many corporate emails to “protect” the interests of the company, the validity of legal disclaimers has long been disputed. They take up valuable space and are often ignored. The Economist even goes so far as to say disclaimers are “legally useless” and that “no court case has ever relied on the presence or absence of such a footer.”
5. Skip the Logo & Images
There’s a lot of truth behind the saying a picture says a thousand words but what if you can’t see it? More often than not, if someone is reading your email on their smartphone or has chosen the text only format, the logo or image(s) you’ve attached won’t be displayed properly. Instead, use links to get your point across to ensure that no matter what device the recipient is using, they’ll be able to get your message loud and clear.
6. Include Announcements
If you have any news or important announcements to share, include it in your signature. Make it stand out by bolding and highlighting it. Most people whom you have already emailed, won't scroll down to your signature, especially if they already know you, so you need to make it pop.
Of course, every signature is different depending on the industry/profession you’re in. What’s in your email signature?