Ah, email. Love it. Live by it. Hate it. No matter how you feel about it, it’s here and interacting with it is a daily business requirement.
So why talk about it some more?
Because I still see room for improvement in how we use it day to day.
And no, this isn’t about grammar, spelling, and punctuation. I’m not touching that stuff - for now anyway.
This is about email signatures - the text that appears at the bottom of every email you send out. Well, ok, there’s the first question really - does an email signature appear at the bottom of every email you send?
An email signature is a no-cost and easy way to both promote your business and make it easy for people to find and contact you. Here’s what your signature should include at a minimum:
- Your name
- Your title/position
- Your business name
- Your direct phone number
- Your business website URL
Optionally, depending on your business and how people communicate with you also consider:
- Your business address
- Your business fax number
I’ve seen it recommended that you also include your email address. For me this is like calling someone up to ask them their phone number—I won’t see your email signature unless I’ve gotten an email from you, which means I inherently also have gotten your email address.
So that’s the basic contact info that should be in each signature. Anything else?
This is where I think you need to tread lightly. While many people like to add cute quotes or interesting sports factiods, I don’t see a need for that in the business world—it’s just fluff that loads up my inbox. If you do add a quote, keep it relevant to your business or the conversation at hand.
I do think there is room for a marketing/promotional message, like a monthly product special or contest you might be running. Promoting any kind of email newsletter that your customers might be interested in is also a good idea.
Just don’t get carried away - keep it tight and well focused. Just say “no” to any fancy formatting using keyboard characters, HTML elements, and by all means - anything animated.
One more tip - email signatures are rarely consistent across employees at one company, and they should be. The little bit of time it would take to put together and communicate a standard signature format would go a long ways towards ensuring that your customers are getting a consistent experience no matter which of your employees they interact with.
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