To use email effectively I recommend email stationery such as our service at inboxFX, (see link above too) but in addition, an email signature is almost as important. An email signature is the few lines of contact information that many people put at the bottom of every email. Sometimes these are sent automatically with each email and can be set up in your email program. Here is a good reference for setting up a signature in Outlook.
Nothing is more important in emailing than making it easy for people to contact you. Why send people to another program or a Rolodex when they can simply read it at the bottom of your email and pick up the phone? In addition you are missing a perfect opportunity to promote your business.
“Your e-mail signature reflects how powerful you are. If you were profiled on 60 Minutes, you don’t need no steenkin’ e-mail signature.
The primary purpose of an e-mail sig is to let people know who you are and how to contact you. If you’re really, really important, your e-mail recipients had better already know that.”
Mitch goes on to observe that “the longer your email signature the lower down the food chain you are” and gives the following example:
Some people put a whole novel in their sig:
- Their full name, including “Jr.” or “Sr.”
- Job title, which generally includes both the words “deputy” and assistant.
- Street-mail address with mail stop.
- Business phone number, with different versions for people dialing from the internal corporate PBX vs. people dialing from outside.
- E-mail address. ‘Cuz it’s not like it’s in the “From:” line of every e-mail or anything.
- And finish it off with an inspirational quote from Battlestar Galactica.
How and Why Should You Use an Email Signature?
There are two kinds of signatures in my opinion; informative and promotional. Everyone should have an informative signature that provides all of the necessary contact information like this:
toll free phone
To make it a promotional email as suggested by Alexandria Brown you can add:
- an offer for a free report, sample or product you offer
- an offer for a free consultation or trial offer
- a company announcement (new client, new product, award won, etc.)
- a hyperlink to your latest press release, article, or Web site feature
- an invitation to subscribe to your free e-newsletter
Keep your email signature to 8 lines or less and tailor it to your client’s needs. If you are working with clients over email 90% of the time, a company address might not be as important. If you are sending a more personal email you might want to delete some of the information. I also recommend you change it frequently to freshen it up.
I send emails around the world and rarely meet with a client so I exclude mailing information, but want them to know where I am located. Here is what my signature looks like:
http://www.inboxfx.com for email stationery
http://www.mikeblaney.com for marketing ideas
North Vancouver, BC, Canada
800-568-8338 toll free
Here is an example from Allison Nazarian, a copywriter:
Get It In Writing, Inc.
Buy my new book: Copywriting 101 for Small Businesses, Entrepreneurs, Coaches & Consultants
Here is another example from a friend of mine who is in the automated compliance business:
J. Trum Van Middlesworth
Automated Compliance Solutions
(P) 781 270 6800, Ext 35
(C) 617 680 6064
ACS: Automated Compliance for a Regulated World
Emagineering: Collaborative Program Management