Leave a memorable impression at the end of your emails
So let’s say you have written the perfect business email. You’re confident that you made a great impression. You were clear, concise, you even had a friend read it over to catch instances of passive voice (hey, it happens to the best of us). Now you are ready to say goodbye, only your signature is all over the place. Never fear. Our handy guide will teach you how to craft the perfect email signature.
What’s the big deal?
It may seem unimportant. Email signatures appear at the end, after all. Do people even read them?
Yes, they do!
Your email signature is your calling card and it needs to reflect a professional, polished tone. You wouldn’t just scrawl your contact information on a dirty napkin for a potential client. You need to convey your competence and set yourself apart from the crowd.
How to write the perfect signature
Your signature is likely to change over the years. A good email signature should reflect your current career and goals, and thus is subject to alteration. Still, there are plenty of rules you should follow without exception. They are:
Always include your name, title, and phone number: If you pack your email signature with too much information, you’ll likely turn your reader off. After all, they just read your email; they don’t want to sift through your personal manifesto. Be sure to include your email address, Linkedin page, and Twitter handle as well.
Use links: No matter how interesting you are, people are unlikely to explore your social media pages if you don’t provide links. Make it easy for them to check you out by hyperlinking your text.
Brand yourself: You want to set yourself apart from the crowd, but that doesn’t give you license to use flashy colors or, even worse, a completely horrific font. Make aesthetic choices based on the person you want to be, and the one you want to project to other people. One email expert (yes, that is a thing) suggested using a personal hashtag. This provides people with a easy way to get quick insight into your background and interests.
Be consistent: Say you have a beautiful company website. Your colors and fonts in your email signature should be thematically consistent. Everything you create should reinforce the brand you are trying to advertise. Maintaining a consistent email signature with other members of your company fosters brand unity.
Include a call to action: One of the best ways to engage readers (even readers of our routine office emails) is to include a call to action. This could be just about anything: schedule a meeting, follow you on a social media website, download a book, or attend a certain event. If you prompt your reader toward a certain action, they are more likely to remember you and engage with your content.
What should I avoid?
Maybe you think you’ve already crafted the perfect email signature without our help (we promise we won’t be mad). Check and see if you have avoided these common pitfalls when writing your email signature.
Don’t use an image: Many people design their signatures in programs such as Photoshop, save it, and then paste it into every email they write. But this is an unreliable approach for a couple reasons. For one thing, it is hard to edit later and remember, your signature should change with you. Additionally, many email services will identify these images as spam and not display the image right away. Use good, old-fashioned text when making an email signature.
Don’t over clutter: We’ve all seen that email signature that seems less like self-marketing and more like a small treatise. Usually one or two phone numbers will suffice. As long as you have provided a few ways to get in contact with you, you have done your job. Remember that a lot of people will be reading your email on a mobile device, which is another reason you should strive for brevity.
Don’t include videos, gifs, and quotes: You may have found the perfect gif that encapsulates who you are (if you haven’t, it’s out there). Unfortunately, many email services will not play gifs, or videos, as they are seen as possible security issues. Try to avoid quotes as well. No matter how generic the quote, if you values don’t align with your recipient, you might turn them off. That being said, don’t be afraid to showcase your personality with a little (inoffensive) humor.
When used correctly, email signatures can be a valuable tool to market yourself and establish your corporate identity. However, the wrong choices can send the wrong message to your readers. Put your best foot forward and create a professional, memorable signature. Sign off with style!