What’s in an email signature?
Email signatures seem basic. Essentially they are the contents of your business card, automatically generated at the bottom of every email that you send.
However, the number of professionals who do not have an email signature is shocking. If you already have someone’s email address, why do you also need their signature? A multitude of reasons.
Calling – Without an email signature, your phone number, and specifically your extension, is not easily accessible. Who cares? People who then have to go to your company’s website, call the main phone number, and sit through a 5-minute phone tree or dial by last name in order to finally reach you. Many signatures also include cell phone numbers, which can be tremendously helpful if you travel often and clients or contacts need to reach you on the road, at a conference, etc.
Website link – There should always be a link to your company website in your email signature. Theoretically someone can look at your email address and extract the ‘@company.com’ part, but why should they have to? Whether you are selling or not, driving people to your website is something you want to do, and giving them an easy link to it will only benefit you.
Title – Titles can be arbitrary, this is true. But without your title, how does anyone know what department you work in or type of work you do? Personally, I write a lot of articles and press releases for clients. I need to easily identify someone’s job title so I can quote them properly.
Address – No one sends snail mail anymore, blah blah blah. Sometimes packages, trade show materials and important documents need to be sent. Usually these are time-sensitive and your address is needed right away – so it should be easy to find by pulling up just one email from you.
The idea for this post struck when I needed a client’s address for a nomination form I was filling out. After sifting through 20+ emails from that client, I realized they did not use email signatures and I had to go to their website and then to the ‘Contact Us’ section to find the mailing address – and at that point, I still didn’t have her extension. Make it easy for those you keep in touch with and include your full contact information in your signature.
Social – This is not imperative to an email signature but if you Tweet on behalf of your company, or share valuable information, or want contacts to connect with you on a variety of platforms – include social links.
Other benefits – An email signature makes your message looks polished, period. Plus if you are selling or pitching, then your contact information is readily available for the interested party.
Note – Depending on industry and government affiliation, many email signatures include a disclaimer which is a necessary evil. But it is not necessary to include an inspirational quote or a ‘Save trees – think before you print’ prompt.
An exemplary email signature:
Director of Marketing Technology