There is a marketing school of thought (to which I subscribe) which states that in order to be remembered, a brand must be seen by a potential client a dozen times or so.
So what has this got to do with email signatures?
Quite a lot, actually.
An email signature is one of those things that people you send messages to see repeatedly. These are not always people with whom you are doing business. If you have an attractive or interesting caption, picture, quote or...anything, it can lead to a question, conversation, networking and business. Best of all it's free and, if done properly, it's not intrusive and certainly not considered “spam” advertising.
I'm not a big fan of those downloads you can include in your email messages that allow you to add animated “smileys” and the like. They're annoying and very often contain spyware. In order to send a suitably appropriate “look”, you don't have to be all that creative. Here are some ideas:
- Get your handwritten signature scanned in (see the picture). I get a lot of comments on this because it looks like I signed by messages.
- Add a link to your website.
- Add a link to your blog. If you don't have a blog...why not?
- Add your contact information, including your email address. Why? Because if your message is forwarded, your email address may be “stripped out” by the system, so include a backup one in your signature area.
- Appropriate quotes by famous people are always nice, especially if they change periodically.
- Photos? Perhaps. If the recipient is getting your message in text rather than HTML format, any picture you include is not going to display. Also be cognizant of the fact that photos can take up space.
- Link to newsletter sign-up
- Company logo / brand statement.
- Links to your Twitter / ActiveRain / Facebook / LinkedIn etc profile.
- I also have a little “green” message at the footer of my emails (also see picture).
As you can see, there's quite a lot you can include. Most email systems and clients (such as Outlook) allow you to use different signatures for different accounts and situations. For example, I don't include the whole signature in a reply, just the relevant bits of it.
Getting your brand in front of your clients (and prospects) is always a challenge, so free, unobtrusive “face time” is priceless. Finally, if it seems pointless consider that someone may click the link and make it all worthwhile :)