Did you know that the email signature is one of the most effective marketing tools that you have? Or, at least, it could be, if you approached it using best practices and signature that really caught the eye of whoever you’re emailing. A typical person sends 32 emails every day, and people who have more customer-facing roles send far beyond that average. A good email signature is a free bit of advertising that will catch a lot of eyeballs.
So what are some of the best practices with regards to email signatures, and what are some examples of some good ones?
1. It’s visual
The most critical thing of all for an email signature is that it’s visual in design. Having a mass of text underneath your email is simply asking for too much of your reader’s time (especially given you assume that they’ve just read the email itself), so finding a way to visually represent what your brand is about in the signature is a better idea.
Take this café owner’s signature as an example. Cafés really benefit from the interactions that they get from Instagram, as a highly visual platform in which people share shots of the food and drinks that the café offers. Putting a gallery of Instagram pictures in the signature is an open invitation for the viewer to click on to Instagram and participate in a way that a text link would never achieve.
Image via wisestamp
2. It has your brand featured prominently in it
People tend to take better notice to an email when they trust the person that sent it, and one of the most effective ways to build trust is to feature your company’s logo prominently in the signature. People should be able to click on it to be taken immediately to your business home page, and it’s important that it’s consistent across the company; every employee should have the same design implemented in their signature so that the customer feels a sense of continuity (and therefore professionalism and trustworthiness) in interacting with your company.
Here’s an example of a signature with the company logo implemented prominently and attractively:
Image via newoldstamp
3. Give the people video
An actual video file is far too large to implement in an email signature – even if you could, you wouldn’t want to be clogging up people’s inboxes with 100MB+ files every time you sent them an email!
But there’s a simple, instantly recognisable, and highly effective workaround – people know instantly to respond to the “play” button on an image. They know that if they click on that they’re going to be watching a video. So link an image with the “play” button in your email signature to a YouTube video that its linked to, and watch as the views roll in.
Note: make sure that you do use a respectable, familiar video hosting service, such as YouTube or Vimeo. Your audience will expect to be taken to a website when they click on a video link in an email. They will not appreciate if they’re taken to a website that they’re unfamiliar with, as that will raise security concerns for them.
Image via hubspot
4. Link to your social media accounts
Your email signature is a good opportunity to increase your social media following, too. Whether you’re on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or other platforms, including links to them in your signature is a good way of encouraging customers that also use these platforms to follow you.
It’s better to use icons than text links. Icons are more visual, and again, more likely to catch the reader’s attention, and the various logos of the social media networks are instantly recognisable to people – especially those that already use the platforms. On the other hand, a pile of text links makes it difficult to distinguish which social networks you’re actually on. The below image shows the significant difference between a text-heavy signature, and one that makes good use of social media icons to encourage clicks:
Image via wordstream
5. Keep your signature updated with current information
No one pays attention to a signature that has old information on it, so one way to keep people looking at the signature is to make it dynamic and keep it updated with your most recent blog posts, articles, or other relevant information. Implementing an RSS feed that will automatically grab the most recent article you’ve published is a great way to keep customers and other people informed on what you – and your brand – is up to.
Image via wisestamp
Finally, the most important rule of all: be creative!
A signature should not be a boring, uninspired sign-off to your emails. It should reflect your brand and personality, and really highlight how you are a different, unique and interesting company to interact with. Capturing personality and creating a dynamic, interesting tone in your email signature is one of the most effective – and cheapest – marketing tools you have at your disposal. For more information on email marketing, and how to make the most of this critical platform in 2018, contact Blue Star DIRECT.