Johanna took a great brief, understood exactly what I wanted and made it so much better
-- Gary Betts, Sculptor
Posted by Chris on January 29, 2014
Your email signature is an excellent free tool for promoting your business and can really help you to build your own brand and project credibility. On the other hand, a poor email signature is a great way to put potential customers off.
Having an email footer that says "Sent from my iPhone" will tell potential customers that you are away from your office and either cannot be bothered to set up an email signature of your own or don't know how to.
First of all your signature should not be too large. Keep it in an easily readable sans serif font and make it no longer than seven lines long. The font colour should be black or dark blue. An example might be as follows.
Fred & Jane's Boarding Kennels.
Lochside Cottage, Birsay, Orkney, KW17 2HX
Tel: 01856 123456 Mobile: 0477 12345678 Fax: 01856 564321
It also really helps to put your youtube channel, facebook, twitter and other social media icons below your signature. There are services out there that can help you put together a really nice graphic footer, but email programmes are getting ever more sensitive to spam and a graphic signature could be blocked. In any case you need to avoid animations which can be extremely irritating and unprofessional. Larger graphics will force your recipient to scroll further to read consecutive mails – they may not bother.
There really is no value in adding a quote or generic one liner to your signature. At worst potential customers might not agree with it. At best it is probably a waste of space.
While your email signature needs to stay at a maximum of seven lines long, there is nothing stopping you from using the last line for a call to action. For example, advertising a special offer, a giveaway or a competition. However you really want to avoid putting anything too "spammy" in your signature. Affiliate links for example can be blocked by some systems.
If your emails are likely to contain confidential material, you might want to put a "For the intended recipient only" statement in the footer if your email server has not already been set up to include one.
You also might want to think about having a shorter, more discrete email signature for reply emails to keep the size of emails in an ongoing email conversation down.
Don't forget that you can use your email signature elsewhere. For example in traditional correspondence, articles you write, on your own website and blog and in posts on discussion for a. The latter tend to strongly discourage affiliate links. Large or animated graphics, long quotes or anything that makes your signature longer than it needs to be can again be highly annoying to other forum users.
The cardinal rule is, if in doubt, only include useful contact information in your business email signature.
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