Your Email Signature Matters to Millions

You prob­a­bly don’t think of your email sig­na­ture as a valu­able brand asset. But you should, and here’s why.

Accord­ing to the Email Stats Report by the Rad­i­cati Group, the aver­age employ­ee sends:
36 emails per day = 10,000 emails sent per year

If your firm has 100 employ­ees, that’s 1 mil­lion annu­al brand impres­sions. Not just ran­dom impres­sions, your emails arrive tar­get­ed to clients, ven­dors, team­ing part­ners, and poten­tial employ­ees.

1 Million

Con­sid­er improv­ing email sig­na­tures across your firm beyond an oblig­a­tory for­mal­i­ty. Email sig­na­tures are the most pro­lif­ic brand touch­point you own.

To help you, I’ll iden­ti­fy com­mon email sig­na­ture mis­takes. Then, I’ll share how to cre­ate a pow­er­ful email sig­na­ture that enhances your firm’s rep­u­ta­tion.

Common Email Signature Mistakes

1) Incon­sis­ten­cy
Email sig­na­tures aren’t the place for per­son­al expres­sion. You don’t allow each employ­ee to craft their own ver­sion of your logo, so don’t allow it with email sig­na­tures. All your brand touch­points should speak in a con­sis­tent, pro­fes­sion­al voice.

Avoid a vari­ety of fonts (unless you are writ­ing a ran­som let­ter)
Avoid too many col­ors (we love rain­bows too, but not in emails)
Avoid too much vari­ety in size, bold, and ital­ic (if you empha­size every­thing, then noth­ing stands out)

2) Images
Avoid includ­ing com­pa­ny logos, social media icons, project pho­tos, and char­i­ty logos. Images in email sig­na­tures can flag your email as “spam,” send­ing it direct­ly to the Junk fold­er. Plus, it is annoy­ing­ly dif­fi­cult for email recip­i­ents to deci­pher your intend­ed attach­ment files from your email sig­na­ture image attach­ments.

3) Includ­ing Your Email Address
If some­one receives an email from you, by default, they now have your email address. Includ­ing it in your email sig­na­ture is redun­dant. If they want to reply to your email, guess what, they will hit “reply” with­in their email soft­ware.

4) Inspi­ra­tion Quotes or Sacred Spir­i­tu­al Pas­sages
Don’t impose your per­son­al beliefs in a pro­fes­sion­al set­ting.

5) Legal Dis­claimers
You know the ones, sim­i­lar to seen on fax­es cir­ca 1989, stat­ing “this email is only intend­ed for the recipient…blah, blah, blah” Since these have become so banal, nobody reads them. As a result, they become inef­fec­tive with­in a legal set­ting.

 

How To Create Your Firm’s Email Signature

Be respect­ful of your reader’s time and visu­al land­scape by mak­ing your email sig­na­ture as con­cise as pos­si­ble.

Here is what to include:
Your Name
Title (only if infor­ma­tive and con­sis­tent with your firm’s cul­ture)
Firm Name
Phone Num­ber
Web­site URL (only if dif­fer­ent from your name@URL.com)
One Vari­able Link That Changes Month­ly (recent blog post, project case study, speech, or pri­ma­ry social media chan­nel)

Here is my email sig­na­ture:

- — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — -
David W. Lecours
Cre­ative Direc­tor | Lecours­De­sign
phone 760.632.7619
— - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - -
Recent­ly Designed Web­site:
psomas.com
— - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - — - -

I rec­om­mend using grey, or a qui­et col­or, to dis­tin­guish between the email sig­na­ture and the body of the email. I also use the dot­ted lines to sep­a­rate the sig­na­ture from the body.

Use only key­board ele­ments, not images, to cre­ate typo­graph­ic rules with­in your email sig­na­ture. Typog­ra­phy rules, aka bor­ders, can be cre­at­ed by repeat­ing glyphs like these:
+ + + + + + + + +
»»»»>
///////////////
^^^^^^^^^
* * * * * * * * *
= = = = = = =
o o o o o o
.… .… .

For con­sis­ten­cy across your firm, cre­ate a mas­ter tem­plate of your new email sig­na­ture. Then copy and paste it into an email sent to your IT depart­ment, or each employ­ee, for imple­men­ta­tion. Obvi­ous­ly, each employ­ee should replace your indi­vid­ual con­tact infor­ma­tion with their own.

Your Reputation is at Stake

Your firm’s rep­u­ta­tion is the sum of all expe­ri­ences a per­son has with your brand. Since email sig­na­tures make mil­lions of impres­sions, show that you care about your read­er with a sim­ple, con­sis­tent and well craft­ed email sig­na­ture.

True, email sig­na­tures aren’t your most glam­orous brand touch­point. But, as Orrin Wood­ward says, “Suc­cess is the expo­nen­tial effect of lit­tle things done con­sis­tent­ly over time.” (Just don’t use this inspi­ra­tional quote in your email sig­na­ture.)

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One Response to “Your Email Signature Matters to Millions”

  1. Heidi Maki March 16, 2017 at 6:18 pm #

    Thank you for affirm­ing the impor­tance of email sig­na­ture con­sis­ten­cy! I sent this to our re-brand team.

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