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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