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.)

Tags: ,

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.

Leave a Reply