Have you looked at your email signature lately? It’s one of the simplest tools in business, and yet so many professionals fail to use it correctly.
Your email signature is your first impression in business communications, more so than your business card, smile or handshake. Here are a few tips to help you avoid common email signature failures:
Many companies include their logo in their email signatures as an attachment. While the logo and layout might show beautifully on your screen, different devices and software may display it differently. Many attachments even come through as actual attachments rather than an image, which can confuse and frustrate recipients.
Overall, we recommend avoiding attachments in email signatures whenever possible. And please, don’t be among the few people left attaching an “electronic business card.” Your email signature is your electronic business card. Devices are now able to pull contact information from email signatures seamlessly, defeating the original purpose for attaching an e-business card.
Keep it Simple
An email signature should include a combination of the following:
- First and last name
- Phone number (office and mobile, if desired)
- Company Website
- Social media links (1-2, if desired)
If your company has recently garnered industry recognition, you might consider adding a line (or perhaps a digital badge if the awarding organization provides you with one) in your signature. On the flip side, adding several certifications or associations can get distracting for recipients. Use your best judgment.
Here’s two things you don’t need. Fax numbers are superfluous. Virtually anything that can be faxed can be emailed as an attachment or pdf. One less number reduces the clutter as well. We’re also going to go against the grain here and say that you don’t necessarily need to include your email address in your email signature. It takes up extra space that could be better used, and seems redundant given that recipients can see your email address in the “From” field on any message you send them.
Uniformity is Essential
Your company’s brand guidelines should include a sharp, eye-catching email signature template that every staff member personalizes with their name and contact information. The only colors used besides black–if any–should be those of your brand (2 colors total, max). Without a companywide standard, everyone will wing their own idea of an email signature, which can undermine your company’s overall image.
Easy on The Title
Including a title that insinuates you “wear many hats” can actually damage your credibility. If you’re the Director of HR/Operations Coordinator/Senior Admin Team Leader, that’s great, and really impressive. But presenting your title as such in your email signature might make your role seem scattered and convoluted to outsiders.
Legal Disclaimers are Pointless
Just because you copy and paste a paragraph demanding that a wrong recipient “destroy” your email doesn’t mean they will. And if they choose to save your erroneous email, share it with the world, and taunt you in the process, these types of disclaimers are marginally enforceable in court. Let’s all have confidence in our ability to send emails to the right people–no disclaimers needed.
Proof for Typos
Typos happen, especially in emails. But they should never, ever happen in an email signature. You have the opportunity to proof your signature as many times as you need prior to saving it.
Netwave has helped countless clients create strong, unique brands. Whether your company is in need of a major branding project or creative maintenance on small things such as your standard email signature, we can help. See a collection of our work here.