One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to market your business is using an email signature. Despite the almost-daily predictions that email is dead, we all receive and send email every day. Make your emails distinctive with an attractive email signature that allows folks to reach you quickly.
Your email address says a lot about you and one of the first things you need to do is use a company email address, not @Hotmail.com, @yahoo.com, @Gmail.com or your ISP (@Shaw.ca). It doesn’t convey a professional image and in the case of your ISP, you will have issues moving from them to another service down the road.
Ask your web designer or the person who installed your hosted WordPress blog to create two or three email accounts for you. Email accounts should be including with hosting packages at no extra cost. Google Apps have a free and pro version and provide you with a branded GMail account. This is my recommendation, although it’s a Google product, so installation is not for the feint of heart. You can find someone to create the apps account for you at sites like www.elance.com or maybe even www.fiverr.com.
Keep it Simple
Your email signature should reflect your company branding and shouldn’t overpower the email message itself. Adding a photo, or logo is acceptable but your whole email signature should not be an image. Make your company name a link to your website or blog and if you choose to include social media icons, they should also be links.
The purpose of an email signature is to make it easy for folks to contact you. You should include:
- your name and title
- company name
- how to reach you
Keep your email signature images small so your email loads quickly. Almost everyone has a fast connection, but more and more of your contacts are reading email on their cell phone and are probably paying for band width.
Your email signature should reflect you and your company’s personality, but keep quotes of the day, animated gifs and ascii art for your personal email signature. Keep your company email signature to three or four lines.
Using the wisestamp utility (free for basic account) will help you create a professional email signature in very little time. Add a wisestamp extension to Outlook or Thunderbird or to your browser if you use the web interface for Google Apps accounts. Most of the Wisestamp examples are quite elaborate and are more than the three or four line recommendation so use them cautiously.
- Change your email signature to three lines – your name and title on the first, your company name (as a link), and how to reach you (your business telephone number or email address)
- If you’re using a generic email address (@Hotmail, @gmail, or @shaw for instance) have branded company email addresses created for you. Hiring someone to do this for you shouldn’t cost more than $50 to $75 and will pay you back in a more professional image
- Start small and make changes slowly. Look at some other email signatures. What do you like/dislike about them?
Got examples of great email signatures? What do you like about them? Let me know and I’ll feature them in a follow-up article.