What Does Your Signature Say?

How often do you get FREE prime ad space to say whatever you want about your business? Give up? Every time you send an email. An email auto-signature: the closing at the bottom of email message, is an often overlooked, underappreciated promotional opportunity. Learn how in today’s blog.

Like all modes of communication, an auto signature is only as effective as its message. You don’t have to be a brilliant writer or talented graphic artist to create a super auto-signature. You just have to know WHO you are emailing, WHAT you have that makes them happy, and HOW to tell them to get it. Here are some tips to help you create an auto signature that says more than “best regards.”

Contact Info

  • Include your name, company name, phone number, email, and website address.
  • Some companies include the street address. This is most useful for local businesses.
  • For small businesses with few employees, a title after a name is optional. For businesses with several employees, titles are recommended.
  • Add a link to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter, and professional networks like LinkedIn. And, if you have a blog, a link to it is a must!

Fonts and Color

  • The simpler the design the better. Use one font; if your creative flair demands another, use two at the most.
  • Use standard fonts. When using a decorative font not installed on the recipients computer, another font substitutes when they open the email altering the look you designed. Recommended standard Microsoft fonts include Arial, Georgia, Trebuchet and Verdana.
  • Use two colors maximum. Using black or gray as the base color is always safe accented by another color.

Logos

  • Help brand recognition by including your logo in your auto signature. Simply copy and paste an image of your logo into your email signature set-up. Use a color from the logo as an accent color for the text.
  • Be sure to note some email clients and systems block images by default, so make sure whatever is contained in the image is also written as ALT text, or somewhere else in the signature.
  • And also take note that some email servers consider too many images spam. Never use more than 3 images in your signature.

Continuity

  • Each employee’s auto-signature should follow the same company format.
  • Many people like to express their individuality with quotes or sayings as part of their auto signature. Anything sent from a company email address should follow the company format and support the company’s mission. Some business owners are flexible and allow philosophical or motivational quotes but like to approve them first.

Get Creative

Do you use the same auto signature week after week, year after year? Yikes! Change it up, give people a reason to look at it again. Here’s where your promotional creativity goes to work.

  • Set up different versions of auto signatures for different types of clients. Then, when writing a particular customer, select the appropriate version. For instance, a local florist works primarily with wedding and event planners so her default auto-signature includes the tagline, “Stunning Floral Arrangements for Every Event!” She also writes to funeral home directors so she switches to an auto signature with a different tagline that says, “Beautiful Expressions of Sympathy.”
  • Some businesses use the auto-signature for special offers. “Independence Day Special…10% off all orders placed by July 4!” Be sure to keep it simple.
  • Have a new product or service? Tell people about it in one sentence. “The Awesome Driver Program new from Ace Insurance—call us to learn more!”
  • Celebrating a holiday? If it supports your company culture, dress up your email signature logo with holiday colors and effects.

Start noticing how people represent their companies and themselves with their auto signatures. And, remember, they’re noticing you, too. These tips should give you a new Outlook! (Ha! There’s a bit of wordplay there. if you get it!)

Ask an Expert!

Do you have a topic on sales, marketing, or advertising for small business that you would like to know more about? We have lots of topics planned to provide you with ways to strengthen your local brand, reach new customers, and be profitable. But, your ideas take priority! Let us know, write a comment or question below or contact us.

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