#WHW: Using Email Signatures in Creative Ways

Alex DiRenzo Alex DiRenzo, Former Contributor

Email signatures were initially developed to make signing off on a communication simple and consistent. You include your name, title, business and contact information and you’re set.

However at the core of what an email signature is, it’s simply just a pre-made form that you drop into a communication to save time on formatting and writing. This year while working on our Sysomos client support team I realized that email signatures can be used for so much more than just informing people on how to get in touch with you. So how else can we use them?

First Learn How to Make Email Signatures

The first thing you’ll need to do is learn how to make an email signature in whatever email provider your business is using – chances are its Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Lotus or something similar. Thankfully a quick Google search on ‘how to make email signatures in x email provider’ will give you all the instruction you need. I personally prefer this guide as I use Outlook.

Email Signatures for Meeting Invites

One of the first things I started using email signatures for was to quickly insert my personal conference information into any communication I was writing that needed it. If you use a conference service like WebEx, GoToMeeting, or Join.me, you likely have a personal conference room where the link, call in number, and access code never changes. Typically to insert this into an email or calendar invite you have to open the service in your browser, find the room info, and copy and paste it into whatever you’re writing. That takes time; and if the room information never changes, it’s much easier to just insert a premade signature that has all of your conference room info in it instead of your traditional contact info.

Email Signatures for Business Resources and Marketing Resources

Another great hack for email signatures involves adding in additional information for business and marketing resources into your standard contact signatures – especially anything useful and hard to find that you can provide a link for.

Don’t forget email signatures are probably one of the most seen and personal forms of branding (you and) your business has. With so many communications going to customers, prospects, and stakeholders every day it’s a missed opportunity to not link to extra resources that can help further your business and marketing goals.

The key is to do so tastefully and to avoid overkill. Here are a few examples of tasteful and useful resources to link to in a signature:

  • Resource pages
  • Product pages
  • Webinar pages
  • Hype / splash videos
  • Customer support pages
  • Training sign up forms
  • Demo sign up forms
  • Important announcement pages
  • Case study pages
  • Events pages

 

Making Multiple Contact Signatures for Multiple Purposes

Going back to basics with just a standard contact info signature, a lot of people think one size fits all uses. Meaning the signature I use internally, for customers, for prospects, for vendors, for stakeholders can be the same. However there are a lot of reasons to consider setting up multiple signatures for multiple purposes especially if you consider the previous tip on adding business and marketing resources. In addition not all email service providers are created equally and this should be considered as well.

For example you may want to provide your prospects with your mobile phone information and links to product pages, but not for internal emails. Also you might be aware that certain prospects or customers can’t receive HTML formatted emails, meaning any logo you have inserted will get lost. Because of this having a plain text version of an email signature is always useful.

Don’t Go Rogue!

By now I think you’re getting the idea that email signatures have far more uses than just standard traditional contact information. However it’s important that with a decision that affects your companies branding, you check with marketing or management first before you implement it. What looks good to you and sounds like a great idea to you, might be more sensitive than it appears. Do your due diligence and get approval.

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