You’ve seen them before. When a friend or business contact sends an email, there’s a line of text at the bottom that offers an address, slogan, phone number, or website address. Some even include your pal’s business title or department. These tidbits of text are called “signatures” and they’re controlled by signature files in your email program. You can easily set up a signature file which will give your official correspondences a professional feel (all while advertising your company or service!).
Think of “sig” files as free advertising and business cards rolled into one. Think of your one email practices. Do you keep tabs on business dealings through email? Do you stay in touch with clients and customers, or notify people of sales and deals? If you do any regular emailing (even if it’s just to business contacts and family members), adding a sig line will give you instant advertising and identity branding. Every time someone receives an email from you, they’ll know exactly who you are, where you’re from, and what your company’s name is.
As you can imagine, this subtle form of brand reinforcement and advertising can have a great impact on helping you increase business. If you’re an e-commerce site owner, including a link to your retail website in your signature files will probably generate orders or repeat business. If you’re a real estate agent or other high-contact dealer, including a snippet at the base of each email ensures that clients and contacts can easily contact you through whatever means you prefer.
Setting up a signature file in your email is fairly easy. Most email programs (even web-based services) offer a way to set up sig files in the” options” or “tools” area. Some even have an area tagged “signatures” for easy configuration.
There are a few things to consider when planning your signature. It’s pretty standard to include a salutatory statement, or friendly closing with your name, so you can start there. Beyond that, what other message would you like your signature to convey? Is it important for your contacts to know your phone numbers for immediate contact? Are you hoping to drive sales to a retail website? Do your email recipients need to know your store’s location?
You can incorporate all of these imperatives into a simple, easy to read email signature file. Include your name, contact numbers, business address, website address, alternate email address, business slogan, or any combination of the above for a succinct mini advertisement that will show your contacts you care.
One last thing to consider: signature files can be created in plain text or HTML. Plain text is always a safer bet, since all emails can display text (not all programs are set up to display HTML-based emails). Use non-HTML formatting whenever possible, to ensure everyone sees your sig the same way.