Friday, August 5, 2011
Six Steps to an Effective Email Signature Line
Create a standard. Maintaining a unified brand is essential for effective marketing and communication. You would (probably) never dream of letting each employee design their own unique business card or letterhead. Even if you did, you'd likely offer guidelines, such as standard color palettes, font selections, and basic layout rules. The same is true with email. A standard email template and signature will ensure that all communications from your company reinforce your brand and create a positive impression for your company.
Keep it professional. Many email programs provide a wide assortment of templates and font choices. Use both sparingly. Make sure your message doesn't get lost in an overly busy layout or hard-to-read font.
Keep it concise. Make sure your signature isn't so long that it proves a distraction for what you're trying to say. Quotations, anecdotes, and unnecessary graphics can clutter up an otherwise effective signature line.
But not too brief. Of course, you do want to make sure people can reach you...and not just by hitting reply. Name, title, phone/extension, and company website are a good place to start. You might also want to include links to social media channels, such as your Twitter profile and company Facebook page.
Create multiple signatures, especially if you have more than one role at your company. Make sure each signature complies with the company standard and offers proper contact information based on the context of the message you're sending.
Standardize any legalese. If your company has a policy about email confidentiality or proper email usage, add this to your signature line, and make sure the same wording gets added to the company's email signature guidelines.