It’s All About the Little Details – Creating Effective Email Signatures

By: on June 24, 2014
Posted in: Brand EquityBrand ExperienceBrand Identity

Presenting your brand consistently at all conceivable touch points, no matter how insignificant it may seem is extremely important. Have you ever considered how your corporate email signature appears? Does it adhere to your brand standards? Does it accurately represent your brand or include some elements of your corporate identity? Is it consistent across all your employees? Brand effectiveness is all about the little details and this particular detail cannot be overlooked.

In order to get the most out of your corporate email signatures, there are a few things that you need to consider: 1. Length 2. Consistency 3. Pertinent Information.

Let’s focus on these actions individually:

1. Length:
Limit the number of lines you use in your signature. Information can be separated by a colon : or pipe | to reduce the length of your signature. Four to seven lines of text are the ideal length. It is important to consider how your signature will appear on mobile or tablet devices, as professional use of these devices only continues to grow.

2. Consistency:
Everyone at your company should be using the same layout for their email signatures, ensuring that your brand is properly represented and all brand standards are followed. The only information that should vary is the contact information. This means that font type and style, font size and weight and text colour should be consistent between all employees’ signatures.

There are various hosted email systems available that can be used to centrally configure a company-wide signature that can be automatically applied to each user. You can consider using Office 365 or Google Apps. If you require something a bit more in-depth, consider CodeTwo, which works within Office 365, Exchange and Google Apps to provide a central email signature manager. Alternatively, a simple template (saved on a shared drive that all employees have access to) that can easily be copied and pasted into the signature bar of your email preferences tool would be sufficient.

3. Pertinent Information:
This is the most important component of your corporate signature. You need to include the most relevant information without providing unnecessary details in your signature. All signatures should include your name, job title, company name, company URL, your direct phone number and company address. There is nothing worse than needing to call one of your contacts and the only information provided in their signature is their name.

What about including social media links? This should only be used if you actually use your social media accounts professionally. If they are left idle or rarely updated, there is no value in including these social links. A blog link would also be suitable, provided it is updated regularly and is a driving force in your business.

What about images? These should be used sparingly. Images increase the file size of the message you are sending, they may not appear properly in the recipients’ inbox when your message is received and images may not automatically load. If you have designed your whole signature as a jpeg, then the “clickable” links won’t actually be clickable, rendering them pointless.

You can also add timely messages to your signatures. For example, if your company is celebrating a milestone birthday, you can include a short message about this. “Celebrating 50 Years” or “75 Years of Business in Calgary, AB.”

Did you want to use the same signature for all messages? Or did you want to use a shortened signature for your reply messages only? If you use a shorter message, ensure that your relevant contact information is still provided, specifically your phone number. This would mean that your long signature (with all the corporate information) would only be included in the first message of each new email chain between you and the recipient.

It is important to take all of these little details into consideration when representing your brand. Remember, your email signature is a snapshot of your company’s brand, which is visible in all of your professional correspondence.

Here are some Email Signature examples that follow the three Golden Rules outlined above:

Standard Email Signature:

John Smith
Company ABC | Account Executive
Tel: 403.999.1234 | Fax: 403.999.4321
111 – 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB
www.companyABC.ca

Social Media Email Signature:

John Smith
Company ABC | Account Executive
Tel: 403.999.1234 | Fax: 403.999.4321
111 – 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB
www.companyABC.ca
@JSmithCompanyABC

Reply-To Email Signature:

John Smith
Company ABC | Account Executive
Tel: 403.999.1234

Special Message Email Signature:

John Smith
Company ABC | Account Executive
Tel: 403.999.1234 | Fax: 403.999.4321
111 – 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB
www.companyABC.ca
Company ABC – 60 Years of Excellence