Nowadays, all companies use emails to communicate. In 2013, we estimate that more than 507 billions emails will be sent (not including spams). However, lots of persons still use this efficient without an efficient signature. A bad signature makes appear you less credible, and can even be negative for your company’s image.
Your signature must contain, at least, information about who you are (name, position, company) and how to contact you (email, phone, skype). But don’t give too much information either.
So that you keep your signature simple and efficient, I give you here 9 « To do » and 9 « Not to do »:
9 To do
1. Start your signature with « — « .
Most software detect automatically signatures thanks to this (dash dash space). Once they identify the signature, they can remove it from answers. This permits to keep the conversation clear after few emails.
2. Write more information on a single line.
Separate information with the « | » sign. So if your have a lot of information to write, you will save some lines. Remember, the signature have to be concise.
3. Be clear on your position or in what you are useful.
Your contacts have to know what you are in charge of and why they should email you instead of someone else.
4. Optimize your address for address extractors.
Some software can extract contacts’ addresses from emails’ signatures. So make sure your signature is readable for these software.
5. Use different signatures according to the use.
Your signature corresponds to your function. So it shouldn’t be the same when you are talking with your workmates and when you are bargaining with a potential customer. They don’t expect the same information from you.
6. You can do (a little) of advertising.
It can be valuable to add a link in your signature to your newest product or the last article about your company. Anyway, it has to be discreet and you must update it often if you want to give a dynamic image of your company. Never change this link will on the opposite be detrimental to your image.
7. Add international indicator for your phone.
If your company has worldwide activities, don’t forget to add the international indicator before your phone numbers.
8. Add links to your social media profiles only if it serves your objectives.
As always think about your objectives before adding all your social profiles in your signatures. And if you do so, make sure your profiles are up to date and promoting you.
9. Try your signature.
Try your signature with different software, on PC and on Mac.
9 Not to do
1. Have a too long signature.
Don’t put your resume in your emails’ signature. Keep it simple with useful information.
2. Have an art-signature.
It isn’t original anymore, so avoid flashy or too creative signature. Keep it simple.
3. Give relevant information directly in a picture.
Software can’t read information if there are in pictures. Moreover, some of them block pictures automatically.
4. Have pictures in your email signature.
Pictures are a lot heavier than text. Think about people with a low connection.
5. Put a picture as an attachment.
If you put a picture in your emails’ signature, make sure it is download from a fixed URL. The picture shouldn’t be an attachment of the email.
6. Add the emails management policy « disclaimer ».
This is useless, protect nobody, and take a huge space in your signature.
7. Have a HTML’s signature.
Raw text can be read by every device, while HTML’ emails could encounter some problems. Raw text is less attractive but you will avoid some disagreements.
8. Add your V-Card in your signature.
The V-Card is useful to exchange addresses, but it is useless to add it in all your emails. If you want, enclose it in your fist email, this will be enough.
9. Give 30 email addresses or 10 instant messaging solutions.
Too much information will confuse your contact. Give him one or two way to contact you. Give him more only if he asks you.
Most of these few tips are just common sense. Remember that your signature is like your way to dress. If you meet a customer, it have to be simple, classy, and efficient. Your company is also represented in your signature.
You won’t have a second chance to make a first good impression, so make sure your signature will shows the best of you.
Of course, in case you don’t have signature yet, do it now!