Many businesses give little thought to their professional email signatures, which is a significant missed opportunity. Signatures are an excellent way for companies to make clear what they do and who they serve, showcase employees, make it easy for people to connect, and guide consumers to where they can find out more about their organization.
If your company simply puts names and contact information in business email signatures, you're missing out on thousands and thousands of opportunities to fully connect and engage with the people you send emails to.
This guide explains what you should include in your signatures, along with tips on how to present them effectively.
First and Last Name
As with any correspondence, names should always be included in email signatures so the recipients know who they are from. A name is typically at the top of the signature and should reflect what the person sending the email prefers to be called, for instance, a nickname rather than a given first name. Also, tailor your name presentation to your brand. A casual retail company might prefer a simple first name and last initial, while a legal practice might present a complete formal name.
Affiliation With the Organization
After your name, you should include affiliation information, such as job title, company or organization name, and department. Your name should be more prominent than your affiliation. However, sharing this information adds context to your role in the company. In addition, affiliating with an organization lends the sender credibility, especially if yours is a known entity. It can help readers take your message seriously.
In most cases, people can reply to an email to get in contact. Still, it’s smart to add additional contact information so recipients know other ways to reach you. Secondary information is typically a phone number for calls and text messages and a business email address if the receiver cannot email the party back to the original address, for instance if it’s a general corporate one.
Social Profile Links
Social media plays a significant part in business and personal branding. Gaining followers keeps your company front-and-center with consumers, and stellar LinkedIn profiles build credibility and trust for employees. You can tell a lot about a company or individual by what they post.
That's why it's wise to include links to appropriate social media pages in email signatures. It reinforces business and employee brands and helps people find new ways to stay in touch by following you.
Use social media icons as your links because people recognize them and are more likely to click. Plus, icons save space in a place where you might be packing in a lot of information. Even if you have a presence on many social media sites, try to cap the number of icons at three or four. Focus on the platforms that matter most to growing your business or building credibility and trust.
Tip: If you include social media links in your email signatures, ensure all accounts are up-to-date. It sends wrong signals to consumers if you send them to an inactive profile.
Call to Action
One of the smartest things you can add to email signatures is a call to action (CTA). The best ones are simple, straightforward, not too pushy, and aligned with your email messaging. The right CTA will seem like friendly post-scripts rather than heavy-handed sales pitches.
Align your CTAs with your business goals, such as booking an appointment, visiting a landing page, buying something, or requesting additional information.
If you email clients who want to book meetings with you, make it easy by including a link to book your calendar in your email signature. It helps prevent people from having to figure out how or simply forgetting to book time.
Industry Disclaimers and Legal Requirements
Certain industries, such as law, banking, investments, insurance, and medicine, have guidelines on email usage and information sharing. That’s why you must look into what regulations your industry has so you include the necessary disclaimers in your signatures. If you’re not sure about the rules in your industry, it’s smart to consult with a lawyer. An error could cost you a lot in fines and penalties.
Images are a great way to convey a lot in a bit of space. Include a company logo to express the essence of your business brand and increase awareness of it. If you want a personal touch, include a professional headshot so recipients you haven’t met associate your name with your face.
Email Signatures: The Bottom Line
Now that you know the elements email signatures should include, here are some things you can do to present them effectively.
Emphasize the name, affiliation, and secondary contact information.
Keep the colors simple and easy to read, even on smartphones.
Use design hierarchy so readers can easily consume the information.
Make links clear and simple to understand.
Use space dividers to break down information.
Include an international prefix in your phone number if you do business in other countries.
Ensure the design is mobile-friendly.
If you’re unsure of how to create an attractive and readable email signature, hire a graphic designer. A small investment in design services could pay off in a big way, increasing customer interactions with your organization.