Email is one of those things we use every day without really giving it much thought. We send them, we receive them, we send quite a lot of them to the spam folder, never to be seen again and well, we also archive a hell of a lot of them too!
One thing we never really pay much attention to, is that little box in the bottom of the email, right after we sign off the email. Working in Online Marketing, over the years I’ve seen many thousands of emails from many thousands of different SEO and Marketing Agencies, Businesses and Individuals over the years and one thing that has become very clear is that the humble Email Signature has no uniformity to it.
You can go a number of ways with an email signature, there’s the extreme;
Where as you can see, every conceivable piece of information is added to the email signature making it in most cases, the most information in the entire email. As you can imagine, for anybody viewing the email on mobile, that’s going to represent a heck of a lot of screen real estate.
On the flip side of this, there is the completely minimal email signature with barely any information what so ever.
This probably isn’t as minimal as some you’ve seen, but still the idea is to show some information at least.
For reference, this is the email signature we use at Marketing Signals (this is mine):
So although there is no “right” or “wrong”, there are some common sense things you put into place to ensure that you’re getting across just enough information in your email signatures without it feeling like it’s turned into one of those abandoned builders covered in flyer posters.
How do you sign off your emails?
Everybody has their own take on the way they should sign off on an email. No matter what you do, somebody will always find issue with what you’re doing. Now this isn’t a right and wrong, it’s just my personal take on some of the ones I’ve come across in emails from all manner of people
Great if you know the person you’re talking to well and you’re friends outside of your email contact. Probably not so good for those important business emails with an important client.
I have to admit I will sometimes sign off with this one myself if I know the person well that I’m emailing. Of course if it’s an email to a new client, I’ll rarely (if ever) sign off like this.
Better, but sort of feels like you’re trying to sign off the email a little quicker because you couldn’t be bothered with adding “Kind Regards”.
This is something that would have been common place in letters, but emails are much more information these days than letters. So for me, it just feels too much like the person doesn’t send a great deal many emails and is still thinking of email as an e-letter.
For me, it just makes sense to add this as it’s a little formal, but at the same time just feels a little more complete than just “Regards”… Sometimes it’s better to just go with the flow…
Fax Numbers? Partying Sending Messages Like It’s 1999
Hello? This is 2016… Have you not heard of email? These days you don’t even need a scanner to copy a piece of paper to send to somebody through (Fax or) email. If you hold your phone at the right height and you’re steady enough. You can get a good enough copy to send through email. I still remember a time when photocopies and fax copies of letters would be clouded in black ink and barely legible due to people copying the copy over and over until barely anything on the page was recognisable.
So you’re down with the hipsters and you’re on every new and emerging Social Network there is. You’re proud of the fact that you manage a blog, 25+ social profiles with weekly updates and you want the World (well anybody opening your emails) to know that you’re a master of Social Media, so you’ve linked to every profile you have going.
That’s fantastic, until you step back and realise that for the most part, there are only 4 or 5 social networks that most people are actually active and using. The others are most likely populated by you, your friends and the other Hipsters who want to be able to say… “I was there when it got started”
Messages & Disclaimers
Look, if you’re working for a large company then fine. The Legal department needs to cover their own backs and show those paying the wages that they’re doing their job!
But if you’re a freelancer, an agency or a small or medium sized business with no legal department. Then why bother adding it? Nobody really cares that the email was scanned for viruses and those disclaimers about it ending up in the wrong inbox and being deleted? Who’s ever going to bat an eyelid anyway? If the information is that secretive and sensitive… BE MORE CAREFUL BEFORE YOU PRESS SEND!!
In fact if you use Gmail, there is an option to delay the sending of emails for a few seconds so you can press send, panic and then cancel the email before it actually gets sent!
Green Message About Printing Emails
Oh please… Who prints off emails these days? Yes, your company is trying to look “Green” and “Environmentally Aware”. But you could do a lot more to help save the planet than give out some unnecessary advice to try and save the World…
Just for you “Please Consider the Environment Before You Decide to Print Off This Blog Post!”
My own emails? Well since you ask, this is how I sign off my signature…
I’ve blanked off some information… I like my anonymity online… 🙂
Keep your Email Signature Short and simple!
As you can see from the way I do things, if you have a company logo then by all means go ahead and add that in there…
Sign off: Kind Regards
Name: David Smith
There are some people who suggest that it’s pointless adding in your email address since people can see where the email came from already. But I counter this by suggesting that if an email gets forwarded. Depending on the email client, it can often just show the person’s name and no email address. So by adding it to your signature, there is far less chance of it being lost (unless the person forwarding the email removes the signature of course)
Website: My Website.com
Skype: User ID
Social Icons: Facebook, Linkedin and Facebook
If you’re active on Google+ and Pinterest for example, then sure go and add those. But for the most part, those are the three social networks that people use who I email and get emails from online.
If you have anything to add to this blog post, maybe you have your own unique way of signing off emails. Leave a comment below and show off your own email signatures.
Of course if you want to see our email signatures in use inside your inbox, or if you want to show us your email signatures, then by all means get in touch with us and we’ll see how we can help you with your Marketing and Web Design…