12 Things we’ve learned about email signatures

Operating exclusively in the email media and marketing space, we have literally viewed thousands of email signatures. Many clients approach us when they have exhausted all other options to successfully create and manage their email signatures.

After all these years you would think that nothing would surprise me anymore, but we are still regularly amazed at what comes across our desks. Contrary to common logic, it is very often the larger, enterprise size clients that get it completely wrong. Proof that in-house marketing and design teams with substantial marketing budgets don’t always get it right!

Herewith some thoughts which we hope will assist and lessen the pain and frustration of email signature management.

1. NEVER underestimate the value of everyday business email

We’re talking about the one-to-one or one-to-few email that you and your staff send on a daily basis. Time spent communicating with clients, prospects, consumers, suppliers etc.

Email is without a doubt the most trusted business communication channel, with more than 80% of all business communication taking place via email. Email is consensual, personal and acutely targeted.

Utilising the email channel as tool for sales, marketing, traffic generator etc. is, frankly, a no- brainer. 

Did you know? The average employee sends 15,000 emails per year. That’s 15000 opportunities to get your companies message across to a targeted audience. See more stats >>

Ask us how to: Effortlessly turn every employee into a marketer, by doing what they are already doing – sending business email. Find out more >>

2. Make use of signature management software

Designing & coding plays only a small part in ensuring the correct rendering of signatures and other email media components. There are literally hundreds of different email programs in use worldwide, each handling email in different ways.

The use of proven signature management software that intelligently delivers to your recipients will make your task that much easier. The inherent capability of your email client does not and will most likely never ensure correct rendering across all popular email clients, neither will it allow central control and standardisation of the signature & media company wide.

Reputable suppliers of signature management software continuously develop and update their software. New versions of email clients are continuously introduced and staying abreast of these changes takes many hours of development and testing to ensure consistent rendering. My tip would be to make use of a SAAS (software as a service) supplier which ensures you are always making use of the latest successfully tested version – no need to continuously purchase upgrades at a later stage.

Did you know? You can experience the advantages of the foremost signature management supplier, Rocketseed, by registering for a free, no obligation, 30 day trial. Register here >>

Ask us how to: Incorporate cool things in your email signature. Read more here >>

3. Get your IT guys involved, but to a limit.

It’s great to get IT involved, but we’ve found that once you have successfully implemented a signature management software system, it’s best if Marketing is left to control and manage signature and campaign content.

4. Consistency is key

Consistency is a key component of any strong brand. An important aspect of this is how your email signature is presented, regardless of your computing device. One thing you definitely want to make sure of is that your email signature is delivered consistently, regardless of the device you use to create your email.

Email signatures are an opportunity for your brand to gain some of that much sought after share-of-mind. Ensure all people within your organisation are using a standardised email signature that is centrally controlled.

Did you know? People that your company communicates with will make connections between emails from different members of your organization because of the consistent email signatures.

Ask us how to: Remove the headaches faced to centrally control email signatures company wide. Get in touch >>

5. Target email signature campaign content to recipients

We’re big believers that email signatures should be used to serve marketing campaigns, in addition to enforcing brands. However, you should take the same approach you do with any marketing campaign – consider your audience.

Adapt the value propositions of your campaigns to the audience that will most likely receive it. Different groups / divisions within the organisation should run different campaigns.

It’s not just about product leads and sales – every group in the company can leverage signatures to create more qualified engagement with their respective audiences.

Did you know? You are 80% more likely to sell to an existing customer than a prospect.

Ask us how to: Serve and showcase different value propositions (products, services etc.) with each individual email that you send within a chain, allowing for invaluable upsell and cross sell opportunities.

6. DO NOT use an image only signature.

DO use a HTML signature. Don’t create your email signature as a single image. Updating it is a pain, the image will either appear blurry / pixelated unless uploaded as high resolution which in turn could trigger your email being seen as spam (especially in an email chain where the signature is appended multiple times).

There’s also a very real chance your emails will end with everyone’s least favourite error message – the red X – meaning the recipient can’t view your contact details. There’s nothing worse than an email with an unreadable signature.

HTML will supply the flexibility to create great looking signatures, in a format that can be applied just about anywhere, given the right signature software management software.

7. Designing for email is vastly different to designing for web or print

Designing for email is different to most other types of media. We find that a high proportion of design teams that we assist have limited knowledge of email specific design.

The space available to incorporate design elements within emails makes it a limited canvas. Understanding the size constraints and rendering of email is very important. With email, “function before form” is the golden rule.

If you don’t have a designer on staff – let us help you. Your signature is too important to get it “almost right”. We’re happy to help.

Did you know? We supply bespoke and affordable email design services, whether on an ad hoc, package or retainer basis.

Ask us how to: Design for email. We can supply design guidelines, advise on elements to include and even conduct fully fledged email design training & workshops.

Enquire now >>

8. Create balance between text and image size in your email signature

We have seen signatures with a clear disproportion between graphics and text/content. Make sure that you have a properly designed email signature which looks professional, while considering the sizes of logos and promotional banners, so that they fit the overall design.

Even in this day and age we very often come across logo designs that were clearly not created with small format digital use in mind.

9. Use web-safe fonts

The advent of web fonts now means you can use all manner of typefaces on your websites. Unfortunately, this doesn’t extend to email signatures as many of the major email clients don’t support the @font-face rule. Therefore, you can only use web-safe fonts, such as the all-too-familiar: Arial, Tahoma, Verdana, Trebuchet, Courier, Lucida, Times New Roman and Georgia.

Download Now: Recommended fonts for email design >>

10. Include a call to action

Calls to action can be a huge driver. A good call to action should be persuasive and compelling. It’s also necessary to give readers a reason why they should complete your call to action. To that end, make sure that the content that’s directly related to the button or link is sufficiently explanatory and clearly shows the benefit of taking the action.

Read more: Why We Click - The simple psychology behind a great call to action >>

11. Measure your success

Integrate analytics into your email signature clicks and statistics.

This goes along with measuring your positive outcomes. If you are using an analytics package, definitely integrate it with your email signature management solution.

Did you know: Rocketseed’s signature management software comes standard with various reports allowing you (amongst others) to ascertain the success of your campaigns.

View Rocketseed’s reporting options here >>

Ask us how to: Get real time click notifications allowing you to engage with recipients that have shown interest in any of your value propositions.

12. Don’t put it off till tomorrow

The ROI of quality traffic, conversions, and ultimately revenue that an effective email signature can provide is immediate. Just get it done!

Don’t get overwhelmed. Yes, there’s a lot to get right and a lot that you can get wrong, but if you have any questions, just reach out, we’re here to help.

Contact us now >>

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