Reasons to Love Your Email Signature
When two dogs meet on the city sidewalk there’s kind of an unwritten pup parent rule. One owner will look at the other and ask, “can they meet?” as the dogs slowly approach each other. Normal, polite dog etiquette forces you to say "yes", even if you’re wary of an unfriendly dog. You both stand around making small talk as the dogs sniff each other, silently hoping no one nips the other one and starts a fight.
I've been the temporary guardian of Bella, a seven-pound Bichon Frisé fluff ball. Seven pounds of wonder-fluff can’t do much when confronted with your typical city-sized mutt--even if their human insists that “they are friendly.” So as soon as I see a large dog coming our way, we hightail it in the opposite direction. Bella has no idea what I’m trying to avoid and she happily jumps into the nearby bushes.
Sometimes you can avoid big issues when you’re focused on the little details, such as your email signature. This overlooked piece of information can actually be quite powerful. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been forwarded an email from a friend or client with a potential referral partner or vendor. The first thing I look for? Their email signature in the body of the email message. I want to check out their website and see if they’re legit. It’s beyond frustrating if they don’t make this easy. Plus, not everyone uses a branded email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org, making it hard to discover if they even have a website. If they don’t have their website listed, I’ll click on whatever else they’ve listed, such as their Instagram or LinkedIn account to get a better feel on who the person is before I email them. (I’m probably not going to watch their TikTok videos…but you do you.)
1. Your name. You know you need to write it anyway so save yourself an extra second by inserting it automatically.
2. Your website. Make sure you’ve listed the correct link and that it works. I’ve seen so many email signatures that either have the wrong address or it links to an unsecure website (that’s when you’re using http: instead of the secure https: in your website url link). If you’re not sure if your site is secure, look for a little padlock in the URL address bar next to your domain name. If it’s not, ask your web host (or web designer) to add SSL to your website.
3. Your business phone number. I know, I know. I don’t like talking on the phone either. But what if they need to contact you to close a deal or book an appointment? You can always setup a free Google Voice number if you don’t want to give out your “real” number. Depending upon the category of email I'm sending, I may use a scheduling link instead.
This will vary based on which email client you’re using. If you’re using Gmail, click on “Settings” (the gear icon) in the top right corner, then click “see all settings.” Under General, scroll down until you see “signature.” I like to keep the signature fairly short (mine is just 3 lines - that way it doesn’t take up a lot of space in the email). You can separate elements with a “|” bar to keep things in line.
I catch signature errors ALL the time when reviewing a client's website--especially from folks who link to wrong websites and defunct Instagram accounts. Make sure to send a few test emails once you’ve changed your signature to test and verify.
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