11 Tips for Creating an Effective Email Signature

One of the most important things about your business email is signing it. An electronic correspondence is still a correspondence, and you need to sign it. Most email programs allow electronic signatures to be automatically placed at the end of each outgoing email. This makes life much easier for you by saving you the step of having to type your email signature and related information every time you send an email. Here are some tips for creating an effective email signature, because your signature says a tremendous amount about you and your business.

Email Signature Tips

1. Use the four-line standard rule when drafting your email signature. Include all the information your recipient needs within four lines of text. If you provide line after line of name and contact information, you recipient will most likely stop reading after about the third or fourth line.

2. Keep your email signature – just like your email – concise and to the point to meet the four-line standard. Your recipient does not need your life’s story in your email signature. Get to the point so your reader has access to your information quickly and easily.

3. Include your name – obviously – your title and your business name on lines one and two of your email signature.

4. Include your preferred contact method but don’t include too much. Multiple phone numbers and email addresses chew up space and confuse your recipient. Decide on the phone number and email address you want your recipient to use and only include those.

5. Don’t include your business’s mailing address; it’s just not necessary. If your recipient needs to know your exact location, he or she will request that information. Otherwise, including your physical address only takes up space and might instigate an unwarranted or unwanted visit.

6. Don’t include your IM address, Skype address, personal contact information, or anything else of that nature unless you absolutely want to be contacted that way. You don’t need people instant messaging you all day – you’ll never get anything done.

7. Include links to your business social media profiles. This keeps your recipients active on your social media network thus building your online presence. If you only have personal social media profiles, do not include those in your business email signature.

8. Avoid fancy-shmancy fonts, colors, and graphics in your signature. Simple text works best because you don’t know how your customer’s email client will convey the information. It does you no good if your recipient’s email client converts your signature and related information into gobbledygook. Think simple, plain text fonts.

9. Avoid unnecessary additions like quotes at the end of your email signature. I know you are expressing yourself by adding a little quote under your name and contact info; heck, if I had my way, my email signature would include something to the effect of “Boston Red Sox RULE” at the end of every email. But, guess what? It wastes space, your customer’s time, and you might actually offend someone. The best rule of thumb is to avoid quotes all together.

10. You can also avoid legal disclaimers and virus scan assurances at the end of every email. They should only be used when necessary. Your customers aren’t going to read them anyway.

Set up different email signatures for your initial and reply correspondences. If you are replying to an email, your recipient already has your contact information and doesn’t need it a second time. You can set up multiple e-signatures to meet specific correspondence needs.

Email Signature Examples

Let’s take a quick look at what I’m talking about. First, here’s what NOT to do:

John Doe
Best Company USA
111 First Street
City, State, Zip Code
Phone: (555) 555-CALL
Cell: (555) 555-CELL
Fax: (555)555-1FAX
Email: JohnDoe@email.com
Facebook: [Address]
LinkedIn: [Address]
Twitter: [Address]

Good grief! You stopped reading halfway down, didn’t you! And I even put the signature in plain text. Here’s what you should do:

John Doe
President | Best Company USA
(555) 555-CALL | JohnDoe@email.com | www.companyURL.com
Facebook: [Address] | LinkedIn: [Address] | Twitter: [Address]

You can see how clear and concise that is. It gives your recipient all the information he or she needs within four easily formatted lines. Overkill is not the best policy when it comes to your email signature. An effective email signature says what it needs to say in the fewest words possible. Keep that in mind and you’re certain to create a sign off both you and your customers will appreciate and benefit from.


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