Recently, I had a new client give me a call. I’d done one project for him, which had gone well.
He said, “Steve, I noticed you also do in-house training. We’d be interested in talking to you about doing some in-house training for us.”
Of course, I was thrilled. He’s calling me back offering me more work. That’s always good news. I asked him how he found out that I do in-house training.
I expected him to say he found out by visiting my website, saw an article I’d written, or perhaps heard about my training services from another company.
But instead, he said he noticed it in my email signature!
In my email signature, it says one of my services is in-house training. The fact that this client noticed my email signature proves how important it can be.
Your email signature is a great opportunity to build your brand and promote what you do over and over again. Every time you send an email, it acts like a mini advertisement.
Most copywriters don’t think about their signature line, but I’m recommending you do give it some thought. I’m going to give you some practical tips and ideas that will help you craft an email signature line that could actually help build your business.
What is an Email Signature?
Your email signature is text at the end of your email that is automatically inserted by your email program. It’s easy to set up in your email software, and can be customized with your name, business name, contact information, and more.
Most email signatures you see are like a little mini business card that is attached at the bottom of an email. But your email signature can be so much more.
Think of it this way, how many emails do you send to clients, prospects, contacts, or other people who could need your services? Probably dozens — if not hundreds — every single year. Each time you send an email, you have an opportunity to reinforce your brand and remind people who you are and what you do.
It’s a brand reinforcement method most B2B copywriters and writers simply ignore. But, I recommend you use this free and easy way to promote your copywriting business.
What Should Go in Your Email Signature?
Let me give you some tips and strategies on crafting your email signature.
Here’s my email signature:
online classes, in-house training, and writing/consulting services
Bestselling author, “The Everything Guide To Writing Copy” (Simon & Schuster)
I’ve won some awards for copywriting so I use that in my email signature line to build credibility. I then list three — really four — of my services. I’ll talk more about how you can use this line a little later.
Then, I have my phone number, my website address, and my email address. I want to keep the contact information very, very simple.
I know a lot of people put their business address and links to social media sites in their signature. I recommend you keep the contact information very, very simple.
Now, here’s a tip that can make a big difference. Many people will bold their name or their business name in their email signature. Sometimes they also use a larger font.
Instead, I recommend that if you use bold text, you bold what you do, not your name. Then, the rest of the information, such as your phone number and email, will be in plain text.
Now, why should you bold what you do? Well, when people receive your email, they immediately get reminded about what you do. They know it’s from you, so why bold your name? I want to reinforce with them what I can do for them.
What Should You Leave Out?
Many times you’ll see people insert a logo or graphic as part of their email signature. The intent is to draw attention to the signature line.
Unfortunately, sometimes the graphic will show up mangled, or overlapped with the text, or won’t display at all. There might be a message that says, “object not available” or something like that.
To avoid those problems, use ordinary text with no graphics in your email signature area. Putting a graphic in there is unnecessary and I think it just diverts attention away from the email signature itself, which is what you want to emphasize.
Making Your Email Signature a Brand-Builder
There are three ways you can build your brand with your email signature.
- Add a brand statement or tagline.
My friend Gordon Graham, who’s known in the business as “That White Paper Guy,” does that in his email signature. He has a tagline that says, “I help B2B companies tell their stories with crisp, compelling white papers.”He has that statement inserted as part of his email signature, so every time he sends an email to anyone, he reinforces his positioning. You know what he does, what he’s great at, and what he’s all about.Consider inserting a tagline, positioning statement, or even a mini elevator pitch into your signature line. Put a message that you want to consistently get across to everyone you contact. It can be very powerful.
- What you’ve done recently.
Just below my email signature, I’ll often insert information about what I’ve done recently. Sometimes I’ll have a line that says “Latest work.” Then below it, I’ll have two or three projects I’ve done.For example, I might list “Compelling case study for a consulting firm,” “Rebranding for a printing company,” and “Sales page that booked a new seminar solid.”That can be very powerful, because when a client, or especially a prospect, receives an email from you and they see the latest work you’ve done for other companies, it reinforces that you’re the real deal.
- Customize your email signature.
Now, here’s something almost no one else does: you can customize your signature for each email. You don’t have to have the same email signature in every single email. You can customize it for each client so it has more impact.For example, if you’re talking to someone about an email campaign, you can add a line about the latest email campaign you wrote for a company. That reinforces you’re great at writing email campaigns, which is exactly what you’re talking about with that prospect.Another thing you can do is to list two or three of your latest articles or blog posts. It’s another tactic to position you as an expert.
Email Signature Tech Tips
I have a few tips for you so you can be sure your email signature is displaying the way you want it to when you send out an email.
- Always test your email signature in another email program. In other words, send an email with your email signature to yourself, but send it to yourself in another email platform. So if you use Microsoft Outlook to send email on your computer, send it to your Gmail account, your Yahoo account, or some other account.You want to see what your email signature looks like to the recipient. You want to make sure that it’s clickable to the recipient. And you want to make sure your signature line looks right. If you don’t have other email accounts, send it to a friend who does and have them check it for you.
- Beware of the set-and-forget feature in your email program. For example, in Gmail, you can set up your signature line and then forget it because it automatically inserts your email signature into every single email you send. But here’s the thing, when you’re writing an email in Gmail, it doesn’t show your signature when you’re writing it. It appears automatically only when it’s sent.It’s very easy to forget your signature, because it’s automatically inserted. You want to check your email signature regularly and make updates to it. I know someone who changed their phone number, but they set up their Gmail signature a year earlier. Then forgot all about it. Gmail was inserting their email signature into all their emails with the incorrect phone number!
- Make sure your email signature is in the same font as the rest of your message. I’ve seen email signatures where the font has been set smaller than the body of the email or it’s a lighter color.Don’t do that — it defeats the purpose of having the signature there. You want your email signature to stand out. So, make sure your email signature is the same font and color as the rest of your email.
- I also recommend that you have the same email signature across multiple devices. Instead of a client seeing “Sent from my iPhone,” they should see the same signature as when you send an email from your desk computer.
- Here’s a final tip: add a signature whenever you reply to an email. Many email programs (including Gmail) will not insert your signature into replies to emails, unless you click a box that says you want that done. By default, it doesn’t do it.You want your email signature in every email you send, even replies. Even when you’re going back and forth with a client, you still want that email signature in there every single time. Having that consistency is important.
So, there are tips and ideas to create an email signature that can reinforce your brand and serve as a powerful marketing tool. Give it a try!