By Maria Dahlqvist Canton, Head of Global Marketing, Exclaimer
People often overlook the effectiveness of marketing a brand through email signatures. However, they are an effective marketing tool that can achieve both networking and brand-identity building at the same time, helping customers pin good service to a recognisable brand.
I’ll be examining how email signatures can be used to support marketing efforts and help businesses stand out in a saturated market.
Conform with style
Letting your team manage their signatures may seem fine, but it often leads to brand inconsistency. People can forget to use them, include incorrect or out-of-date information, or choose styles that aren’t coherent with your brand.
This will leave recipients confused and could even give the impression the company endorses things that might not be reflective of its views.
Instead, you should give your employees a choice from existing on-brand templates, but rules should be in place preventing them from changing a signature in a way that’s off-brand.
A strong email signature has information displayed clearly in a legible font, a simple colour palette that follows company style guidelines, and well-designed imagery which could perhaps be changed for different occasions or to promote specific marketing campaigns.
Contact and communication
It’s vital to have a diverse variety of contact information on your signature to ensure those looking to get in touch can easily do so.
An email signature needs to contain your full name, occupation, email, alternative emails/ contact details and any relevant company disclaimers at minimum. It’s also recommended you include information like opening and closing hours and company contact details as this prevents confusion and makes sure no party is left waiting.
As well as communicating necessary information, email signatures can effectively advertise products and showcase CSR achievements. It can be as simple as displaying a decorative banner to show solidarity with a chosen cause.
Links to professional platforms can be embedded within email signatures. They provide a brilliant opportunity to strengthen connections and build a following with like-minded people in your line of work.
However, avoid including links to personal social media channels, unrelated to work. Recipients only want to read relevant and up-to-date content. Adding links to inactive social media profiles is also not a good use of time.
Finally, remember, lots of links in an email signature simply look messy. What you want to use are social media icon images that users can click on to go to your company Twitter profile or Facebook page.
It’s unlikely customers will be inclined to complete any detailed survey requests you send them over email. In fact, if you persist in sending survey emails, you’re going to lose that element of trust you’ve worked so hard to build and damage the health of your database through unsubscribe requests and possible complaints.
However, email signatures can be used to collect customer feedback through one-click survey links. These can provide useful results, as customers are usually more willing to give valuable insight into their experiences, as they’ll already be talking to you over email.
One-click surveys also offer customers a chance to provide simple feedback in an unobtrusive way. You’re not “demanding” a response but offering them the chance to do so if they wish.
Compliance and credibility
Among all the corporate advantages a modern, well-done email signature can provide, arguably one of the most important is how efficiently it can be used for legal defences.
If your role entails sending many emails in bulk, legal disclaimers are invaluable and, in many places, a legal requirement.
Any legal disclaimers need to be legible, in an easy-to-read font and put in a part of the signature where they’re uninterrupted by any banners or images. They should include: company registration number, registered address and, if required, a VAT number embedded in any corporate emails, as well as a confidentiality header to cover yourself if by chance you send an email to the wrong person.
As well as being legally compliant, it’s key to show off any awards and accolades you or your company hold. Company and individual awards are usually expensive to enter and notoriously difficult to receive. Make sure you get the full benefits of your wins by displaying them to bolster your credibility and trustworthiness as a brand.