Emails are the primary method of communication between businesses in an increasingly fast-paced and international environment. Email signatures are seen every time you or a staff member communicates with clients and partners. They're often an afterthought, but this attitude is a big mistake.
1. Be consistent
Gone are the days when emails were written on one desktop PC. Most of us now communicate using a mixture of laptops, tablets, smartphones and even watches. This means that our emails are being sent out from several devices - often a mixture of PC, Mac, Android or iOS - and this can lead to inconsistency.
When it comes to building a brand, or just looking professional, consistency is key. Your recipients want to know that they can scroll back to any email from you or your team members and get the necessary information (see tip 2). Your brand will benefit from a solid identity - an email sent from a smartphone will look far more ‘official’ if it comes with your standard signature.
That’s why experts are recommending that signatures are moved to the cloud and are created, stored and edited in one place. With the right software, the email signatures can then be included on messages from any device. This is particularly handy if you're coordinating several email accounts - good software will include the capability to manage them centrally.
There are several such applications, but we’re particularly impressed by Exclaimer for Microsoft Office 365. It appears to have the widest range of features (see below) and it’s compatible with every device we’ve tested it with, including smartphones, tablets and Macs.
2. Be Informative & Compliant
There is nothing more frustrating than an email signature with vital information missing. It will irritate recipients and cool down hot leads. At the very least, your company’s email signatures need to include:
- Email addresses (yes, even though the message is coming from the email address)
- Your company website (clickable)
- Phone numbers
- A fax number (if you’ve got one)
- A postal address
If your business is a private limited company (LTD), a public limited company (PLC) or a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), you are required by law to also include:
- Your company name and registration number
- Your place of registration
- Your registered office address
Optional extras include:
- Clickable social media icons (this is BARELY optional these days, but some companies still go without)
- Images of any awards your company has won in the last couple of years
- Important company news
- Current promotions
3. Showcase Your Brand
As we mentioned earlier, email is probably the most used method of communication, and thus, is the perfect medium to showcase your brand.
Whether you use your email signature to remind your customers of your awards and accreditation to showcase your skill and knowledge within your industry or use the area to promote your upcoming events or offers, this is your chance to showcase your brand's individual character.
Highly customisable signature software is important: ideally one that includes options for a time & date range. Realistically, most of us can forget to update our signatures when a campaign is over, and it doesn’t look great to clients or partners.
On the other side of the coin, you also need information. Dedicated URLs that track clicks are ideal for promotional links and banners.
These points all tie into the importance of moving your company’s email signatures to the cloud. Being able to centrally control and update information is the only reliable way of keeping it accurate. All of the features above are accessible through Exclaimer for Office 365.
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