We’re bombarded with email. It’s fast, it’s a distraction. Does your email signature really matter?
Emails interrupt, but they also connect. They focus us. They bond us. We use them for powerful, direct communication. We use them for nurturing leads, we use them to sell. Research from Campaign Monitor shows that email marketing produces 174% more conversions than social media.
It makes sense to end on a high in your emails, don’t you think? To put some effort into your email signature, to wow them with your best self.
In this blog, I want to take a look at how we can make our email signatures better (and by that, I mostly mean less boring!)
In the deep depths of everything we can do to improve our marketing, putting a little time into optimising your email signature is a relatively simple tweak to make.
It can be a ‘fire and forget’ marketing tactic, unlike pretty much everything else in the marketing world. You can put this on your list and tick it off. #satisfying.
Why are email signatures important?
1. Your email may be the 1st touch point with a prospect/lead
These people may not know anything about you, and relationship building is so very important in that instance. Those newbies can learn about you from your email signature. At its basic level, that could be by showcasing your face in a professional/creative portrait.
If you really want to share something of yourself (and I recommend it!) I’ve collated lots of ideas for what else you could include further down the blog… Keep on reading.
Email signatures can drive website traffic
Simple, huh, but often very overlooked! Are you linking to your website in your signature? Do it!
2. Your email signature is an opportunity to gently sell
You can use your signature to offer something specific - how about sending them direct to an offer? More on that later...
Email signatures link people up with your social media accounts
Add those links to connect with you/your biz on online platforms. You can make this look nicer by including logos of the platforms, which people will recognise instantly - allowing you to keep the word count down in your email signature.
Some of the best email signatures I’ve seen are simple, they tell you everything you need to know whilst being straight to the point, they show some personality, and they’re not boring!
Let me show you how to Wow with your email signature. Here’s the how-to…
Doing business face-to-face is 34 times more successful than by email. (Harvard Business Review) so let’s show our faces more in our emails. Adding a professional or creative image of yourself into your signature will encourage trust and realness.
Don’t want your face so heavily out there to everyone? Insight curiosity by saying ‘Want to see my picture? Click here’ which sends people to an ‘about me’ style page on site. Ooo mysterious!
One word of warning here about including a photo of yourself in your email signature - I recommend you switch off the setting which adds your signature to all of your replies in a thread, and to be honest - creates an annoying pileup at the bottom of your email threads.
Ideally, you want to show your email signature above the quoted text, i.e. just one time, at the bottom of the most recent message in an email thread.
Gmail Settings > General > Signature, see the check box next to ‘Insert this signature before quoted text in replies and remove the “–” line that precedes it'.
Check that box! (and hit save)
People want to see your face, but not THAT much, not 12 times in an email thread. Like one of those rooms of mirrors you get at a funfare...
Or like you’re alone in one of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms.
One bonus thing - make that image of yourself clickable. And when they click, send them to either your main website, or the ‘about’ page of it.
Illustrate yourself for your email signature
Not keen on including a photograph of yourself? You could include an illustrated version of yourself. (Obviously you’ll need to be industry-appropriate!) Here’s a few ways to do that:
And a final idea - how about commissioning someone to make it? There are loads of options for portrait illustrations on Fiverr.
Show your awards...
Have you won any awards? Add an image of your award wins > send people to your awards page
Have you written a book? - Add an image of your book > send people to buy the book
Have you done something you want to show off? This is your space to boast!
Email signatures are personality transmitters
If you really want to build a relationship and engage the people you’re emailing, don’t shy away from showing yourself to the world, your list, your people. It’s a really engaging thing to do, it’ll make you more human, and more 3D in people’s minds.
Here are a couple of ideas for how you could be sharing more of yourself… I’ve put thee examples together so you can see what they could look like and how they could be worded.
Idea 1: Create a ‘What I’m loving at the moment’ Google doc, which you regularly update. Films, books, ideas, quotes, cat videos… Whatever it is, be genuine and real. Share the link to it in your email signature, just like this:
Idea 2: Do the above, but industry-focussed. What about a doc or landing page on your site which contains a list of ‘The last 3 nutrition books I read’ if you’re a dietitian? Here are some other examples:
Link to your socials
Your email signature should show your communication preferences, the ways you like to connect. Don’t be tempted to put ALL your socials/ your biz’s socials on there. This is prime real estate!
If you love speaking on the phone, have a ‘call me’ prompt.
If you’re a big tweeter, focus on sending people there.
Take the marketing opportunity by the horns
As I mentioned at the start of this blog, your email signature is a great place to add a sales message or a push to your content. What’s your call to action? Here’s a few which I’ve seen:
Oh! And remember - if you have non-evergreen content and links, it will need to be kept updated. Put the task in your calendar and make it part of your routine.
Plus, consider if the CTA in an email signature would look better as an image rather than text. Though please don’t be too pushy and/or salesy with it! A nice little image linking to a blog post works here... Canva has a GIF maker feature, look what I quickly churned out:
Formatting - How do you make a good looking email signature in Gmail?
An Important Gmail Signature hack
In Gmail, there’s a small amount of formatting options within the signature settings. It’s a bit frustrating.
No fear, there is a workaround… I’ll show you how to format your signature in Gmail:
1. Create a new google doc
2. Add a table: 1 row, 2 columns. Make the left column narrower then the right, ie:
3. Left column: leave blank. This is where your image will go
4. Right column: Paste/type in the info you want. Change font, colour, size - use all the formatting options.
5. Right click on table > properties > change border to 0pt
6. Copy the whole table
7. Go to Gmail > settings > signature
8. Paste in the table you just made - it should keep all the formatting from the G doc, along with all the fonts and sizes, woop!
9. Add your image now, or business logo if you’re feeling shy.
11. Test your new signature - on different browsers and on mobile too
Last of all, and a pre-warning, there is likely to be some tweaks to make. Stick with it, just get the damn thing spot on. Then you’ll be as happy as this guy:
Note: Yes yes, there are some options here for online signature makers - and it’s something else heavily offered on Fiverr.com. But it is *quite* straightforward to do it yourself too.
Now it’s time to Wow with your email signature
I hope I’ve given you some ideas for creating a lasting last impression with your email signature. Remember - it’s that final touch point of an email, and there is a real opportunity here to add to your interaction in a positive way.
Go forth and wow.
Let’s make the most of your email signature.
Just one last thing, signature-wowers, I know I mentioned that email signature optimisation could be a ’fire and forget’ tactic, but if you’re looking for something a little more dynamic, you could set a monthly task to update it with a new piece of content, dangled temptingly.
For some more strategies to engage with your marketing, take a look at our Engage playbook. I mean, why wouldn’t you? It’s free and contains super powerful strategies. Hit the button to get the download: