Is your email signature losing you money?
So, the routine goes like this. I have a call scheduled with someone I’m looking to do business with and when the time comes for the call, I go to look up their number in the calendar invite. Not there. Ok, I check my CMS. Oh shoot, it’s not there either. I check their business card. Not there either. Odd, ok, let me check the website. Just an “info” email!?!? Ok, surely it’s in the email they sent me. No luck. So, I email them saying “hey can you call me or send me a number to call you”, and they invariably reply: “Sure, what’s your number?”
Well, that’s easy. Mine is on my card, on my website and in every single email I send. Why? Because I want you to reach me. If you can’t reach me, how can we connect, how can we do business… bottom line, how can I make money?
So, to answer my initial question, yes, if you are selling something and your leads can’t reach you when they need to, just because they can’t find your number, you are absolutely losing money!
What makes an effective email signature?
Here are some tips for an effective email signature. I’ll use my email signature as an example.
- Your name
This should be obvious, but I’ve received unsigned emails more than you would imagine. And when someone forwards it, your email address alone may or may not be enough for them to know who you are.
- Your title
If you have one, put it there. As a solo business owner, it’s not crucial but it does help people know who they are dealing with. If you work in a company, definitely include your title.
- Your phone number
Not your VA’s number. Not your 800 number. Your number. I’m talking about an email from YOU personally. Not an autoresponder which has different rules. If you are busy when they call, don’t answer or send it to voice mail. (Oh, but you’re really really busy, like Bill Gates busy? Ok, Mr. Gates, please stop reading this and go cure malaria. That is more important.)
- Your email address
“But they can just hit reply, no?” Not if the email is forwarded as a referral or an introduction, they can’t.
- Your picture (optional)
I go back and forth on this one. I used to think it was weird and “real estate agent-y” to include a photo. But you know why real estate agents do that? So people remember who they are. How many times have you met a Bob or a Laura at an event and then you get an email from them and are like, who the heck is that? I know at least ten Bobs and 17 Lauras. Yeah, we are memorable in our own way, but when you meet dozens or hundreds of people, a little reminder never hurts. So, I’ve recently started including my headshot, and in follow-up emails I’m getting a better response rate. I think it makes me more approachable as well.
- Social links (optional)
I like to make it easy for people to find me on social media. They can learn more about me if they care to and of course they can follow me. Not an absolute requirement but a very nice to have. Choose 2-3 of your best channels, though. Don’t list every single one.
Everything else in my example above is totally optional. Personally, I like to err on the side of including too much rather than too little information. But at least include your full name, title, email and phone number.
See, it’s really really simple to have a good and effective email signature.
Now, if you want to take your email signature to the next level…
Here are some additional tips on email signatures:
- Make your email signature consistent across all platforms.
Your leads don’t care if your email came from your iPhone or not. They really don’t, trust me. More importantly, your branding is not “Sent from my iPhone” or even a funny twist on that. Your branding is YOUR BRANDING. Make it consistent. Remove that standard message and replace it with a proper email signature (see below for how).
- Make sure it’s in text or HTML format, not an image.
“But an image looks SOOOO good and I just paid $$$ to have this cool signature image made!!” Well, that’s great but your leads can’t copy/paste from your cool image to their contact list, nor click to call from your cool image on their phone. Not to mention, images don’t always load in emails – like for us New Yorkers who read emails on the subway or when your lead just has a bad connection or even image loading disabled. (My example above is presented as an image but in the email itself, it is HTML.)
- Include a call to action.
This is totally optional, but there’s no reason you can’t have a “Schedule a 15 minute strategy call”, “Check out my new e-book” or “Grab your free ticket to my event” in your email signature. Just keep it to one though. Don’t put all three.
Aggghh! I don’t know how to do any of this!
Ok, breathe. If you don’t know how to set up your email signature, here are some step-by-step guides on how to do it for common platforms:
And if you just do a quick search for “HTML email signature [name of platform]”, you’ll find any other email platform you might need. Plus, you’ll find tips on adding images, links and custom formatting. Or just post your questions below.
And if you want the HTML of my email signature, I’m happy to send it to you… just email me. 🙂
Is it really that important though?
If you are still not convinced that this is important for your business, maybe this will change your mind.
Literally while I was writing this post someone called me to ask about hiring us for their marketing. We just set up a meeting for Wednesday.
How did they get my phone number? From the signature of a forwarded email.
I’ll be writing about some tips on how to create an effective leads/sales machine using email in future posts, so get ready for that by having your email signature set up first.