Email signatures leaving a lasting impression, and this one leaves a bad one

This email signature (modeled after an actual email we received) errs on the side of overkill.

Like us, you probably see a wide range of email signatures. On the wallflower end of the spectrum is plain text, just the basics: name, company, phone number. On the shameless exhibitionist end of the spectrum is a signature the size of a dinner plate heaped high with logos, icons, award badges, links, “buy my stuff” ad copy, extraneous information and bragging.

As a professional, you want to leave a positive last impression with every email you send. So what’s appropriate? As with so many things, it is best to avoid either extreme and seek the middle ground.

The main job of an email signature is to tell the recipient who you are and the best way to contact you. Done well, it can also convey your professional status and provide a subtle promotion for your business.

Most email signatures are created within the mail program you use, such as Apple Mail or Outlook. Unfortunately, those programs lack the ability to embed an icon, photo or other visual element, forcing you to attach each graphic as a separate file. This is not only messy, it is a magnet for spam filters suspicious of multiple attachments.

Happily, there are new third-party alternatives that enable you to create an email signature with embedded visual elements. We like because it provides an intuitive, do-it-yourself interface with many template options.

Here are some tips on leaving a positive last impression with your email signature.

Must-haves for your end-of-email tag:

  • Your full name and professional title
  • Your company’s name
  • Your company’s website URL as a link
  • Your office phone number
  • Your professional cell phone number if you are often out of the office

Some other things you might also include:

  • Your company’s address if you want traffic to your physical location
  • Links to your company’s primary social media outlets
  • A link to your LinkedIn profile
  • Your company’s tagline
  • Your email address, though the recipient will already see it at the top

Don’t include:

  • Links to personal social media pages (potentially embarrassing)
  • Twelve ways to get hold of you (too much contact information is confusing and unnecessary)
  • Emoticons (cheesy)
  • An ad for your company (offensive)
  • A quote from your favorite poet, song, book, movie (sappy, silly or both)

Need help with writing or editing content for your website, blog, email newsletter or brochure? Call Kim Landry at 484-829-0021 or email [email protected].

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