Email signatures are a direct representation of both you and your company. If you are a loose light hearted company it may be best to reflect that with an image or a funny quote. However, most businesses reside in the realm of relaxed professional; as such we have the following guidelines for your signatures.
- Must Haves: Name, Company Name, Phone Number, Email Address and Website (if available, if not get one!).
- Optional: Fax, Alternate Phone Number (Cell Phone), Instant Messenger Contact details, Company Logo, and Alternate Email Address
- Advertise – Your signature is a reflection of you and your company. It is also an advertisement that people see every day. How often are your emails forwarded to others that may need your services/product someday? Be sure your common methods of contact are obvious and accurate.
- Accuracy – Double check your email signature for accuracy. Often times we forget when we change addresses to update our signature with the current information.
- Have a separate signature for responses. How many times have you sent an email to someone requesting a simple one word or one line response and when you get it back it has a 10 line signature and a small response to your question? When responding to an email, use the additional feature that allows you to have a separate signature. The person who sent the email obviously already knows how to contact you. Simply include your name and phone number in your response signature.
- McQuary Limit – this is an unwritten rule that your signature should be 4 lines or less; each line containing less than 80 characters. This is more of a guideline rather then a stead fast rule. This limit was imposed before the 90’s as a way for Usenet users to avoid additional bandwidth charges. With increased technology and decreased cost for bandwidth it is more a method to avoid human waste (time) from reading your signature.
- Company Requirements – Many companies have lawyers that get paid far too much money to create pointless rules and guideline. One of the many things they love to do to fill billable hours is to define what a signature should include. In this instance your hands are tied, and the volume of your signature is probably so vast you are embarrassed to hit send. If you are employed by one of these companies you probably are not reading this post because you are too busy reading the newest company memo on sexual harassment and how to use the break room.
- Professional yet Creative – this varies greatly depending on the nature of your business. If you are a dentist, accountant or lawyer understand that people really don’t want to talk with you so keep your signature short, sweet and professional. If you lay bricks for a living, people will be glad to know you have kept your humor knowing you will not be able to bend over in 20 years.
- If you are witty, consider adding your favorite quote: “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds” ~Albert Einstein
- Small Promotional offers – keep it short and sweet, perhaps just a promotional code.
- If you are a brick and mortar store perhaps an image of your store in the signature that could help people recognize your store.
Email signatures are easy to create, and as such they are easy to screw up. Be sure to follow the guidelines above to keep your signature short and sweet, yet affective. Many people have asked what my signature looks like, so for the sake of full disclosure:
Shane O. Angus
Net Solutions North America, LLC.
2801 Meridian Street Ste. 201
Bellingham, WA 98225
888.932.6762 ext 704
888.932.6762 ext 704