How many times have you received an email and realized you really needed to call the sender, visit their website or remember what company they represent?
- you needed to set the record straight on an issue.
- you had questions they hadn’t answered.
- there were facts in play that should be discussed more privately than email.
- the situation needed to be resolved quickly and waiting for email wasn’t an option.
Just a few steps can make working with you simpler, faster and more convenient for your customers (and everyone else)!
Thinking back I’m sure you have experienced the need to get beyond email. You pick up the phone and then realize you have no idea how to get in touch with the sender.
Expectantly you glance down at the bottom of the email only to find:
- a happy face
- ‘Sent from Outlook Mobile’
- ‘Sent from my iPhone’
- ‘please consider the environment before printing this email’
Nice but not very helpful in calling the sender.
Save your customers and contacts aggravation with a simple, text only signature in your email.
Here’s your minimum viable signature:
- Name as you like to be addressed – for example a lot of my business information is listed as Stephen but my personal email signature is Steve. Doing this gives the recipient confidence in how they should address you, this can be especially helpful when dealing with contacts that don’t speak your native language or may be unfamiliar with the naming and salutation conventions of your region.
- Title – this helps customers ensure they are contacting the best person to solve their issue.
- Email address (yes I know it’s in the email header work with me here)
- Phone number(s) where you can be reached. I don’t recommend putting down a general phone number that you will not answer or at which you are not available.
- Website address
Want to really help out? Add:
- Fax number – do you still have a fax? You never know someone might care.
- Physical address
- Logo – adding your logo provides an additional branding opportunity but also acts as a quick mental cue that helps the reader easily process who you are, the company you represent and the relationship they have with you.
You might consider:
Add something like this if you regularly handle sensitive customer, vendor or employee data or intellectual property information. Get an attorney (i.e. not me) to write the final version for you!
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This communication with its contents may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information. It is solely for the use of the intended recipient(s). Unauthorized interception, review, use or disclosure is prohibited and may violate applicable laws including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender and destroy all copies of the communication.
What about social media links?
Yeah… I’m not going to get into depth on social media here but what I’ll say is that you should consider limiting your social links to your most active social media environment. If you have G+, FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Periscope and Pinterest accounts, decide which one you use the most regularly and add only that one to your email signature. Too many choices will result in no action on the part of your recipient.
But why bother?
It boils down to respect. If you take a few minutes one time to make your contact information easily accessible, you respect the time of others who don’t need to look up the information elsewhere. For customers, this reduces the friction of doing business with you. Sometimes just being able to contact someone will make a sale vs. a competitor your customer couldn’t reach.
Another great benefit is that having a well rounded email signature provides your contacts one place to get the information to add them to their contact database. This is exactly why I recommend including your email address, website and physical address.
A customer’s speed dial is a great place to be!
I am a believer in email signatures that provide valuable contact information. However, your email signature is not a resume. Pretentious add ins like your level of education, extra-curricular activities (president of the Rotary); quotes from your favorite artist or some statement of personal philosophy are not helpful and can be off-putting.
Make the very next person you email just a little happier by adding or updating a valuable contact signature. It really only takes a few minutes.
What’s in your email signature? Did I forget something? Agree? Disagree?
Leave a comment and share how you use email signatures in your business!
Break time’s over… it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work!
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