Day in and day out you have the opportunity to make an impression on numerous clients, prospects, friends, colleagues, influencers, and partners in a powerful and effective way. Yet, many advisors are missing out on leveraging the most frequent communication and branding vehicle you use in a single day: your email signature.
Have you put your signature to work for you yet? It may be the easiest hire you’ve ever made.
Here are the four “Ls” you can use to improve your email signature and build your brand and your business:
Let’s face it, often times the signature is longer than the actual message. Do you really need everything? There is no need to tell your whole story or give every possible way to access you in a signature. Best practice is to keep the contact choices limited to three options at a maximum, and call out the best way to reach you. Although it seems redundant, include your email address. This way the recipient can save you as a contact or a forwarded email keeps your contact information easy to find.
On the other hand, many signatures are so brief with simply a person’s name and phone number that you wonder if the message is spam or just unprofessional. Provide legitimacy to the signature and include your title and your company name along with your name, phone and email.
Many advisors need a legal disclaimer in your email. Keep it as brief as feasible (or include a web link to it, if permitted). An often overlooked step is spell checking the disclaimer. If you do not, any time your recipient spellchecks their response, your mistakes will be highlighted every time. Annoying for your recipient and certainly not reinforcing high quality and attention to detail on your part.
Because your recipients will access email from many different devices, keep the signature easy to read, with no more than two fonts and colors. Be sure to use the universally accepted fonts like Arial or Times New Roman so they render properly and stay legible. Keep font large enough to read and use colors within the palette of your brand.
Cramming a photo, a logo, and social media icons into your email signature may be eye-catching, but it can lead to a negative recipient experience. Photos often have longer load times and logos frequently arrive as attachments. This can be confusing and highly annoying to the reader.
If you insist on visually wowing through your signature, create an html version of your signature, which can minimize any issues. You can do it yourself or go to fiverr.com to get your signature created inexpensively. Send tests to various email platforms so you can check what the recipient will see.
You have the reader’s attention, so be sure to give a specific directive that reinforces your target audience or your expertise. This means you want to showcase your free report or the next event you’re hosting. Call out your target client through the title of the report, the name of your event, or through a short tagline in your signature block. Make it crystal clear whom you want to attract. Family, friends and colleagues often forward emails, giving you the perfect platform to share more about what you do. Make sure you update and change the signature “call out” every 4-6 weeks so you catch the attention of readers and keep it fresh.
One more consideration for larger firms
Finally, nothing says “scattered” like 4 or 5 different email signature formats for one company. For firms with more than one person, the email signature is an easy way to reinforce your brand and unify your message. If you have more than one person at your firm, it’s time to establish a signature template. Create your own or use a service such as wisestamp. Use one format that aligns with your brand standards for all employees to use.
Your email signature may “speak” with more people than any other communication channel you have. Make sure it is working for you.
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