5 Ways to Use Email Signatures as a Marketing Tool

Stephanie Miller – B2C

By 2013, more than 1.9 billion people will use email –remarkably, that’s more than one in every five people on the face of the Earth. Certainly, there isn’t a company in the world that doesn’t use email to communicate with partners, suppliers, customers and prospects.

Even as email is one of the most powerful and ubiquitous one-to-one communication tools, many marketers fail to truly capitalize on the power of email to spread brand messages. Specifically: The lowly signature line.

Consider how many people glance at your signature every week, every month, every year. Couldn’t you put that prime marketing space to better use?

Check out these five ways that you can make your email signature a powerful tool for amplifying your message.

Remedy a Common Mobile Faux Pas

First, here’s a quick tip: Change your iPhone or Blackberry email signature as soon as possible! “Sent from my iPhone” or “Sent from my Blackberry” isn’t the best use of a mobile email signature –and many find it a bit pretentious. Update your Blackberry’s email settings with this guide. iPhone users click here. What should you change it to? Read on for ideas.

Create a Compelling Tagline

You’ve seen movie trailers or posters with a great tagline beneath the title: Fargo: “A lot can happen in the middle of nowhere.” Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “One man’s struggle to take it easy.” Catch Me If You Can: “The true story of a real fake.”

Each of these examples features a compelling play on words and makes the reader want to know more. How can you make your company seem as irresistible as a great movie? What is the “hook” of your service? Think of it as your “ten-second elevator pitch,” but in a single sentence that makes the email recipient want to know more about your company. In addition, the cooler the tag line, the prouder employees will be in using it. Employee adoption is a critical aspect to your success, so keep in mind that your choice has to be something they want to utilize and put their name on.

Add a Social App

Wouldn’t it be great to include your lastest Tweet in your outbound email messages? Especially iff the Tweet had useful information in it, (either to the recipient personally or to his/her company), wouldn’t you feel compelled to engage more with the sender’s community?

These days, social media is integral to virtually all marketing campaigns, so it makes perfect sense to merge your social networks with email, too. It’s hard to imagine an easier way to provide a glimpse into your online presence. Check out services like Wisestamp, which specialize in adding Facebook apps or Twitter feeds to email signatures.

Use a Brief Client Endorsement

There is no better marketing tool than positive feedback from actual customers and clients, so consider adding a testimonial at the close of your email.

The ideal endorsement for an email signature is short, simple and to the point. It mentions the client’s problem and –in as few words as possible –tells how your company fixed it. Testimonials like this highlight your real-world experience in solving problems.

Include a link to your webpage for more testimonials, too.

Try an Email “Wrap”

Email marketing doesn’t have to be limited to your signature line. WrapMail adds a “wrap” to your message so you can feature company logos, links, a call to action, or virtually anything else you can think of. It’s an email template system that attaches a dynamic, interactive and trackable letterhead to the regular emails we all send every day. Use such aggressive marketing carefully. For people who receive messages from you often, this could get cumbersome or potentially annoying.

To conclude, let me offer a few words of caution: Pick one or two of these ideas that you think best represents you or your company –perhaps a Twitter plug-in and a client endorsement to show the value you place on community or a catchy, movie-inspired tagline that crafts an air of fascination combined with an engaging call to action. Never turn people off by giving them too much. Instead, offer just enough so your email recipients want to engage further.

Whatever you choose, be sure to change the signature often. Just like any billboard, a refresh will provide a new boost of interest and remarkability.

With a few quick updates, you can start optimizing this powerful (and too often overlooked) one-to-one marketing communication tool.

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3 comments on “5 Ways to Use Email Signatures as a Marketing Tool

  1. I agree that email signatures are an often underutilized opportunity for marketing. I’ve had a lot of success with a well structured signature that provides all of your information in a clear and non-overwhelming way.

  2. In this competitive business world, I have found that adding my logo, and my picture to my email signature connects me with people on a more personal level. However, dont go over the top with huge logo’s or pictures that are going to take away from your message. Keep it simple!

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