Email is a highly effective marketing tool, but one piece of the puzzle is often missing: an optimized email signature. Like a call to action at the end of a blog post, a strategic email signature can make a lasting impression on your contacts.
Ending a B2B marketing email with a concise phrase such as “sincerely,” “regards” or “best wishes” may seem like necessary professionalisms, but these tried-and-true sign-offs are actually inefficient uses of valuable email real estate.
Optimize your business comms with graphics, interactive elements and engaging copy, instead.
How is email signature marketing used to promote brand awareness?
Email signatures are a commonly untapped brand marketing tool because they are hidden in plain sight. According to technology market research firm The Radicati Group, the average office worker sends and receives 121 emails per day. This figure is corroborated by a survey from Carleton University, which found that the average employee spends 11.7 hours per week processing email at work, plus another 5.3 hours at home.
Like the lampposts you zip by without noticing, email signatures tend to fade into a dull blur the more you encounter them. That is, however, until you come across one designed specifically to grab and engage your attention.
Unique to email signature marketing is its cost compared to other marketing channels. Outside the work that goes into building the actual signature, you don’t have to pay anything to distribute your campaign. After all, your employees are already sending an average of 36 emails per day, according to Radicati Group. Even taking into account internal communications, that’s a significant number of potential new leads. This activity is already happening, and the opportunity is simply waiting to be leveraged.
Email signature marketing is easy to adapt to a number of sales goals. In addition to lead generation, this strategy can support content download goals, increase page visits, promote an event, encourage social media engagement and much more.
What goes into a great email signature?
The content that goes into your email signature will depend on your marketing goal. Generally, your signature will include some kind of contact information, such as a phone number or website. However, even this isn’t completely necessary, because your contact can hit the reply button if he or she wants to get in touch. The one consistent piece of your signature is the most obvious part: your name, typically followed by your job title.
Beyond that, let your marketing goal guide the construction of your signature. For example, if you want to increase site visits, include a link to your homepage. Here are a few more ideas of content to include in your signature:
- Social media links.
- Alternative email address.
- A link to your blog.
- Your phone number.
- Embedded videos.
- Product demo call to action.
- Case study, eBook or white paper download.
- Discount codes.
- Event information.
- Customer testimonials.
- App store links.
These elements can be implemented as text, banner graphics, interactive buttons or a combination of all three. As with any other piece of content you distribute, your email signature should follow your organization’s branding guidelines. Utilizing a consistent color scheme creates visual cohesion and contributes to the professional look of your communications. Additionally, you can leverage design principles and tested taglines to enhance the ability of your signature to engage your reader.
As a branding tool, think of your email signature as the perfect accessory to a tailored outfit. It enhances the hard work already accomplished by your subject line and body copy. Every successful email campaign follows a strategic roadmap that increases the opportunities for achieving a desired goal.
For example, let’s say the goal of your email is to tell prospects about your free service demo. The subject line of the email gets readers to click, the body copy tells a branded story about the service and a closing CTA encourages the reader to sign up for the demo. You could then utilize a colorful email signature to direct the reader to an eBook download on a topic related to your service. In this scenario, the email does double the work: engages prospects deeper in the sales funnel with the prospect of a demo, and engages prospects further up the funnel with more content.
How do you build a branded email signature?
You can create an engaging email signature on your own, with the help of a consultant or through automated templates online, such as those provided by WiseStamp, MySignature, and NewOldStamp. Whatever method you choose, take the time to consider how it will aid your marketing campaign. You may need to swap out your signature frequently if you work in sales, or less frequently if your business goals remain static throughout the year.
One way to create an elegant-looking signature is to style it with html code. However, you should avoid using a lot of complicated code, as some email clients will not process it all. Likewise, many clients block external CSS files – code that visually styles the text – so all CSS description rules should be placed inside every html container to ensure they display properly.
Your email signature should always be optimized for display on mobile devices. Approximately 55 percent of all email is opened in a mobile client. Because signatures cannot hold dynamic CSS, they will not adapt to screen sizes. An email client may scale images, but dependence on the client for optimized styling is a risk. Instead, use smaller imagery, break down text into shorter lines and use thinner columns. Always test your signatures on a smartphone before you deploy a campaign.
How do you automate and scale an email signature marketing campaign?
Scaling an email signature marketing campaign can be a greater challenge than it appears on the surface. A single entrepreneur can change his or her signature in a few minutes – but the same cannot be said for an organization with multiple departments, each with unique, evolving sales goals.
To automate the process of generating email signatures, consider software solutions such as Sigstr or WiseStamp. These are two of a plethora of services which can automate signature generation based on content performance, upsell opportunities and recipient geography. These solutions use content management systems and automated routines to deploy tailored signatures complete with graphics, dynamic copy and location-based targeting and compliance measures.
For organizations just beginning to scale, online templates make it easier to generate professional-looking signatures with a low resource cost. A quick search will find a large number of sites offering semi-tailored signatures for free.
Now that you have a better understanding of the nuances of email signature marketing, learn from some of the best B2B brands that have successfully implemented the strategy.
5 cool email signature examples
Here are five examples of awesome email signatures that can engage your target readers:
1. eBook download
This example accomplishes several goals at once: it provides the contact information of the sender, links to his or her social media pages and provides a clickable banner, which could direct the reader to an eBook download. This signature would be perfect for a sales or marketing person who wishes to provide an extra action point in every email he or she sends. Depending on the goals of the organization, this banner could be swapped out dynamically using a software service.
By integrating a link-tracking solution, marketing stakeholders can track how many eBook downloads come from this channel, providing key insights into how the email marketing campaign supports broader goals. Also note how this example utilizes short line breaks and a 1:1 aspect ratio, which will make it adapt easily to desktop and mobile contexts.
2. Product information
This example closely resembles a business card. It features a profile picture of the sender, contact details and social media links. Below this data are two links to the sender’s portfolio. This design is ideal for freelancers who sell their services to businesses. With a few minor tweaks, it could also work well for a salesperson who wants to provide links to product landing pages.
At the end of an email, this signature serves as a final CTA. It supports the body copy by providing the reader with an option to learn more – to click on the portfolio links and see first-hand what the sender can provide. Likewise, its use of a consistent color palette demonstrates attention to detail and brand cohesion.
3. Increase blog traffic
Though similar to the previous example, this email signature utilizes the bottom space to provide a link to a blog page. Here, the recipient sees the title of the latest blog post, something they may not otherwise encounter. The blog title does a lot of work here: it shows the recipient that the sender is a thought leader, drives qualified leads to the blog and piques the interest of reader with a topic that is related to his or her business. In a B2B context, this signature supports a larger content marketing campaign.
The layout of this signature is simple, but that’s not necessarily a point against it. With fewer distracting visuals, the reader’s eye is immediately drawn to the blog CTA.
4. Event marketing
Email signatures are perfect for marketing an event, because it’s likely that the email will be read before the event takes place. When you embed an event-based banner in a blog post, there’s a good chance someone will find it well after the event has happened. In this case, the email delivers a timely invitation – without the invitation being the primary objective of the message. For example, the email could contain copy about a product, and the signature could encourage readers to come see the product in person.
When the event has passed, the banner can be removed from this signature without taking away any functionality. The contact information, brand logo and social media icons remain. Alternatively, the banner could be swapped with another campaign.
5. App downloads
This example combines the classic business card look with valuable functionality. Providing app store links within a signature increases the number of opportunities for readers to check out the service. This strategy could work very well for startups or other agile organizations that need to consistently increase their user base as they achieve scale. Every communication becomes a conversion opportunity.
With an email signature marketing strategy, it’s easy to increase the number of opportunities to reach your target readers. Stop wasting this valuable email real estate!