One of the most important and often overlooked methods of promoting your online business or service is your email signature file (sometimes called a “sig”). There are two types of signature files, one is the more simple one at the close of each email, the other might be attached to writing or discussion group posts, etc., and is sometimes called a byline.
Regardless of the usage, having an effectively written signature can make the difference in higher sales, more networking contacts, and more prosperity for you today! Using the following as a guide, to build a signature file that will help you meet your needs, and reach your goals.
1. Your Name and the Name of Your Business. You cannot build your brand or name recognition without it. No one would forget to include this, right?
2. Your email address. If you have written compelling content, people will want to contact you. Having your email address immediately available (and clickable) is the best means to satisfy the need to “do it now”. Since some email clients don’t recognize and hotlink email addresses, consider putting the mailto: in front of your address. This ensures your address is a hyperlink (i.e. mail to kevin@d…)
3. Your Web Address. People will be enticed to take action immediately if the information is readily accessible, and as your email address, being an active link is always the best. Don’t forget your URL! While it may be best to send them to the home page, the content of your writing may suggest you send them to a specific page. If so, use that address in your signature file.
4. Phone Number. Email is great, and the web is nice, but people often like to connect with you at a different level. Make sure they have the information so they can! If you have a toll free number, consider adding it (and letting people know that it is toll free). If your toll-free number but is only available in your home country, either leave it out or note where it will work. Remember your fax number too!
5. Statement of Mission or Purpose. If your business has a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) include it here. This is a short sentence that differentiates you from others in your business. If you don’t have a USP yet (create one!), include a descriptive tagline about you and your business.
6. A Reason why they should contact you now. If you have written an effective article or post, suggest an additional resource you could provide to them, or a way you could help them. Make sure they know how to quickly request this additional help.
7. Ways to Read More. If you produce an ezine, let people know that it exists and how to subscribe. Again, make it easy with a hyperlinked email address (see number two above) or a URL to subscribe from the web.
Overall, while there are no hard and fast rules regarding your signature file, there are some guidelines. Your “sig” in your everyday emails might be shorter – not containing each of the items above, while signs for your article or posts may be longer. Use your good judgment, use this list of guidelines, and experiment to find what works best for you.