An email signature file is a short paragraph of text like a virtual business card or ad, put at the end of your email messages or any articles that you write (in the latter case usually known as a Resource Box). It should be about 5 or 6 lines long and contain your contact details with a brief summary of what you or your company offers.
Although these days often referred to as “email signatures,” your signature file can actually be used in other places besides email; such as forums, newsgroups and even blog comments.
Email Signature files are the best free advertising available anywhere on the Internet and can be a very powerful tool if used correctly.
Imagine how many views your 6 line ad will get if it goes out on every single email you send over the next year. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Whenever you post to an email list or forum, thousands of people will read your signature file. If you’ve written something interesting, there’s a good chance that many of them will click on your link to find out more about you. Which brings us to how to create your email signature.
It should contain:
- Your name
- Your company name
- Your web site URL
- Your email (or auto-responder) address
- A a short message advertising your web site, product or service.
- For email only, also consider adding your phone number.
Even though when sending email your address can be found in the from line, many people want to add you immediately to their contacts, so make it easy for them by putting your email address in your signature.
Also, remember to include the full URL with the ‘https://’ bit and start your email address with ‘mailto:’
That’s because online and in most email programs links are ‘”clickable”, but only if written out in the full form. You’ll loose many potential visitors or enquiries if you force people to copy, paste and (in the case of an URL) add the missing information at the beginning.
Don’t create long signature files. Many people will take offense at a lengthy and blatant attempt to make money from your signature (bad netiquette!). Some may also refuse you public postings. Make it short and to the point, aiming for a maximum of 6 lines, and never more than 8.
If you need more room for marketing punch – this is your ad, remember 😉 – drop your company name, don’t increase the overall length!
In addition keep your signature file within 65 characters wide as this the maximum viewing width of some e-mail clients. If it’s wider than this it may “break” onto the next line, which looks messy and takes up more space.
You should end up with something like this:
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Got a free offer?
Your signature file is a great place to advertise it.
Just think of how many visitors you could get from an attractive free offer advertised at the end of your posting to a list with 10,000 subscribers!
Create several different versions of your signature files using alternative wording and for promoting different products. Use these to increase relevancy to the place in which you’re posting.
To aid in learning the effectiveness of your marketing efforts use tracking links in your ads whenever appropriate, but try to avoid making them look like affiliate links, as that will reduce clickthroughs. You can also use different email addresses or aliases that correspond to the locations in which your file appears.
Use your email signature file all the time in all the mail you send, including messages from your auto-responders (advertise a different, yet related product/service to that for which the automatic reply is generated). You should also use your email signature file when posting to email discussion groups, and create a signature file in all the forums you post to.