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Email Signatures for Dummies

Get the lowdown on how to make the most of your professional email signatures in our exclusive Dummies eBook.

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Email is a critical communications mechanism for every business on the planet. Some businesses even go as far as talking to their customers only through email. But your customers are just some of the people who see your emails.

Colleagues, suppliers, and partners also receive emails from you but — perhaps more importantly — so do potential colleagues, potential suppliers, potential partners, and potential customers. All are important people in your business life and you probably send them a lot of emails, so it makes sense to consider the business emails that you send as marketing opportunities. Email signatures offer you a way to seize those opportunities.

About this book

This book explains why email signatures are a great way for you to maximize your social reach when marketing, to extend your brand to email communication, and to realize the full potential of marketing campaigns and promotions. We serve up a variety of case studies and signature examples to illustrate what works — and what doesn’t.

Foolish assumptions

In writing this book, we’ve made some assumptions about your knowledge of email signatures, why you might be interested in this book, and what you want to get out of it. We assume that:

  • You use email in a corporate setting.

  • You’re passionate about branding, social media, or promotions.

  • You like to keep up with emerging trends in marketing.

Seeing email signatures as a communications channel

Email signatures as a communications tool possess all the traits of a staple marketing channel. So that’s why, in this chapter, we present signatures as a comprehensive communications channel.

To start you off on the subject, we explore just what email signatures are, and their relevance in the corporate (not direct marketing) arena. Then we take a look at the many positive attributes of the email signature channel, from targeted and controlled to valued and trusted, so you can see for yourself the power of this channel.

Finally, we introduce you to the 8Cs framework, the foundation for building email signatures and the subject of the subsequent eight chapters.

Defining email signatures

You could think of an email signature as being rather like a modern-day, digital business card. First and foremost, an email signature tells people who they’re dealing with. At its most basic, an email signature includes personal information such as your job title, department, and maybe your phone number and email address. However, you can take things further and transform a basic email signature into a new marketing communications channel for your business by including your company logo, brand elements, promotional banners, advertising slogans, social links and content, or any other such marketing devices.

You can also put email signatures to effective use as an internal communications channel. Marketers instinctively think of external markets, but in large organizations, emails are often sent between coworkers, so considering the role that signatures can play in these internal emails is important. Maybe you take internal marketing just as seriously as you take external marketing. Maybe you see your colleagues as customers. Maybe you have direct responsibilities in that area. Maybe you work in HR, and corporate communications are a big part of what you do. Email signatures have a lot of potential for internal emailing, and in many cases, that potential has yet to be properly tapped into.

Email signatures, then, aren’t just business cards for the digital age. They can be an independent and valuable communications channel.

Focusing on the corporate email, not the direct marketing email

Direct mail is a great communications mechanism in the right hands, and we’re pretty sure you have experience of it — either as giver or receiver, or even both. But direct mail isn’t the topic of this book.

The email signatures we’re talking about in this book are for your corporate email. That’s every email sent out of your corporate email server — the hundreds and thousands (and sometimes millions) of emails that your people send out every day in the normal course of their work. Those emails have value to the recipient:

  • They contain critical business information

  • The recipient trusts the sender

  • The recipient either already has a relationship or is in the process of building one with the sender

Generally, corporate emails are peer-to-peer — one of your guys sends an email to one of their guys. Maybe one of your guys sends an email to one of your own guys, or several of your own guys or several of theirs. Corporate emails can also include those sent to customers from automated sources, such as your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Email signatures can add value to these emails, too.

Read the rest of our comprehensive Dummies guide by filling in the form opposite.

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