Your email signature is your digital business card, something that represents you with every communication you send. It’s the last thing a client or contact reads, and the last chance to leave that good first impression.
There are two types: the one sent from your smartphone and the one sent from your email program. Following are some tips on signing off your emails, whether from your mobile phone or your desktop.
Smart Smartphone Signoffs
These convey to the world that you are reaching them remotely. The ubiquitous one, of course, is “sent from my iPhone.” But then there are the longer ones, of which one of the most egregious is “Sent from my HTC One X, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone” signature.
Did you know you can change the default or remove it altogether? Does anyone need to know what device you used to send your email, particularly when you are communicating over and over?
Another option is to personalize it: take the automatic signature and make it better.
“Please excuse typos; sent from my iPhone.” Or the less professional, but pretty clever: “Sloppily sent from my iPhone.” Or the almost-too-cool: “Sent from my iPhone. Because I’m cool.”
Email Signatures on Your ISP
Though the world is changing and smartphones are becoming more ever-present, the majority of business communication still takes place through a regular email account.
So consider your email signature your brand identity. Thus, it should include contact information such as:
- Twitter handle
The tricky part is what comes before the contact information. You’ve probably seen all types of these from the simple “Best,” to the not-always-appropriate “Thanks” (maybe they have no reason to thank you?) to the not-quite-professional “Cheers” to the possibly over-familiar “Warmly.”
While all of these seem great the first time, and maybe even the fifth time, if it’s someone you correspond with regularly, they can wear out their welcome.
For example, “Warmly” seems thoughtful the first time, but seems cloying the 20th time.
Same with the quote that many people add to their signature. “Soar with the eagles” or “Don’t let the turkeys get you down”…unnecessary, not terribly professional and, let’s face it..annoying.
As with most things in life, your best bet is to keep it simple.
A sign-off with just your name and contact number? Always appropriate, and easily embellished with any of the above on a case-by-case basis.
A few more pointers:
- Beware images. They don’t always show up well and might even be captured as spam.
- Watch the confidentiality clauses. Though potentially mandated by your firm, the longer they are, the less likely they are to be read.
- Be careful of font size and color. Some are easier to read than others.
- Send yourself an email to test the signature. Read it on via smartphone, tablet, webmail and regular mail to see how it looks in all those iterations.
Consider your automatic email signature as just one more way you can portray a polished persona in the workplace.
by Cathie Ericson