Why email signatures are important

Email signatures are most easily compared to clothes. They’re the clothes of email. Kind of.

When you’re at home, you wear something that you’re comfortable with. It represents you, it’s part of your image. It accents your persona.

Your personal email signature is probably pretty similar. It may just be a simple “Cheers” or contain a picture of your whole family plus the in-laws as well as your greatest achievements, but in essence, it serves as a little personal reminder of who you are that is attached to the bottom of every electronic message you send.

In contrast, a business has its employees wear matching uniforms. This conveys confidence, unanimity, and power. Usually the colours and style of the uniform clothing reflects the company’s values and themes. Think: Apple store, and then Apple employee. You’ll recognise the brand without even knowing who the employee is.

Similarly, a business’s email signatures should represent the same values and themes that their uniforms do. It should be consistent, clean, powerful, and representative of the brand image.

So often this is not the case. Henry McIntosh, Marketing Manager at email signature company Crossware, says, “Companies spend $1000′s on building a brand image and one poorly designed or unprofessional email signature can destroy all of that hard work.”

In some instances there are also legal requirements for disclaimers that must be published on forms of electronic communication such as email. Anyone who has had contact with a member of the Armed Forces, a doctor, or persons dealing with sensitive information will have seen the multi-paragraph disclaimers appended below the sender’s name and contact information.

While email signatures are not the most interesting topic of conversation, there is no defying their importance in this age of digital connectivity that we live in. Consider a recent example in the US where a veteran was suspended from his job after including in his email signature, “God bless America.”

So open your email client, look at your email signature, and ask yourself if that little snippet of HTML at the bottom of your message is accurately representing you or your business. When you’re sending an email to someone you don’t know, does it give them a good impression of you?


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