Your communication strategy should include as much as possible about how you and the other people in your business communicate about who you are and what you do.
Interestingly, very little attention is paid to the lowly signature but it’s surprising how important it is to get right. There are many who over populate it and then there are others who simply don’t bother. So I thought I’d spend a little time giving you a few ideas on what you can use it for:
- To tell them what your business stands for – a vision statement helps your readers understand where you’re heading;
- You can encourage readers of your email to connect with you using online communication such as social media and websites;
- Inform your readers of what your company is up to i.e. the next event you’ll be hosting or that you’ll be moving to new premises;
- Encourage readers to visit your website based on a catching and compelling ‘hook’ (think 140 characters max);
- Allow readers to find your contact details quickly… you want them to contact you right?
There’s a wealth of information out there on the web about the do’s and don’ts and I have no doubt that you have something that already works in your favour.
Interestingly though, I’d like to share with you two important things I have found out in the last few months:
How to ensure that your signature doesn’t fail when sending a rich text email
Don’t lose all that lovely formatting that you took time working on in HTML and follow these nice easy steps:
1. Open up the ‘Outlook Options’ menu. Hold down the ‘Ctrl’ key and click on ‘Signatures’
2. Here you can access the different formats available for your mail signatures. In the first image below, you’ll see via the preview what your signature will look like in HTML.
In the second image, you’ll be able to see that all your pretty hyperlinks are no longer there and that it’s important to actually type out any important address IN FULL.
Agreed, it’s not as pretty but it’s just as important to get the essentials out there without overloading the page. You’ll see from my ‘date for the diary’ insert that none of the readers can follow up on my news unless I type the link it out in full. In doing so, if it ends up making the whole thing look messy then just take it out!
Mobile e-mail signatures might not send the messages you think.
I have had a few emails sent through to me in the past from colleague’s mobiles/ PDAs and it’s always interested me to see how they adapt what they use on their desktop or laptop into the world of the smaller screen.
If you’re thinking about what you should use, have a look at this article here including the comments. It makes an interesting read!
What I would suggest is ensuring that your readers can reach out to you so at the very least, ensure you include your telephone number.
Susanne Dansey is the Managing Director of Purple Cow Ideas Management – an organisation that facilitates a paradigm shift in the collaborative nature of the ICT Industry. You can follow her on Twitter and join the conversation on Facebook.