What's in an Email Signature
I was filing away a bunch of older emails today when I realized - no two email signatures are the same. Yes, this is a somewhat obvious statement, but what's the reason that email signatures are different. Do they achieve different goals? Do they serve different purposes? I saved some of the email signature styles I found in my inbox as I was cleaning today. Let's break down the anatomy of an email signature and find the benefits of each style:
FIRST DIFFERENTIATOR: Above or Below the Chain
Here, we're looking at pure email settings. What's the benefit of forcing your email signature to show up at the top of the email chain vs at the bottom. Have you ever scrolled through an email chain to find that the bottom half of the email is all signatures? The benefits to keeping your email signature above the chain include:
- An opportunity to remind email recipients of your business hours every time you send an email (this is particularly useful in service-based industries).
- An opportunity to add some stylistic flair to an email (this is useful if you have a unique or colorful logo)
- Quick access for clients to your contact information.
An example of a creative professional that does this well would be Pure Luxe Bride:
SECOND DIFFERENTIATOR: Logo vs. No Logo
Sometimes, your logo is styled or designed in a way that you can create a similar visual without including your logo in your email signature. This can be useful if you prefer a more minimalist or condensed look or if you're just interested in streamlining things. An example of a creative professional that does this well would be Anouk Jewelry:
THIRD DIFFERENTIATOR: Call to Action vs Contact Info
Another thing I noticed as I was looking at all of these email signatures is whether or not the brand was utilizing the space to include a call to action. This can be useful for driving traffic to your social media or website, getting contacts to sign up for your email course, or just encouraging them to engage with your brand through another touchpoint. An example of a creative professional that does this well would be Think Creative Collective:
FOURTH DIFFERENTIATOR: Accolades vs Tagline
A lot of the email signatures I saw ended the email signature block with their tagline (for example, take a peek at the Anouk Jewelry signature above). Something that helped differentiate an email signature for me was when they mentioned something different after their name. An example of a creative professional that does this well would be Wickbox:
FIFTH DIFFERENTIATOR: Simplicity
Finally, after all the different signatures I saw, there were a few that were simple and neat. These appealed to me from a practical standpoint, because they wouldn't add length to the "document" if I chose to print the email, but also from a professional standpoint, because they really called me to navigate to the links if I wanted more information. An example of a creative professional that does this well would be Adrienne Dorison:
Is there a right or wrong answer in all of these different options? The truth is that it doesn't matter what option you choose, it's what fits your brand. Which of these differentiators will do the most for your brand and your offerings? Let me know in the comments!