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Top Dos and Don’ts for Email Signatures

By Heshy Friedman

Why does your email signature matter?

As we’ve said in earlier posts, in the digital business environment, your website is your virtual storefront.

Now it’s time to talk about your virtual business card—your email (or digital) signature. You know, that little boilerplate that used to go at the top of your letterhead? Now it’s on your email, and it’s never worked harder.

Sure, there are lots of ways people communicate these days, from WhatsApp to Zoom. But people still write, send, and read emails by the billions. They are the workhorses of the paperless office.

Whether you’re introducing yourself to a prospect or corresponding with an employee, a freelancer, a colleague, or the boss, your contacts and clients get a quick and lasting impression from your written communications.

And for your regulars, your email signature is often the single thing they see most often—maybe a dozen times a day.

Does it present you as professional and trustworthy, like a great business card would? Or do you look like you’re an amateur, careless, or a hobbyist?

You may not know exactly what makes you look unapproachable, unreliable, or less than serious about your work. But we do.

You could be turning off prospects, clients, or team members with these key email signature missteps.

Here are the top 5 mistakes people make in their digital signatures:

  1. It’s cute and funny! The first time.

    Some people love cute quotes, clever thoughts, and quirky content in their email signatures.

    That’s a lot of effort being put into something that is only interesting once.

    Have pity on your recipients, and keep your email signature simple.

  2. Comic Sans! Or a thousand other abominations.

    Isn’t it great that your favorite device has a list of fonts as long as your arm? Too bad they didn’t include a course in typography.

    And to make matters worse, your special typeface might go missing as it travels through “the intertubes.”

    For the sake of your professional image, stick to the defaults. They’re cross-platform classics and universally supported.

    And please, no heavy patterns, dazzling art, or strong colors. They quickly wear out their welcome.

  3. How social do you want to be, really??

    Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, WhatsApp, Pinterest and TikTok?

    That’s great!

    But that row of little icons never gets clicked on. Trust us.

    Keep LinkedIn—or one or two other social platforms that you really do business on—and dump the rest.

  4. “Here are seven different ways to contact me!”

    Like the previous one: do your contacts really need every one of your numbers and addresses? Unless you’re notoriously hard to reach, or only want to look that way, keep only the essentials.

    For many of us, that means our office or mobile number—and that’s it. Don’t make people leave a voicemail (that will be ignored) on every phone, fax, and switchboard you have.

  5. “Sent from my [device you can’t afford]”

    It’s the default on every mobile email platform—iPhone, Samsung, Pixel—for a reason, and not because it helps you or the recipient.

    It’s advertising: for them, for free, and on your content.

    And it’s not only useless, it can make you look like a “platform snob.” Who cares what device you are using these days? Everyone is online, but this useless little blurb is a relic from the last century.

Go into your settings and delete it—it’s easy.

Better yet, replace it with something useful, like perhaps a digital signature?

Next: Top 5 email/digital signature best practices (and maybe some bonus ones, too.)

Bottom line:

Too impatient to wait? Contact us for a fast consultation.

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