Kristin Pruis • September 30, 2019
Working with business owners day in and day out, my primary focus is to help them elevate their brand visuals and appearance. Usually we tackle bigger efforts like custom website design or a brand refresh, but sometimes even small improvements here and there can make a difference.
One of the simplest things I see that small business owners can leverage to upgrade their presence with little to no investment is their email signature. Your email signature is likely something that comes in to contact with several if not hundreds of people a day. Don’t waste this precious piece of real estate by not leveraging your brand and everything you have to offer. So how can you take your email signature from drab to fab?
01. Don’t over (or under) think it.
I’ve seen a lot of email signatures in my 10 years working as a design professional, but nothing is worse than an email signature that is as long as a short novel. On the other hand, an email signature that leaves out too much, could be just as bad. Try to shoot for a middle ground that includes the basic information someone needs to contact you. You don’t need to include your mother’s contact phone number or share your Doctor’s home address, but you should have more than just your name. Usually including your phone number, website, social media sites and address (if you’re a brick and mortar) is a great place to start. Make it easy for people to reach out to you!
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02. Treat your images right.
The the number one mistake I see when it comes to email signatures is when it comes with a slew of little images attached. I’m not talking about sharing files here, but rather images that are a part of their email signature. Have you ever seen your email signature images come back to you as attachments on a email reply from a contact? If you include an image like your logo or social media icons in your email signature it must be loaded via an external source. If you simply insert your logo straight from your local computer into your signature, it will always come through as an attachment. Instead you can host your images, for example on your website.
To do this, is a little more advanced but the end result makes you look totally professional. First, you’ll next a text editing program, one that allows you to save files as .html such as Notepad or Text Edit. You’ll need a little bit of code to get your email signature to display. Paste the code below into your text editing program.
<img src="PASTE YOUR IMAGE LINK HERE" nosend="1" border="0"/>
Then you’ll need to login and access the place on your website where you can upload images and files. If you use WordPress you can upload it to your Media Library and then copy the image link (URL) from the settings as shown here. Make sure to copy the full URL:
Then, paste your image link inside the quotes of your file. You can then save your file as email-signature.html and you should be all set. If you drag that file to your favorite internet browser, you should now see your image show up on a page. If you want to get really fancy you can add height/width parameters to the code to change the size of your image:
<img src="PASTE YOUR IMAGE LINK HERE" nosend="1" border="0" width="100"/>
To get your newly hosted image into your email signature, 1) Highlight (select all) the image with your file open in your browser 2) Copy it 3) and Paste it directly into your email client email signature field. Tada!
03. Be friendly.
Your email signature is also the perfect place to demonstrate a bit of your personality and offer a warm welcome to your recipients. As more and more business is conducted virtually on the interwebz, a personal touch with a bit of added flair in your email can go a long way. You could include a small headshot of yourself, a link to set up a coffee date, a fun animated GIF of a promotion that your are currently running or something clever that speaks to what you do. Be creative and don’t be afraid to be yourself!
04. Brand it!
If you aren’t using your brand colors, logo and fonts in your email signature, you’re doing yourself and business a HUGE disservice! Make sure you use the proper hex codes for your brand’s color palette and approporiate formatting for laying out the text in your email signature. This can be done using HTML or by taking advantage of your email client’s native formatting options. If you use Gmail, it should look a little something like this:
Need help creating a beautiful email signature or online presence? Shoot me a message!