After analyzing 700 million emails, WriteThat.name found that only 52% of professionals have an email signature.
Many people neglect this part of the email as it appears at the end, and it seems trivial. But a signature can play a significant role in making you appear credible. An optimized email signature can encourage replies, help you gain followers, and drive sales.
At AppSumo, we’ve experimented with different signature styles and know what works. We made a list of tips you can use to create effective email signatures. We’ve also included examples and tools to help you quickly implement what you learn.
1. Include your photo and name
When you meet someone for the first time, what do you do? You probably smile at them and tell them your name and maybe even shake their hand or bump fists.
The closest way you can reflect that experience via email is by adding a jubilant photo of you along with your name in your email signature. You can also add the company you work at and your position next to it.
For an idea, check out this email signature from Moritz Bauer of Smartminded.
You can see Moritz’s photo at the top, followed by his name and position.
Alternatively, you can add the logo of your company instead of your photo like in this email signature from Stephen Heiner of The Life You Want.
Note, though, that many email platforms, such as Gmail, display the emailer’s photo next to their name at the top. If you already have your photo there, adding it in your signature might not be necessary.
A common email signature trend is link overload. For example, there’s a link to the homepage, the landing page, and links to social media pages. More links don’t necessarily equal more clicks. On the contrary, you will get fewer clicks, thanks to decision fatigue.
Too many options will confuse and stress out the people who receive your emails. They won’t know what to click on, so they won’t click on anything.
If you want to get maximum clicks, add one, maybe two links. Think about what your biggest goal is and add a link that will help you accomplish that goal.
If you want more email subscribers, link to a landing page where people can sign up, and if you want sales, link to a product page. If you want social media followers, link to one of your social networks and not all of them.
For an idea, check out this email signature from Zoran Manic of Qode Interactive. There’s just one link to the homepage.
Another thing you can try out is adding affiliate links. I do this for my newsletter. People subscribe to my blog’s email list for marketing tips and one of the questions my subscribers frequently ask me is what is the best email service provider. So, I include an affiliate link to the email service provider I use as well as my review of the service.
3. Don’t add your email address
If they’ve emailed you, they probably already know your email address. They just need to hit the reply button to get back to you. Even if someone forwards your email, the person receiving the email can easily figure out who wrote the original email and contact you.
Adding your email address to your signature gives people another thing to click. This leads to the aforementioned decision fatigue and lowers the number of clicks the important links get.
Here’s a good email signature from Anna Konovalova of FlippingBook.
You’ll see that there is no email address, and there are just a couple of links. This will ensure that the links get maximum clicks.
Another thing you can try is to add your Facebook Messenger link, phone number, or Skype ID. This gives people another way to contact you.
4. Add a call to action
Adding a call to action to emails can increase CTR by 371% and sales by 1,617%. You can add a simple call to action such as “Click on this link to…” or “Follow me on Instagram.”
Use only text here, and don’t try to add photos or symbols that attract too much attention. The signature’s only a small component of the email. The focus should be on the content you send.
Creating a signature that’s too attractive can reduce the effectiveness of the primary copy of the email.
This email signature from Katrina Dalao of Referral Rock is the perfect example of what a call to action should look like.
It’s just text that asks people to read the latest blog posts and connect with Katrina on LinkedIn. It doesn’t stand out from the rest of the email. People will only read it after they read the first portion of the email.
5. Use brand colors and fonts
The signature is a great place to build your brand. You can use symbols, icons, and colors from your website and other marketing material. If possible, use your brand font, both in your signature and other sections of your email.
A good example is this signature from AppSumo.
Besides the brand font, you will notice that the signature includes the taco emoji. If you’ve been following AppSumo for long enough you know that tacos are a part of the branding. Tacos even appear in ratings instead of stars.
6. Maintain a hierarchy
To get more people to read your signature you need to organize it and make it easy-to-read.
Start by following a consistent alignment. Left alignment tends to work best. Next, maintain a text hierarchy. For the signature headline, you can simply add your name and your company name or position next to it or under it.
Then you can add your social or website links either in an icon or as a call to action next to it. To get something to stand out, you can bolden the text or use a different font or color.
For some inspiration, check out this signature from Ben Haylett, the Creative Director from Platinum Digital.
The name is at the top. After that, you will find Ben’s position and the company name. Next, there is a call to action along with a link to a guide. There’s an icon next to it, and the CTA is in bold as it is important. Finally, he lists his contact details.
7. Don’t make it too long
The signature is merely a small component of the main email. If you beef it up with too much content and visuals, it may distract readers from your actual email. Sometimes, overly busy signatures can also end up looking unprofessional.
8. Optimize for mobile
43% of people open emails on mobile devices. So, if you want these people to interact with your signatures, optimize them for mobile devices.
Use a large and easy-to-read font in your emails. If you’re adding any visuals, make sure people can see them clearly. Always email yourself to see how the email signature appears on a mobile device after you create it.
If there are links to your website in the signature, optimize your website for mobile devices, too, to improve conversions. Finally, if you add a phone number, make sure people can call you with a click.
9. Track performance
Track the performance of your signature to see if people are following through with the call to action. Here are four tools you can use to track performance.
You will be able to see the number of clicks the link got, the top referring channel, and the location of people who clicked the link.
ClickMagick: If you want a more advanced link tracking tool, try ClickMagick.
It will help you track clicks and also check if these visits are converting.
LinkJoy: LinkJoy is a link shortener with several additional features. You can shorten your URL just like with Bitly. But on top of that, you can use it to create retargeting links and Instagram bio URLs.
It also tracks the clicks on your links, shows you the location and timezone of the click, and displays the device used.
LinkJoy normally costs $79 per month, but you can get it on AppSumo for life with a one-time payment of just $49.
Pretty Links: If your site runs on WordPress, and you want to track the performance of affiliate links, you can use a link cloaking tool like Pretty Links.
Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a great free tool for tracking your links, but it requires some extra work. You will need to add UTM parameters to each link you want to track via email. It will initially make a really long link that you can shorten later.
10. Use a good tool to create signatures
Here are some tools you can use to create signatures.
Gmail: If you want to create a simple signature with just your photo, name, a link, and maybe a call to action, Gmail should be sufficient. To create your signature, click on the “Settings” icon in the top right corner and then on “See all settings.”
Then scroll down and click on “Create New” under signatures, give your signature a name, and create your signature.
You can add photos, text, links, and colors. It’s very easy to use Gmail’s email editor.
After you add your content, scroll down and click on “Save Changes” to save your signature.
EmailBadge: EmailBadge is an inexpensive email signature creator. Anyone can easily create a signature with its editor.
These signatures will look good on any device and all email service providers. You can get EmailBadge for a one-time payment of $9 for life.
Wisestamp: If you want to create an aesthetic email signature and aren’t a designer, check out Wisestamp.
It has a free signature generator. You simply choose a template and add details like your name, photo, title, phone number, company, social links, and address, and it will generate your signature.
You can also enhance your signatures by adding YouTube videos, Instagram photos, and calls to action for booking meetings and making payments.
The only problem is the free version adds some branding and additional links can detract from your main CTA. You can remove branding by upgrading to the paid version.
Which email signature example inspired you the most?
While creating your email signature, you need to find a balance. It is an integral part of your email, but it isn’t as important as the main copy at the top. So, create a signature that helps build your brand and gets people to take action. This could be to call you, reply to you, or sign up to your email list. But it shouldn’t attract so much attention that it diverts people’s attention from the main content.
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