How to Turn Your Email Signature Into a Lead Generator
They say “first impressions are everything” but … are they?
Sure, first impressions are important. But there’s more to a successful email campaign than writing a killer subject line.
At Reply, we think finishing strong is just as important as starting strong. That’s where the email signature comes in. Think about it: Your signature is the last thing your subscribers see. Shouldn’t it be something worth waiting for?
The Anatomy of a Typical Email Signature
The average signature usually looks something like this:
First things first: Your subscribers know how email works. I promise their email client has a “reply” button, so stop including your email address. They don’t need it.
As for the rest of it, well, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with it. It’s all important information. But there’s nothing particularly memorable about it, either.
More importantly, it doesn’t market anything. And isn’t that the most important part of a marketing email?
Bare Necessities: The Four Things Every Email Signature Must Have
Before we get into the creative aspects of signature design, let’s make sure you’ve got the basics. Here are four components every signature must have.
This probably goes without saying, but every signature should have your first and last name. Think of it like an artist signing their creation; it shows a sense of pride in your work.
If you’re including your name, include your title. This is especially true for founders and CEOs, because who wouldn’t feel at least a little honored to get an email from the founder of a company?
Sure, your subscribers should already know what business the email is coming from. But repetition is the mother of memorization, so include it one more time. The more they see it, the more likely they’ll be to remember it.
If you have no other marketing materials in your signature, at least include a link to your website. But make sure you use a clean link. None of that “https://” stuff. It’s ugly and unnecessary.
Six Ways to Make Your Email Signature Stand Out
Now that you’ve got the basics, it’s time to turn your signature into a full-blown marketing tool. You don’t need to use all six strategies below, but try incorporating one or two into your next campaign.
If you have a blog, your signature should link to it. End of story.
This could be a static link, like “Check out our blog!”, but you’ll probably get better results by linking to specific articles. For example:
New on the Reply blog: Five Questions to Ask Before Sending Your Next Marketing Email
If your company has developed any free tools, make sure your subscribers know.
This could be as simple as an ROI calculator or as complex as a website analytics tool. As long as it provides relevant value to your readers, include it. Don’t have any tools? Link to your free trial. For example:
Are you getting the most out of your marketing emails? Find out for free!
Studies have shown that videos now account for a mind-blowing 50% of all mobile traffic. If you have video content related to your product or industry, tap into that market.
In many email clients, just inserting a link will automatically embed the video. Your link might look something like this:
Check out our MicroConf talk!
Social media is everywhere. Well, everywhere except email signatures and that needs to change.
Turn your signature into a social billboard, but don’t go overboard. Link to the three social profiles you’re most active on and exclude the others.
Use icons to link to your social media accounts instead of text to add colour and form to an otherwise text-based email.
Speaking of colour and form, graphics are a great way to conclude a text-heavy email.
You’ve got a few different options here. You could include your company logo, a call-to-action, or even just a colourful border.
Just remember to embed graphics, not paste them. When you paste a graphic, it becomes an attachment your subscribers have to download to view.
Whatever market you’re in, there’s bound to be data that supports your product or service. Find it, and include it at the end of your signature.
It doesn’t even need to be a direct link; just leave it as a fun fact for your subscribers. For example:
Fact of the Month: For every $1 spent, email marketing generates a $38 ROI.
Three Examples of Great Email Signatures
So what do these principles look like in practice? Check out these highly effective signatures from three industry leads.
Steli Efti, co-founder and CEO of Close.io, says his signature is one of the most valuable parts of his marketing emails:
“I sell in my signature. I pitch my book, my podcast, my online sales course—whatever it is, I want the reader to look at my signature and say, ‘Hey, that looks interesting!’”
Pamela Vaughan, Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing Blog Manager, has a signature tailor-made for blogging.
What really makes her signature stand out is the last line, which is constantly updated based on the newest and highest-performing content on her blog.
Aaron Ross, author of Predictable Revenue, has a signature that is brilliant in it’s simplicity.
It takes a no-BS approach to accomplishing two clear goals: Selling his book and growing his blog following. Like Vaughan above, Ross probably alternates the featured posts as new and relevant content is produced.
How Do You Want to Be Remembered?
Think of your signature as your “famous last words.”
What’s the last impression you want your emails to leave? Do you want them to laugh? Read a blog post? Sign up for a free trial? Make a purchase?
Whatever your goal is, optimize your signature content around that. Then, once you’ve got the content, focus on making it visually appealing. Or, at the very least, not ugly.
Then get back out there and start marketing from the top to the bottom; from subject line to signature. You’ll be amazed at the results.
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