Despite the rise of social media and phenomenon of influencer marketing, today’s business culture still belongs to the email. 86% of professionals prefer email over all forms of communication, and it ranks as the third most influential source of information for B2B audiences – topped only by word of mouth recommendations and industry thought leaders.
Companies tend to leverage the power of email with heavy investment in email marketing campaigns however surprisingly the world of email signature marketing is often overlooked and left poorly managed or completely unexplored. However, what is becoming increasingly apparent is that a marketing strategy that fails maximize that small space at the end of your email is missing out on huge sales and branding opportunities.
Take these stats and apply them to your company: an average office worker receives 121 emails a day and sends around 40 business emails. Chances are your calculations have generated some impressive numbers for daily email send outs - let alone if you consider monthly and yearly figures. Email signature marketing software allows you use these statistics to your advantage, giving your team an effective channel to spread information about your brand, advertise new products and build on branding strategies and brand value.
If you don't have an email signature marketing strategy in place already or feel it’s time to refresh your approach, here are five essentials to set you off like a pro.
1. Get the design right
The starting point for all great email signature marketing is equally great design. We discuss design rules more detail in our blog post ‘How to create and manage the best email signature design’, but areas you need to consider include making sure you have an effective hierarchy of information and that you’re staying true to your branding - from font color to typeface. With some reports suggesting that up to 54% of all emails are opened on a smartphone, always make sure your email signature is responsive to avoid unprofessional designs with troublesome legibility issues. Email signatures that reflect the nature of the company act to strengthen the branding, and this doesn't happen just through colors and logos, but also through the layout and order of provided information.
2. Be social
Email signature marketing also gives you a prime opportunity to promote your social channels in a natural, organic way. Unilever for example, reported an increase in followers from 40,000 to 235,000 in less than 10 months after it added a LinkedIn ‘Follow’ link to its email signatures.
Using email signature marketing to direct email recipients to your social channels is an easy win with potentially lucrative benefits. In terms of brand loyalty, a study by The Social Habit showed that 53% of Americans who follow brands on social are more loyal to those brands. When it comes to boosting site traffic, not only does social media increase your digital footfall but social media shares and retweets are an SEO dream; pushing your company higher up in Google’s search ranking.
When using email signature marketing tools to help connect with social media audiences, make sure you’re choosing the right channels and sending people to your strongest business-related content. For example, promoting LinkedIn and Twitter accounts that are full of industry commentary and articles will be much more effective than directing a reader to your personal Instagram feed of filtered food pics.
3. Provide valuable content
In digital marketing, email signatures usually showcase must-have information such as a company website, job title and social media channels, however clever email signature marketing builds on this to bring content strategy into the mix. Using email signature marketing software such as Templafy’s Email Signature Manager, you’re able to link your email sign off to anything - such as your latest blog post, a new product you’ve launched, a conference you’re speaking at or to some research you’ve recently carried out.
E-books and guides also make for enticing content so consider trying out this format to engage with business leads and industry. As an apt example, this year we put together this free guide on enterprise email signature solutions that could come in handy for your new approach to marketing in email signature fields.
If you’re including content as part of your email signature marketing strategy, always make sure you include a call-to-action to increase click throughs. Remember to keep your content fresh with regular updates to new links. This might sound like hard work but email signature marketing software allows authorized individuals to make quick and easy changes from a centralized dashboard, which can then be rolled out enterprise-wide at the click of a button; making manual individual updates are a thing of the past.
4. Build brand value
As all brand managers know too well, the strength of a brand is dependent on consistency at every communication touch point. This includes the brand integrity of each employee’s email signature.
Our recent work with a leading insurance company gives an insight into this issue. In an industry defined by professionalism and reliability, the company found that as their employees were creating Outlook email signatures manually, brand consistency was suffering due to sloppy, off-brand email signatures containing out-of-date logos, contact information and potentially harmful old legal disclaimers. With more than 50,000 outgoing emails per day and no visual streamlining of Office 365 email signatures this was becoming an increasingly big problem for the brand.
Using Templafy’s integrated email signature marketing software, the organization was able to create on-brand email signatures, merge each with personal employee data and roll them out via a cloud-hosted system company-wide. The email signature tool also allowed departments to include different marketing messages and employees benefited from access to Templafy’s time-saving templates and digital asset library.
The end result was a workforce producing volumes of on-brand content that no longer jeopardized the organization and strengthened rather than weakened its brand value.
5. Use the right tools
A key link between successful email signature marketing and brand consistency is arming employees with the right email signature tools to implement your strategies.
When employees lead such busy work lives, relying on them to remember to update their email signatures, use all correct branding material and include the latest legal disclaimers, verges on wishful thinking and is guaranteed to result in off-brand sign offs - not to mention a near impossible task of manually monitoring brand integrity of outgoing emails.
A reference we like to cite at Templafy HQ is to think about your email signature as you would your company logo. Imagine giving all employees unlimited access to tweak your logo whenever they please. Pretty soon your symbol of a once powerful, united brand identity would descend into total branding chaos.
Fortunately, tools such as Templafy’s Email Signature Manager help users control their company email signatures, ensuring that signatures are up-to-date, brand compliant and incorporate the latest email signature marketing content. It automatically attaches the correct email signature created on behalf of the individual user with visuals and content that corresponds with your brand style guide. This can be implemented enterprise-wide across departments, countries and languages.
A godsend for Brand Managers, Templafy’s built-in Brand & Compliance Checker also allows employees to easily validate their emails by identifying any off-brand problems including fonts, logos and copy. At the click of a button users are given alternative on-brand options to replace any off-brand content, ensuring emails are compliant with the latest company standards.
Benefits of Templafy’s Email Signature Marketing software:
- Strong centralized governance of email signature designs and content
- High security: the security level of our solution is the best in the markets
- No more manual, time-reliant and costly roll-outs by IT
- Granular control of marketing campaign control across multiple business units and regions
- Deep integration with Office 365, making authentication and filtering exceptionally easy
- Allows employees using shared mailboxes to have different personalized email signatures.
- One person can have multiple different email signatures (e.g. sales employees can switch up messaging for different countries they are responsible for)