One of the reporters at my college newspaper had a signature that ended with a quote: “Only shooting stars break the mold.” Every time I got to the end of one of her messages, I rolled my eyes, and I bet the professors and politicians she emailed had a similar reaction.
You’ve got your own stories, I’m sure, of clipart and pixelated logos and way-too-long corporate disclaimers.
At BetterCloud, we enforce uniform signatures for all our employees. Here’s mine:
Your work signature isn’t about expressing your individuality; that’s for your personal e-mail. It’s about being:
- Useful. Every word in it should have the potential to save your recipients time.
- Professional. It should reinforce your brand.
At the least, your signature should contain your:
- Name and title
- Phone number(s)
- Email address
- Physical address
These are pieces of information that people outside your company are likely to need, especially if you’re interacting with them for the first time. They expect to find these things in your signature, so you should put them there.
No quotes. One man’s motivational treasure is another man’s fortune-cookie garbage.
Your signature is a digital business card, and similar rules apply:
Logo. End with your company’s logo, the same one that appears on your business card. It should have your company’s name in it as well.
Simple color palette. Play off the colors in your company logo. Choose one accent color to go along with one or two neutrals.
Consistent fonts. Choose a font you like and stick to it. If you can, use the same fonts as your logo. You could use one font for a headline item, like your name and the labels of each line of contact info, and a second font for the contact information itself. Use sizes that complement the body of your email – nothing larger than 12 pt.
You can, and should, include up to one (1) useful link. If you’re in tech support, that could be a link to an oft-referenced FAQ page. If you’re in marketing, it might be a link to an awesome survey you just published. Or you could trumpet a recent big win by linking to a news article about it.
Keep it to one or two lines:
You can use link tracking to see who’s clicking on it, which can help you test the effectiveness of headlines and identify people who want to learn more about your company.
It’s easy to do with bit.ly.
- Go to bit.ly and create an account.
Paste the link you want to lead people to into the “Paste a long URL here to shorten” box.
Click the gear in the upper right.
Under the General tab, scroll down to Signature. Deselect the radio button labeled “No Signature” and paste your new sig into the box.
Click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.
Click the Tools tab
Select Email Tools > Signatures
Under “Create a Signature, click Get Started.
Choose one of the pre-created signatures, or start from scratch.
If you choose to start from scratch, you can insert the signature in the visual editor or use the source editor.
In the above image, note the words “IF EXISTS.” This means a user’s mobile number (for example) will only appear in the signature if it’s filled out in their user profile. If you didn’t set this condition, their signature would contain an ‘m.’ followed by a blank space.
You can find out more about FlashPanel’s advanced signature functions in this Knowledgebase article.
Now that you’ve formatted the signature, you’ll choose the users you want to apply it to:
Click the “Continue” button.
Choose the users you want to apply the signature to.
Click “Continue” again to review and apply the signature. You can apply the signature immediately, or schedule it to happen later. You can even make the sig re-apply itself on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to override changes users make from within their own Gmail settings.
Finally, inform your users. Make sure they know they’ve just received a new email signature and they shouldn’t change it on their own.
If you’re the super admin on your domain, you can delegate the ability to apply signatures to others in your organization. For example, you could allow your VP of marketing to change his team’s signatures to include a link to the most recent news article about the company.
To do that, you’ll need to create an access role:
Select Settings at the top of FlashPanel.
Choose Access Control and Create.
Expand the Directory tab and select Email Signatures under Email/Calendar tools.
You’ll also likely need to grant edit access to the Google Apps Directory if the manager needs to update the contact information in an employee’s profile.
Once you’ve selected the appropriate permissions, scroll to the bottom of the page and select Save & Update Users then Add a user now.
Enter the desired user’s name and then hit Save & Apply.
The End Result
And that’s it!
This is copied from a blog article written by Mike Mohammed, Content Strategist with BetterCloud.
The original article can be found here.