The Lowly Email Signature: Misunderstood and Under-Appreciated

by Jonathan Jacobsen Tuesday, June 23, 2015 2:19 PM

At Andornot, we see a lot of email. Most of our communication with you, our clients and colleagues, is via email. We think this is similar for many of you too.

Many times we know you well, so when we see your name or email address in our Inbox, we know exactly who you are and where you work, live and play. But, sometimes, you're new to us, or perhaps one of us knows you and not the others. And that's when we immediately scroll to the bottom of your email to look at your signature to know more about who you are, what organization you work for. Alas, if all we see is:

"thanks, Bob"

it's often hard to answer your inquiry or provide whatever assistance you might be seeking. So much depends on context and fore-knowledge - what software you might have, when and how we last helped you, the nature of your organization (government department, corporation, library, archives), and so on.

When we see something like:

Bob Jones
Chief Archivist
Smallville Archives
Tel: 605-555-1212

Joy! We know who you are and how best we can help you. All that from just 5 lines of text at the bottom of an email. And all so easy to set up in your email client. A signature can be appended to every outgoing email, both to colleagues within your organization, but most importantly, to those in the wide, wide world who haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting you.

But why stop at just your contact info? Your email signature is a great opportunity to let people know more about you and what you're doing. For example:

  • include links to your LinkedIn profile or Twitter page,
  • add a message about a project you're working on,
  • list your latest blog post,
  • invite people to contact you for help with information management or research, or
  • remind people to return books to the library! 

The possibilities are endless. It's marketing, but it's useful, informative, helpful marketing. People appreciate these messages, much more than say, a billboard.

Further reading:

Tags: Outlook | tips

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