As a marketer for your small business, you almost certainly know how important it is to craft a strong email, but you might not be aware of how to end an email. The signature at the end of a message may seem like an afterthought, but it often says far more about your business than you might realize. While the body of your email will always be the most important part of it, you still need to craft a sign-off and a signature that shows your business in a positive light.
Why Signatures are Important
There are several reasons why the signature of an email is so important for your business. First of all, it adds an air of professionalism and legitimacy to your business. A well-crafted signature that appears at the end of all of your business’s emails shows that you care about your business’s image and its brand. Second of all, it can act as a digital business card. In its simplest form, an email signature might just be the name of your business and a clever slogan, but it can also contain contact information for your business or even a link to your company’s website. Even if this information is already in the body of your email, it’s still a great way to ensure that any potential clients and associates can reach your business. Finally, an email signature is a great opportunity to educate people about your brand, which will be seen by anyone who receives your business emails whether the email itself is meant to promote your business or not.
Crafting a Good Email Signature for Your Business
Now that we’ve determined why you should have a good signature for your business’s emails, let’s take a look at how to write one.
The two main parts of an email’s ending are the sign-off and the signature. Both are important and can say a lot about you and your business. Let’s talk about the sign-off first. This is the closing salutation that you would write before your signature, and it’s been a major element of formal letter writing since before emails were invented. The sign-off that you would use for a letter or an email can be placed into three categories: formal, casual, and appreciative. Formal sign-offs are used in professional messages or with someone you don’t know well. Some examples of formal sign-offs include “Regards,” “Sincerely,” or “Yours Truly.” Casual sign-offs would be used in emails to friends or acquaintances and might be something like “Good Luck,” “Cheers,” “Talk Soon,” or something else you might say to a friend. An appreciative sign-off would be used if you are requesting a favor or if you’re responding to something that someone is offering you. This would be a “Thank You” or something to that effect that shows your appreciation.
The sign-off you use for an email will depend on who you’re writing to and why, but since we’re talking about business emails, you usually want to keep things formal unless you are requesting a favor or responding to an offer. Interestingly enough, a recent study found that emails with appreciative sign-offs that thank the recipient get the most responses. These sign-offs are friendly and show gratitude without feeling too casual. If you request a favor from an associate or someone sends you an email offering any kind of assistance, this kind of sign-off is the way to go. Otherwise, stick to formal sign-offs.
As for the signature, you at the very least want to include your name, the name of your company, and a phone number. Each of these should be on their own separate line. Alternatively, you can also include your job title on the same line as your company name or a separate line containing your business’s website. Many email signatures consist of just this, which is perfectly fine for keeping things formal, but it doesn’t leave a lot of options for further connections. If you want to create a warmer and friendlier image with your email signature, consider including a small image of your face. This will help potential clients and business contacts get to know you better and make you seem more approachable. Most people in the business world receive hundreds of emails every day, and most of them won’t have a picture of the sender. Simply including a picture that allows them to put a face to your name could help you stand out from the crowd. You can even take it a step further and include buttons to your professional social media profiles. Note that we said “professional” profiles; anything that could be on these pages should be in the service of your business, so make sure that they include information that you would want potential contacts to see.
Finally, you should include a different kind of email signature if you are promoting an ebook or an article to potential clients. This is similar to the basic signature, but it contains a link to your work. While a website link might suffice, it is always better to use the title of your book or article as the anchor text. It’s much more appealing than a messy website URL that is copy and pasted into your email, and it will help your piece stick out in the recipient’s mind a little bit more.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide how you want to close out your business emails. You know your business better than anyone else, and you know what image you want to promote. Still, you can’t make the mistake of thinking that your professional signature is an afterthought. It does reflect on who you are and what your business stands for, so it deserves some serious thought.
As always, if you need assistance coming up with a good email signature that shows your business in a positive light and attracts attention from potential clients and associates, contact Studio MFP. We will be happy to provide assistance in any way that we can.