When you think of email marketing, what comes to mind? Monthly customer newsletters, daily blog RSS feeds, curated drip campaigns…
One thing you probably didn’t think of is employee email signatures.
Image via Email Signature Rescue
Your employees engage with customers, vendors, friends, and family via email. With the right call to action in their email signature, any of those email recipients could turn into new website visitors, customers, or social media followers.
Sure, optimizing your employee email signatures will never be as effective as your other email marketing efforts. You shouldn’t expect to add these to your employee signatures and suddenly meet your sales goal for the year, but they will drive real incremental conversions for your business.
And the best part? This is the rare kind of marketing tactic where you can truly set it and forget it.
Here are seven ways you can get more out of your employee email signatures. Choose one, create a version for your company, and share it with your employees.
1. Drive Website Traffic
Promoting existing content in your email signature drives more web traffic and social shares. If you’ve got the landing page set up with an email newsletter signup form, it could drive more subscriptions, too.
From a high-converting case study to an infographic that went viral on Twitter, choose content that actually delivers. Coordinate with your content team and review conversion data in Google Analytics to discover what content performs especially well for your business. Then link to it in your signature.
Pro tip: Don’t just say “Read our latest blog/whitepaper/ebook!” Hyperlink intriguing anchor text that compels the reader to click, as Yesware does in this example below:
2. Increase Your Following
Want to grow your social media fanbase? You’ve got options.
At a minimum, you should link to your main social media channels in your signature. People like to follow brands they work with and buy from. Link using small icons to your social media channels, rather than including long URLs. Icons are cleaner, instantly recognizable, and simply less exhausting to look at, as demonstrated in this example from Mailbird.
If you desperately want follows, you could take a more aggressive route like Limehouse Creative did. There’s a lot of information in their email signature below, but your eye is immediately drawn to the graphic, right? If social follows are most important to your marketing strategy, this is a great option. Otherwise, you might be better off using the banner to advertise a content piece or invite demo registrations.
Image via SmallBusinessSense
3. Generate Leads
Speaking of demos, your email signature is a perfect opportunity for your salespeople to generate leads.
Just like realtors, salespeople know the power of faces, so good ones always include a headshot in their signature. The example also includes a “Request a demo” link to make it easy for leads to connect with the sales rep. The only suggestion we have would be to highlight that anchor text in another color or bolded font.
Image via Yesware
4. Turn Leads into Customers
Once you’ve got a thread going with a lead, the goal is to push them further down the funnel.
You might take a cue from our first tip, and link your salespeople’s signatures to your top-performing case study. Or you could work with your CRM software to dynamically change your email signatures depending on a lead’s status. For leads that suddenly went cold, or are simply lollygagging, adding a discount offer could be just the thing that wins them over. You can even reuse the banners from your display ads.
Image via WiseStamp
5. Promote Upcoming Events
Does your company regularly attend trade shows? Drive traffic your way with a banner announcing your booth number that links to the event registration page. You can also hype upcoming product launch parties, local networking happy hours, webinars, and Facebook Live events. Just make sure you update your signature after the event has passed.
Image via HubSpot
6. Build Trust
Even if you don’t want to push your email recipients to take specific action, your email can still passively work in your favor, building trust, credibility, and brand awareness. Here are a few examples of people doing that well.
Lauren Pawell doesn’t have to ask people if they want to work with her. Showing the types of publications and podcasts she’s been featured on gets people to ask her.
Image via FitSmallBusiness
Similarly, author Aaron Ross links to his book page, while noting that it’s a #1 Amazon Bestseller. He kills two birds with one stone in this email signature, both establishing his authority in the space, while also encouraging people to buy his book.
Image via Yesware
If your company has won awards, your email signature is a wonderful place to show them off. It looks like branding, instead of bragging.
Image via Mailbird
7. Ask for Reviews
Another great trust signal? Rave reviews and testimonials. Generate a steady supply of these by requesting reviews in your email signature. Even a gentle reminder of “Your Referrals Are Always Welcome!” can help customers remember that their friend was just looking for a service similar to yours.
In the example below, Dr. Brian Fann links “Review Us” text and also includes a social icon for his dental practice’s Google+ page, so there are multiple opportunities for recipients to click and review his business.
Image via Hi5 Practice
Best Practices for Employee Email Signatures
Ready to outfit your employees with stellar email signatures? Follow these best practices to set yourselves up for success.
1. Make it Mandatory
Everyone likes to express their individuality, but your corporate email signature is not the place to do it. Tell employees to leave the artistry to their social media profiles.
Having an unified look across all your employee signatures both elevates the professionalism of your brand and avoids the formatting issues, typos, and rogue color and font choices that can happen when you let employees take it into their own hands.
2. Provide a Template
Ideally, your IT team can code these across your employees’ email settings. If that’s not possible, supply employees with a plug-and-play template they can copy into the signature settings for your email provider. Clear, easy-to-follow instructions should accompany the template.
3. Use UTM Tracking
Track your efforts by adding UTM codes to the links in your email signatures. You can check on your progress in Google Analytics under Acquisition > Campaigns. This also allows you to test different CTAs or types of content over time, or even different placements within the signature (e.g. linking to content above or below your social icons).
4. Test the Design on Mobile
We live in a mobile-first world now. Make sure your email signature adheres to that worldview. Nearly half of people read their emails from a mobile device instead of their desktop computer, so test to make sure your design fits and looks good on different smartphones and tablet devices.
5. Follow Rules of Good Design
Don’t use too many colors or fonts, and make sure that what you do use complements each other. Consider using pipes or other dividers to break up text and make it readable.
If you don’t have access to a designer, try out HubSpot’s email signature generator. Fill out all your info, choose a design, and voila!
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
With exciting announcements like the most recent Google algorithm upgrade, the latest Snapchat feature, or a new iPhone happening on a near-daily basis, it’s easy for marketers to get shiny ball syndrome. As a result, the lowly email signature is an often overlooked part of marketing strategy. However, implementing any of the above tactics is a simple way to generate a sizable number of wins for your business.
About the Author
Michael Quoc is the founder and CEO of Dealspotr, an open social platform connecting emerging brands, lifestyle influencers, and trend-seeking shoppers in exciting new ways. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelquoc.