My marketing coaching client was redoing his website. (Can you FEEL his exhilaration?)
He just got his fresh, minty business cards back from the printer. (Can you SMELL those new cards?)
During our next conference call, he asked me, “David, what should go in my email signature file?”
A-ha! Trick question.
What followed was my mini-seminar, pocket rant and micro-manifesto on email signature file Do’s and Don’ts. And we’ll throw in a few examples of the good, the bad and the ugly to keep you entertained along the way.
After reading this post, you will be armed and dangerous in the email signature file combat zone. Suit up, soldier – we’re going in HOT!
1. Don’t NOT have one. An email signature file is FREE marketing. If you send 50 emails a day, that’s 50 marketing opportunities wasted if your emails don’t have a signature block. You wouldn’t go out in public naked – so don’t let your emails do it, either!
2. Don’t make it about YOU. “Read my blog” – “Buy my book” – “Hire me” are all incredibly juvenile, self-centered, and (frankly) REPULSIVE ways to close an email. This approach is completely devoid of value for the reader – and you’re actually REPELLING prospects because you smell desperate and needy.
3. DO include a Call-to-Action focused on VALUE. You do want people to take action – but you want to also give them a good “reason why.” Here’s an example from a signature block I’ve used successfully in the past. Pay attention to the “So What?” factor that gives people both the ACTION to take – and the VALUE/BENEFIT to THEM:
David Newman :: Tel 610.716.5984
President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia Chapter
National Speakers Association “Member of the Year” 2009
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4. DO include your phone number. It’s a real basic point but you’d be amazed at how many business owners and entrepreneurs forget to include their phone number in their email signature block. This is becoming increasingly important as 40% of emails are now read on mobile devices, primarily smart phones. And some of your prospects, clients and colleagues simply PREFER the phone. So make it easy for them to reach you that way.
5. DO include a testimonial. Or three. You do great work, right? Your clients and customers love you, right? Why not PROVE that point with every email you send out? ESPECIALLY prospecting and new client outreach emails. My nickname for testimonials is “punching people in the face with proof.” (My other violent metaphor is content marketing, which is “punching people in the face with value.” Maybe I should’ve been a boxer.)
6. Don’t feel limited by ONE signature file. Have 2-3 different versions ready to go based on who you’re writing to, what product or service you’re writing to them about, and how you’d like to frame your positioning. In my own business, there are two main types of clients I work with – speaking and seminar clients and marketing coaching/consulting clients. Thus I have a speaking signature file that includes my value prop tag line and 3 speaking client testimonials. And I also have a marketing coaching/consulting signature file with the same contact info but different value prop statement and an awesome testimonial from one of my consulting clients.
7. DO seduce – DON’T solicit. Here’s what doesn’t work in an email signature file (or anywhere else in your marketing) – brute force solicitation. “Buy my crap” is a pretty lousy marketing message. Rather, focus on seduction – pull rather than push. Two specific marketing recommendations to make you more seductive (in emails and everywhere else, too!) are:
a. Offer value (“Here’s a resource – idea – tool – article – recommendation”)
b. Invite engagement (“What do you think?” “What’s worked for you?” “How can I help?” “Let’s discuss this soon…”)
Soooo… (wait for it)… What do YOU think? What’s worked for you? How can I help? Let’s discuss…
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