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Email signature marketing: things to avoid

17 August 2021

The email signature is a marketing goldmine.

It may be small and unassuming but it can have a huge impact on your brand visibility, awareness and lead generation.

That is:

If you do it correctly. 

There are a number of things you want to avoid if you want to showcase yourself and your brand in a positive light at the end of every email you send.

10, to be precise!

Read on to find out what they are.

1 - Don’t go without

First and foremost:

Don’t go without an email signature.

The biggest no-no is not having an email signature at all!

You’d be foolish to pass up on the opportunity to market yourself and your brand directly to your recipients’ inboxes.

It’s cheap and simple to set up but the ROI can be mega.

So as long as you follow our advice, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

But you’d be amazed how many people go without an email signature at all.

Don’t fall into this trap!

2 - Don’t add irrelevant info

This is a common email signature marketing blunder.

This is not the place for your favourite quote, or for you to reel off all your personal accolades and achievements.

You really don’t need to go overboard.

Don’t be tempted to overcrowd your email signature with anything unnecessary or irrelevant.

You don’t need to include every single method of communication out there.

(Your fax number, home address and carrier pigeon can sit this one out!)

Just add the ones that are used regularly.

Keep it short, sweet and succinct!

If not, your email signature will look cluttered, confusing, and maybe even cringeworthy.

3 - Don’t forget about mobiles

This is crucial.

Over 50% of all emails are opened on mobile devices.

So there’s no doubt about it:

Your email signature must be optimised for phones and tablets.

Consider scale and make sure that your signature looks right on a smaller screen.

And of course:

Any clickable links or icons must be large enough and sufficiently spaced to be tapped by a thumb or finger!

4 - Don’t forget any relevant legal disclaimers

You don’t want to get caught out here.

Each country and industry has its own regulations about legal disclaimers and what you need to include, if anything.

So do your research!

However:

It’s a common mistake to add long, detailed disclaimers to the bottom of every email you send, including replies and forwards.

This can be tiresome for your recipients to trawl through, particularly in a long email thread.

So here’s a thought:

Why not have a pared-down version in your email signature but include a link to the full, detailed disclaimer?

5 - Don’t copy someone else’s

Your email signature is a time to really showcase you and what you’re all about.

So feel free to get creative and add your own ‘je ne sais quoi’.

After all:

It doesn’t have to be a mundane, monochrome affair with just your name and number listed.

The most effective email signatures use a colour scheme which reflects the brand, graphics which resonate with the target audience and a design which has the wow factor.

If you want to stand out amongst the countless emails sent every day, you’ve got to create an email signature that embodies your unique brand.

6 - Don’t overcomplicate it

This is all well and good, but it’s important to note:

You shouldn’t be too wacky or go overboard with your email signature.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Some marketers try to mess with the tried and tested format so much that their email signature becomes ineffective.

At the end of the day:

Your signature is there so that recipients can glean information about you and your company.

An overly elaborate design or atypical format may well confuse or irritate them.

7 - Don’t forget all about it

Here’s a common email signature marketing pitfall.

Many a marketer sets up their email signature, and then never spares it another thought.

But this runs the risk of incorrect, outdated or irrelevant info being sent out to all your email contacts. Or even your links malfunctioning.

None of which will reflect you or your brand in a positive light!

Rather:

Your email signature needs to be regularly updated, tended-to and tested.

Just like any other B2B marketing strategy, it is an ongoing process rather than a one-off event.  

So make like an elephant and never forget your email signature!

8 - Don’t make it too casual

Email signatures can be playful and fun.

They should reflect your industry and your position within it.

But don’t forget:

Ultimately, it is a form of professional communication like any other.

So you shouldn’t be too informal in your language or tone.

It’s not the place for GIFs, bullet points or abbreviations.

Remember, your email signature is an ambassador for you and your brand.

So keep the conversational chit-chat for your personal correspondence!

9 - Don’t make the whole thing an image

Don’t design your entire email signature as an image.

There are three reasons for this:

Reason #1:

The higher ratio of image to text in your emails may well mean that they get blocked or marked as spam.

Which could mean all of your brilliantly crafted emails may never see the light of day!

And this would be a big shame.

Reason #2:

Having your email signature as an image increases the overall size of your email, so it’ll take longer for recipients to open it.

And this could cause issues for recipients with slower internet speeds.

Reason #3:

Copying contact details from an image is a real pain.

And your recipients may not bother typing it all out!

Don’t make it harder for them to contact you.

10 - Don’t choose a wacky font

For your email signature, you need a font that is clean and classic.

It needs to be a big enough size that it’s easy-to-read, but not so big that it is overpowering.

We would also suggest:

Using the same (or a similar) font for your signature as you’ve used in the body of the email.

This creates consistency and makes the whole thing look cohesive.

And finally:

Always use a web-safe font.

If you don’t, it may not render correctly on your recipient’s screen.


So there you have it!

Our top 10 things to avoid when it comes to email signature marketing.

Swerve all of these, and your email signature marketing game will be unbeatable.

For more tips and tricks, do’s and don’ts, check out the Mailtastic blog.

We’ve got you covered!

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