Email Signatures: The What, the Why, and the How
In this article we will cover the four email signature templates every design freelancer needs.
Branding is what allows customers to connect with your brand. It can be as bold as a billboard, as simple as your social media content, and as subtle as an email signature design.
As a design freelancer you want to be able to present yourself as an established professional.
When it comes to email marketing designs, having an email signature does the trick. It's just as important as the email you send. It’s what differentiates you from the competition; allowing you to upsell your brand and services.
What Is an Email Signature?
An email signature is like a virtual business card. It's a text block that contains your name, your business contact details, your URL, or any personalized quote that will further strengthen your brand. Automatically inserted at the end of your emails, an email signature doesn’t just raise brand awareness, it adds personality to it so you can create a unique identity.
Why You Need an Email Signature
Without an email signature, your email is just as good as a bag of delectable treats sent anonymously to your potential customers. But you’re not sending an email just for the fun of it. You are using email outreach to grow your brand awareness as a freelancer, which will, in turn, translate into higher conversion rates, aka more clients.
But if you aren’t convinced yet, here are some of the reasons why an email signature is a need for every business owner.
It establishes your brand as a legitimate company
An email signature creates uniformity. By adding thoughtfulness into your logo, color scheme, business quotes, and email signature, you can effectively present yourself as an established company worthy of your client’s trust and attention, resulting in a wider customer base.
Adds personality to your brand
Your email signature provides insight into your brand. Think of famous food chains like McDonald’s or Starbucks. Just one glimpse at their logo and you already know what their company sells (and what they’re for). The same goes for email signatures, except that it’s not a logo. The color, the font style, and the tone you use in ending your email show your recipient your brand character, which in turn creates a brand association.
Strengthens communication links
An email signature is like the “PS Call me here” or CTA part of your email, which plays a critical role in any marketing campaign. Here, you can add links to your business number or social media accounts, or allow readers to book a discovery call instantly. This removes communication barriers that can stunt your business grow.
Allows opportunities for personal associations
When you create an email signature, you have the option to add a picture so you can allow your recipients to make personal associations. This is quite rare in a virtual setting, where business transactions can be done without putting a face on the product or service providers. By adding a professional photo, you’re telling your clients that you are open to communication and that you are accountable for your business.
Types of Email Signatures for Design Freelancers
Signing off with a professional-looking, attention-grabbing email signature can help you leave a lasting impression on your recipients. While email signatures vary depending on your brand and your goals, you can find something out there for you that can fit your specific needs — and wants, in this case.
Let’s start with the basics. Professional email signatures, as the name implies, are used by experts or professionals who want to showcase their services. Commonly, this type of email signature includes essential details such as the sender’s name, position, and contact details.
In contrast to professional email signatures, corporate ones are sent on behalf of an entire business entity or a team. Creating a template for individual team members is one of the fail-proof ways to add cohesion to an email marketing campaign.
3. Creative Email Signatures
Creativity allows you to go limitless when it comes to self- or professional-expression, and this rings true when you use creative email signatures. If your brand is hip and fun, you can show that off by, for instance, adding a lively, unconventional photo beside your business details. Your email signature, your call!
You can also embrace a minimalist approach when creating email signatures by sticking to the essentials — your name, signature, job position, and contact details. No logo. No photo. Just your basic business information.
Like the creative type, informal email signatures appeal to fun-loving professionals. The difference, however, is the use of different elements that may appear too casual — or, to put it bluntly, unprofessional — for some recipients. Informal signatures contain emojis or other images to attract engagement. In some instances, this can be effective, but in most parts, this does not work in a strictly professional setting.
How to Sign Off with a Bang
The key to creating an effective email signature is to keep it simple. Instead of stuffing your recipient with the information they already know, stick to the essentials and keep your signature clean and understandable. To do this, you should:
1. Avoid Overloading Readers with Social Media Buttons
An email signature can be used to link your letter to your official social media content or account. But instead of adding everything there, analyze the movement of your target market. This will give you important insights into the social media platforms where you can effectively grow your brand. Do they usually log in to LinkedIn or is your service more marketable on Twitter?
Not many people love choosing from too many options. Adding countless links to your email signature is like asking your recipients to browse Netflix’s never-ending movie selections. Eventually, they’ll get tired of finding the right feel-good ‘movie’ and abandon your email.
Hence, the more links you insert into your email signature, the less likely your recipient is going to click on any of them. Limit your recipient’s options by taking your top picks and focusing on what’s important: making your communication channels more efficient.
2. Avoid Repeating Your Email Address
Ironically, many businesses still add their email address to their email signature. If you think about it, this information is already at your email header, so putting it at the bottom part is already a form of redundancy. It’s like saying “Hi! I’m John” twice in a letter.
Instead of adding your email address, focus on inserting a few links that will showcase your skills. A portfolio or a social media account, for instance, can add more value to your readers.
3. Don’t Forget Your Email Signature CTA
Ensure that your email signature is also clickable so that if the reader wants to engage with your email signature they can be directed to the content or complete a specific action. Add a CTA or link to your email signature, this could be a company website, an explainer video or your latest blog post to grab the reader's attention.
4. Lastly, Use the Power of Visuals, and Don’t Go Over Four Lines
It’s easy to overdo your email signature thinking that overloading your recipients with more contact information can help you get better leads. But the opposite is true when you apply it to a business setting. Take a look at this example:
Again, less is always more when it comes to email marketing. Instead of overemphasizing your email signature, add visuals that can make your business unforgettable.
How to Create an Email Signature
Step 1: Use an Email Signature App
Email signatures aren’t rocket science. But if you don’t have the time to create one from scratch, you can use free or paid apps that allow you to generate your personalized email signature. Here are some of our top picks:
Newoldstamp is a free email signature generator app that aims to help you strengthen your brand by creating email signatures for your employees. It’s easy to use and it allows you to choose from up to 11 free templates. You can also check out their paid services, which are tailored to your specific marketing needs.
Free email signatures offer you a variety of free templates to choose from. Through their free signature generator, you can ensure cohesion across all your email deliveries.
Clean and sleek, MySignature understands your need to sign off professionally and compellingly. Its free templates and signature customization feature enable you to effectively reflect your brand character.
Gimmio makes countless fonts and styling options available for your marketing needs. It also allows you to add banners and social icons that can help you intensify customer engagement.
Step 2: Choose a Template and Input Your Details
Once you choose a free or paid email signature generator, find a template that directly speaks to your brand. Edit and write your details, but don’t forget this general rule: Keep it simple and create a three- or four-line signature that can effectively showcase your brand.
Step 2: Add Your Email Signature to Your Email
Creating an email signature with these templates is easy. But if you want to make your entire email delivery system seamless, you should use an email client that unifies your account across all platforms.
It is important to note, however, that email signatures are specific to different application types. If, for instance, you’re using an email client app and a web-based email to add fluidity to your email deliveries, you have to create an email signature for both types of applications.
You can attach your email signature by copying the HTML of your chosen template or image. Then, go to your email account settings and paste your email signature.
If you want to beat your competition, you should find the right balance between optimizing your user experience and streamlining your marketing approach. By creating a professional email signature, you are giving your potential clients a way to remember you in a good way.
An email signature is pretty easy to create with a free or paid generator and add the resulting HTML or image to your email client.
Cover includes artwork by Evgenii Dolgov.
March 24, 2021