Many of my emails are missing something important: a signature block. I receive hundreds of emails a day, many from members of the association I work for. And many of those member emails lack signature blocks or even the name of the individual sending the email. Now, I often recognize the sender if I frequently correspond with him or her. But I sometimes get emails signed “John” or “Mary,” and I have to figure out which John or Mary I’m replying to. This is frustrating.
Is it so difficult to include a signature block in emails? Standard email programs allow users to set up a signature block that includes the person’s full name, firm, address, telephone number, email account and additional information such as Twitter handle or a slogan. Once set up, the email software can automatically add the signature block to any outgoing message. Simple. But many people don’t use this vital communication tool.
Aside from correctly identifying the sender, an email signature block can serve several purposes:
Automatically Connect to Clients
Generally, email signature blocks are “hot.” That is, the receiver can click on the email address, web link or phone number and automatically be connected to you. How convenient! A good businessperson should be easily accessible, and a good signature block serves that need.
A business signature block should have a short slogan as well as link to your website and Facebook page (or other social media pages, such as LinkedIn). Your slogan, website and SM pages should provide information about your services and expertise. A signature block is a good way to attract new business.
Keeping connected to colleagues is essential for businesspeople. A signature block keeps friends, customers and others updated regarding your position and contact information. What’s more, recipients usually can easily pull the information from the signature block into the contact section of their email programs, thus reducing the likelihood of typos and other errors.
News Media Pitching
If you send an email to a newspaper regarding an article you just read, they generally won’t publish your comments unless you provide your full name, address and telephone number. Your standard signature block does that. Furthermore, if you send story ideas to reporters, they would appreciate having your full contact information handy just in case they would rather call you directly instead of replying to an email. Too, they’ll need to know your firm’s name and other information should they want to quote you in a story. So why not provide that information right away?
A signature block is essential part of business communications. It takes only a couple of minutes to create one. And as Ron Popeil once said, “Set it, and forget it.”