You know what an email signature is, right?

You know that space at the bottom of each and every outgoing email where you can include any bit of information that you so desire.

Either way, few people realize the potential of the email signature. Every time you send a message, you have the chance to share something.  You could share something business-related, or it could be something more personal, like your favorite quote.

I’ve found that it’s actually an easy and effective way to market yourself and to get in front of  your right people – the very people you’re in contact with via email.  And it can all be done without looking (and feeling) like you’re marketing yourself.

The key is to do it right without going overboard.

Some Simple DO’s and DON’Ts for an effective email signature:

  • Keep it short and to the point. Share the important details like your contact info and the links to your social networks and maybe an eye-catching phrase to get people to opt-in to a quality freebie you’re offering.  If you work in an office-type setting, I’d stick to name, company and phone number.
  • If you include your social networks, whittle down that list. No one needs to know every single social network you belong to.  I think sharing LinkedIn is probably the most important (I think of LI as your resume and work history online).  Only share Twitter if you use it professionally and/or you won’t be embarrassed by something you share.  And only link to the Facebook account (profile or page) that you want people to connect with you at (for me, that’s my Success for Solopreneurs business fan page).
  • Your signature isn’t your resume. They don’t need to know everything about you.  Link to your LinkedIn profile (see above) if you want to offer that much information.
  • Don’t include an image unless it’s absolutely necessary. With an image, your email then has an attachment and a higher chance of accidentally getting sent to the spam/junk folder or even blocked and undeliverable depending on the recipient’s provider.
  • Don’t make your text or your copy too large. There’s no need for your font size to be larger than 12.  I tend to go in the opposite direction and go smaller than “normal” and drop down to a size 10 font.

Here’s what I currently have as my email signature (using the WiseStamp tool – Gmail also has an HTML tool).  And yes, that’s the actual font size of it. You see I keep it pretty simple: name, website, location, contact number, links to a freebie and social networks (through icons) and a request for referrals.

I’ll change up my freebie link depending on what I’m offering at the time.  After this week’s free teleclass, I might just add that link instead.  Not sure just yet.

It’s so simple to change things up (even if you’re using the Gmail signature tool), that you don’t have to worry about making a mistake.  Although the fix it and forget it factor plays nicely as well.

Action Step: If you don’t already have an email signature, take a moment and set one up (again, you can use WiseStamp, Gmail’s tool (if that’s your thing) or whatever your email provider might have available.  It won’t take you longer than a couple moments, but every single time you send an email, you’ll subtlety be marketing yourself and inviting people to connect with you outside of email.