Five mistakes in your email signature, you need to stop making
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Are you guilty of ignoring your email signature? Or, perhaps you’ve put in too much thought and your signature is heavily detailed.
Your email footer is crucial to your communication outcome. It needs to be effective, professional and should carry information the recipient needs. A professional email signature sets the tone for future communication. It is also a great place to market your brand and company services.
Make your email signature work for you. Here are five common mistakes that you need to stop making immediately.
The closing statement of your email is integral to the email footer. ‘Regards’, ‘Warm regards’, ‘Best’ are some commonly used and accepted closing statements for professional emails. But, do you like to sign off with a ‘Cheers’?
Unless you are from HR or are the CEO of your company, you need to drop this practice. ‘Cheers’ is normally used by senior managers and most commonly used by HR to convey a sense of friendliness and accessibility to junior executives. Be sure to not sign off with a cheerful ‘Cheers’ when writing to senior management.
Spam or email signature
Pay attention to the length of your email signature. A long email signature is over whelming and adds to the email bandwidth.
Include only relevant information – your name, job title, company details, phone number and website. Avoid providing multiple emails and telephone numbers. Provide only one for each. You don’t need an email address in your signature.
A general thumb rule is to keep the email signature between four to six lines. Remember your email signature should not read out like a bio. Keep it short and avoid needless information.
Colour me red, blue and green
You may be a person who loves colour, but your email signature is no place to show off your creativity. Stick to black or blue and use a sans serif font between 10-14 pts. Make sure the colour in your email signature is consistent with the rest of the email. Readability is key here.
Graphics, GIFs and images are best avoided. You may choose to include your company logo and hyperlink icons to your company’s social media pages. Include only relevant social media platforms, such as the company’s Facebook, LinkedIn or WordPress, where the content is current and of interest to the email recipient.
Be sure to update your signature in your mobile device too. A ‘Sent from my iPhone’ signature is not cool!
It’s different when you reply
Does your signature change after the first email to the recipient? It sure does. You’ve already established your credentials and don’t need to spam your reader’s inbox with the original email signature every time. Instead, have two versions – one for replies and forwards and the other for first time communications.
When replying, sign off with your name and contact information. “The reader may still need to call you, so don’t omit your phone number during replies,” says Email Coach and learning strategist Sharmila Gautama.
Say ‘No’ to quotes
Signing off with a quote seems to have caught on, even in professional email exchanges. Not only does the addition of a quote add to the length of your email signature, you also run the risk of offending your reader.
Quotations from religious sources may give someone the wrong information. Unless the quote is an affirmation of the way you really live your life, it’s best left out of your email signature. And, even then pick a short one.