By following some best practices for email signatures, accounting firms can maximize marketing efforts with every single email their employees send. In a previous post, we talked about email signature software solutions that can help ensure consistency with minimal effort. Now we’ll discuss what goes in to a great email signature so you can implement with confidence.
Best Practices for Email Signatures
First and foremost, you’ll need to decide what to include in your email signature template. Keep in mind that since the signature will be repeated with every email, you don’t want it to contain so much information that it overwhelms the reader. Think critically about which items are really necessary and add value for your firm. Items to consider include:
- Individual name, pronouns, designation(s)/certification(s), title, etc.
- Individual photo and/or signature image
- Firm name and/or logo
- Phone numbers (office, direct, mobile, fax, etc.)
- Physical address(es)
- Email address
- Website and/or blog
- Downloadable contact files or vCards (.vcf files)
- Link to schedule a meeting, demo, etc.
- Social media accounts (firm and/or individual), handles, hashtags, etc.
- Firm news, upcoming events, highlighted blog posts, special offers, etc.
- Awards, accolades, affiliations, etc.
For example, many email signatures include the user’s email address, and arguments can be made both for and against including it. Decide whether or not each of these items is a priority for you firm, then take a step back and determine if you need to edit more. Get feedback from others, both internal and external to help choose what should stay and what should go. Keep in mind that some information can be specific to the user and/or rotated or updated on a regular basis. Many of the tools discussed in our previous article can handle dynamic content and timing rules to make these customizations and updates easy to implement.
Once you’ve determined what information you’ll include in your signature, you can develop your design. Consider how the design will look with your organization’s standard email settings how it will look on different sized screens including mobile devices. Use color to coordinate with your branding and to call attention to important elements. You may want to use headshots of individuals and/or logos to visually represent some elements such as social media profiles, awards, or affiliations. You may even want to design banner images to add to signatures to draw attention to a call to action such as connecting on LinkedIn or registering for an upcoming webinar. Just as you did with your information selection, think critically about your design and don’t let it get too busy or overwhelming for the reader. Ask again for feedback from those inside and outside your firm.
Before you launch your new signature design, make sure you’ll be able to measure your results. Some tools include built-in analytics, but if yours doesn’t you can still track your link clicks using UTM tags. When you are creating your signature, take any links that will be used in the design and use a free UTM link builder (like this one from Google) to add campaign source and medium information to the link. This allows Google Analytics to track traffic specifically from these links, as opposed to views and users that originate from other sources. Read more about UTM tags here.
Now that you’re set up to measure your results, use them to drive future decision making. If there is a link in your signature with very few clicks, consider whether that piece of information is necessary. If another link is driving a lot of traffic to your site, think about what you can do to replicate that result in other areas.
About Sarah Stage
Sarah Stage is Director of Marketing at Insero & Co. CPAs where she focuses on digital marketing strategies for firm growth.