Why you should get rid of your email signature

I recently read this post on the ‘Art of Designing and Marking Up Email Signatures’.  In other words, how to create a beautifully crafted, branded email signature.

I used to have an email signature like that.  Then I realised that:

  • there is no way of guaranteeing that your logo image won’t appear as an attachment (yuck)
  • it made reading through a long email conversation with multiple replies a bit tricky
  • it meant that people printing out my emails used up more paper & ink because of the 3 inch footer at the bottom of each reply I made
  • and actually… because it’s there all the time… people don’t even notice it anyway

Yes, brand is important.  But maintaining & promoting your brand does not have to equal logo (+ social media icons times 5, + lots of other rubbish too) in your email signature.

Besides, in the vast majority of emails I receive, the email signature is so poorly executed anyway, that if anything it damages the brand – let alone all the points I’ve mentioned above!!

A challenge

Ok, so perhaps getting rid of the signature altogether is a little extreme.  But how about we set a challenge.  Think about what really needs to be in your signature, and then get rid of the rest.  Here’s some food for thought:

  • Use the right colours & fonts to ensure it stays consistent with your branding.  Does your logo really need to be there?
  • Rather than listing 5 different contact methods, just give one or two & link to your website for people who want more info
  • Email address in your signature…. umm, can’t I just hit the reply button?  Is it not in the ‘From’ field for forwarded emails?
  • Rather than having 5 different social media icons, think about including a link to your latest blog post or status update… and change it each day/week (I said it was a challenge!)  Once you’ve got rid of all the gubbins, and have a single link that changes each week… people might start to notice your signature a little more.

Not everyone will agree, I know.  But I for one am certainly not convinced of the value of the traditional 10 inch email footer.

photo credit: Alan Light via photopin cc

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