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Eight surprising ways your email signature can boost business marketing efforts

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/kpatyhka)

It’s estimated an individual employee sends roughly 40 emails a day, which is around 11,000 emails a year alone. Businesses not only recognise email as effective communication between employees and clients, but it’s important for marketing efforts too. 80 per cent of businesses believe email marketing increases customer retention. Considering these findings, I discuss how company email signatures can be used as your next effective marketing channel.

Untapped marketing potential

I know many of us have heard the expression ‘email is dead’, especially as there continues to be a rise in businesses using instant messaging tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams. But today, there are currently 3.9 billion email users worldwide.

Does that sound like a communications channel on its last legs?

Email marketing is valuable and plays a significant role in digital marketing campaigns, but your messages won’t be read by every recipient you send to.

Now, think about all the emails being sent from your workplace. It could be hundreds if not thousands each day. Not only this but the recipients of these emails will often already have a relationship with the sender.

This means they’ll be more receptive to what their emails have to say, as trust is already built, and value placed on what is shared through daily correspondence.

So, it’s clear email signatures can be used as a potential channel to help promote our latest business efforts.

Continuous and targeted

There are eight key reasons businesses should be aware of, which clearly demonstrate the value of email signatures as an individual marketing touchpoint.

The first is that email signature marketing is highly targeted. Businesses know who is receiving an email, understand its context, and roughly when the sender will see it. This creates an excellent opportunity for marketeers to be precise with their targeting and segmentation.

Different departments will talk to different business leads. For example, those in purchasing will speak directly to potential new customers. This is a good way for your marketing team to ensure the most relevant messages are added to different signatures and it’s a unique opportunity to target individuals with specific messages along the customer journey.

Email signature marketing is also continuous. Your professional network will see your signature easily and frequently, and we all know marketing messages have the most impact when ongoing business relationships are maintained between a single point of contact and a member of your corporate network.

Increasing opportunities and trust

Email signature marketing is also high volume (depending on the number of emails your business sends) and guarantees a large audience for your key messages. Emails can be forwarded on too, meaning your messages will be displayed throughout the entire decision-making process, across multiple chains and conversations.

This makes it a more targeted and controlled marketing channel, as you can enhance the relevance and personalise the message to your audience, simply by adding or taking away different things from the signature template.

Email signature marketing is a valuable and trusted channel too, as the recipient wants to read your message, so this means you can secure at least one impression with each email sent.

Finally, I should highlight the cost-effectiveness of including your latest marketing efforts in an email signature. All the channels available to a marketeer like PPC and digital advertising can be expensive and there is no guarantee using these platforms is going to be money well spent.

However, there is no monetary cost involved when using your email signature as a marketing channel. You don’t have to pay to host imagery or spend money on a platform that might not work for you.

Including the right information

To ensure your email signature contains the right promotional elements, you need to include specific information. This could be your company’s brand messages, display banners on your latest offerings, and your social media channels like LinkedIn.

By doing this, you are unobtrusively promoting your latest marketing messages, which means those receiving your correspondence, will be more likely to engage with your messaging as it’s not being forced on them in an unwanted email.

I am often asked whether you can display banners in your email signature without getting consent. It is fine to do share some commercial content in your signature if the email’s main purpose is relationship-building and sharing transactional information.

I would, however, recommend putting a compliance disclaimer within your email signature, which could include a link to your company’s privacy policies. This will help to show you are a trustworthy partner, taking every step to make sure personal data is processed according to GDPR.

Internal opportunities

Email signature marketing not only benefits external promotion but can support internal communications too. As already mentioned, if you have already built up a trusted relationship with a customer or new business lead, your corporate network’s emails will be valued and trusted.

The same can be said if you use them for internal communications. Whether you want to advertise a new internal job opportunity, promote an up-and-coming internal event, or reiterate important company announcements, like how your workplace is currently operating in light of Government advice on COVID-19, these can all be easily communicated if added to a signature.

It’s also a useful method for reaching employees that work remotely or from home, as they won’t be privy to traditional reminders or opportunities if they are only displayed in your office. If used correctly, you can reach all employees regardless of where they are based, without interrupting their work schedules.

Ensuring consistency and effectiveness

To ensure successful, consistent email signature marketing, everyone needs to use the same template, relevant to the department they work in. Don’t rely on individuals to edit their signatures as manual efforts often lead to mistakes, no matter how conscientious your workforce.

The best thing you can do is centralise how you deploy email signatures and I would recommend using a third-party solution like an email management tool. The email signatures can be tailored by your marketing team to ensure the information is correct for each department, region or even country, as offices expand across global continents.

Maria Dahlqvist Canton, Head of Global Marketing, Exclaimer

Maria is Head of Global Marketing at Exclaimer. She has over 20 years' of experience in IT and technology marketing and has also worked in business development across Europe.