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How businesses can use email signatures to communicate effectively while working from home

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Bloomicon)

In this article, I will discuss how businesses can use email signatures to communicate effectively with both customers and co-workers while working from home.

Over the last few months, many businesses and their employees have adapted to a new way of working. Before the global outbreak of Covid-19, only 30 percent of UK employees ever worked from home. The current climate has led to sudden changes for many businesses, who are not typically used to remote working.

This has been shown through the significant rise in customer enquiries Exclaimer has received, since lockdown began, with many businesses reaching out to us and asking how to adapt their email signature management solutions to their new remote workforces.

Offering peace of mind

Companies and their employees are reinventing themselves because of the current climate, making their processes more digital and finding alternative solutions to ensure they can continue their jobs effectively while working remotely.

Face-to-face contact has reduced, resulting in companies heavily relying on email more than ever. Because of this, many of our customers have become more concerned about email deliverability and client-side availability.

Companies can ensure employees continue to communicate effectively by introducing the correct email signature management options. This should offer senders peace-of-mind when working from home.

This means you can manage and distribute email signatures for every user in your organization, regardless of where they are based and the device they use. You can customize email signatures for different teams, replies, and internal or external emails.

Introducing client-side signatures to employees’ devices when working remotely also allows the user to see their signature when composing emails. They can choose the correct template when composing an email, so the appropriate signature is sent to the relevant recipients.

Keep lines of communication open

While working remotely, it’s essential both colleagues and clients know how to contact and communicate with you effectively.

You can easily provide this information in your email signature, whether it’s updating your contact details, displaying your amended working hours or even linking to specific pages with relevant company information.

For instance, you can link to a page on your site that explains what current measures you have put in place to ensure the safeguarding of your employees and also any changes to your business model that have occurred due to Covid-19. 

Another benefit is email signatures can be updated and tailored to different departments and audiences quickly and efficiently. However, it’s worth noting, when updating email signatures, it’s key everyone in the company uses the same template, relevant to their department.

Don’t rely on individuals to edit their signatures as manual efforts can often lead to mistakes, no matter how conscientious your workforce. I would suggest centralizing how you deploy your email signatures using a third-party solution.

Email signature marketing

Not only is email an effective communication tool between employees and clients, but it’s also valuable in supporting your marketing efforts, especially during remote working.

Email signature marketing is highly targeted. Different departments talk to different business leads, which means your marketing team can ensure relevant messages are added to different signatures, so they reach the correct audience.

Also, it’s during challenging times like these that budget-cutting decisions are made. So, when it comes to your marketing budget, it’s worth focusing on cost-effective, responsive channels that deliver ROI.

There are no additional monetary costs involved when using your email signature as a marketing channel. Companies don’t have to pay to host imagery or spend money on a platform that might not work for you.

Eye-catching email banner campaigns do a great job of driving direct engagement from a channel your staff are using every day. Best of all, new banner campaigns can go ‘live’ in minutes and central control means you can add company-wide updates to them in an instant.

Internal communications

When working from home, company email signature marketing can support internal communications as well.

Despite the use of instant messaging tools in businesses increasing drastically over the years, employee-to-employee communication via email happens multiple times throughout the working day. This presents an opportunity to share internal messaging with each email sent.

Whether it’s company announcements or information that would normally be displayed in the office, it allows companies to keep their employees up to date despite working from home.

Reduced security risks

With so many companies having to adapt their business to allow employees to work from home, they will have to implement security measures to ensure safe practice for employees accessing data remotely.

Firstly, businesses should ensure all company devices have the latest anti-virus and firewall software installed, plus the latest OS and patch updates. For employees using a personal device when working remotely, companies should offer to provide these extra layers of security at the cost of the company to encourage compliance.

For example, you could install device-focused MDM (Mobile Device Management) software, which provides a single platform where all mobile devices in use can be monitored and managed.

The dangers of taking a relaxed attitude to email signatures were evident in a recent news story, which revealed how an email was deemed as a legally binding contract because it included an automated signature.

Having an email signature management solution in place not only means everyone has the same high-quality signature when sent from any device, but also ensures contact details are always current and the correct email disclaimers are in place.

Ensuring everyone is using a consistent email signature block that you know will be applied to all internal and external emails will give businesses peace-of-mind and complete awareness of what is being appended to all corporate emails.

Companies can also reduce email security risks effectively by teaching their employees simple techniques they can use to protect their devices. This can include using VPNs to obscure IP addresses, choosing strong passwords (and keeping these separate from personal passwords), and using email archiving solutions when accessing data remotely.

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.