A lot of people think of a professional email signature as just an electronic business card that provides contact information. It is, after all, designed to tell people who they’re dealing with over email.
However, they’re not just business cards for the modern age. You need to start considering email signatures as an independent and valuable marketing channel. Email signature marketing, when used correctly, derives its value from the very nature of corporate email; volume, trust, relevance and targeting. As a bonus, the channel can also be used inside and outside of your organization.
The top 5 benefits of email signature marketing
1. Driving conversions
It’s clear that our email inboxes are swamped with new messages every day. Email marketing still has its place but has come into disrepute in recent years. Spam, phishing, malware: automated emails have gotten a bad reputation and many people often just delete them.
Email signature marketing, on the other hand, does not come with such a stigma. Eye-catching promotional banners provide the quickest way to attract new customers with discounts, product or service updates and tailored content like a blog post. Every contact will see it, many will engage with it, and you won’t have to use your marketing budget.
How does email signature marketing work in practice? Firstly, you need to ensure that your email signatures naturally fit into your marketing strategy. This means not only satisfying your customers’ needs, but also aligning with your sales objectives.
But email signature marketing is also flexible enough that you can easily adjust your strategy for other types of conversions too.
Some other examples of email signature marketing include:
2. Engaging your target audience
Marketing is all about reaching a specific target audience and engaging them with relevant content. Email signature marketing goes one step further, allowing for the tightest targeting possible.
After all, you already know exactly who will see the message you want to promote, what they’re talking about at the time, and who they’re speaking to within your organization. You can then build email signature marketing banners around these to get the perfect mix of content and audience segment.
It's also recommended that you adjust the content of a signature banner based on the context in which recipients will see it. You can then better align the messaging based on their interests.
But just adding a banner to an email signature is not using the channel to its fullest. You might want to change an email banner after a certain date. For example, you could show a certain banner one month, then another variation the following month. Instead of showing one message for a brief period, it can evolve over time with your other marketing activities.
This is how email signature marketing can really integrate with other channels; by improving what you’re currently doing in a non-intrusive fashion.
3. Enhancing your brand
So, what should a great email signature include? Firstly, you need your logo. By looking at a visual representation of your brand, recipients instantly recognize who they are dealing with, even if they don’t necessarily remember the sender’s name.
You also want to ensure that the contact details and legal disclaimer conform to your corporate typeface. You’ll probably instinctively look to your corporate stationery for inspiration. However, it’s vital to consider email as unique and worthy of specific attention.
Like other forms of digital marketing, there will need to be co-operation between your designer, your HTML code smith and the person that manages your email infrastructure. Therefore, use your brand elements across the whole design; it’s not just about the logo.
4. Improving internal communication
Using email signature marketing for external purposes is one thing: it’s easier to create messages that target specific users and audiences. It’s quite another to use it for internal purposes. Believe it or not, internal communications also benefit from the use of campaign banners and align directly with a specific target audience - your employees.
So how can email signature marketing work in this context? Firstly, a banner tends to not need much in the way of graphical content. You don’t have to work as hard to get your employees to pay attention as they’re already invested in your company. You also don’t have to overwhelm them with content, especially given the fast and frequent nature of internal emails.
Now, what can you use the banner graphic for? Anything you want your employees to know. Say you want to bring their attention to a new clean desk policy: bring it to their attention via their email inbox.
You could also advertise internal job opportunities or offer company-sponsored training. Even using email signature marketing for small tasks works like asking employees to turn their computer off at night or checking that they’ve booked a meeting room before entering.
This means you are constantly reiterating a message rather than being an irritant. You can have a message that’s visible all day, every day for months without pestering them. As your employees will perceive the signature passively, there’s no phone to pick up or invite to open. They will just naturally take on the information in a sub-conscious manner.
5. Tracking your success
At the end of the day, what good is any email signature marketing campaign if you can’t get insight on it? To get any real idea of its impact, you need to capture data on how your contacts interact with your email signature template.
By adding what Google Analytics calls a ‘custom parameter’ to each link – banner, social media icons, etc. – you can record the effectiveness of your design and whether it is driving conversions. All users get the same experience, but you get valuable data on who does what. Google Analytics can tell whether a visit came from a click on a salesperson's signature or a customer support adviser’s signature.
Through this data, you can then gauge how interested recipients are with the value proposition presented in your email signature marketing campaign. If they click on your sales team’s banner more than the customer service one, maybe they care more about the discount offered over the support you provide.
By using corporate email signatures for marketing, you get to exploit not just the high visibility of the medium. You also get to use the information it has access to – who sends it, when it’s sent, who it’s sent to – and target the message at different customer types with perfect precision. It might actually be the most accurate tool a marketer has.
Corporate email is the one place you guarantee total alignment with your market segment. After all, if recipients weren’t at least slightly relevant, we wouldn’t email them. Using email signature marketing is a simple way to leverage sending emails and use them to create additional marketing opportunities.
Many organizations rely on the substantial rapport between their workforce and their contacts. Email signatures are the only way to leverage this for marketing purposes. Recipients look under an email and your content is there, so you can use this presence to communicate whatever you want.
Therefore, all email signature designs are convenient and easy-to-make. Templates always remain consistent on every email, even when you’re changing to keep up with your evolving and reacting strategy. All the while you're protecting and enhancing your brand reputation through the simple act of emailing clients.
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