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The Best Elements of Email Signature Marketing

Brought to you by Exclaimer

Everyone in your company sends thousands of business emails a year. This equates to a vast source of marketing opportunities that your company can capitalize on with the humble email signature. Email signature marketing can:

  • Increase your social reach
  • Promote your latest content
  • Keep your brand consistent across all emails
  • Increase click through rates to your landing pages
  • Improve the ROI of key marketing campaigns

Now, we need to be clear that we’re not talking about what are classed as “marketing emails” but “transactional ones”. What’s the difference you ask?

Marketing emails come with commercial messages that are used for commercial purposes. They are are often sent in bulk to groups of contacts. Examples would be monthly newsletters or a product launch announcement.

Transactional emails are one-to-one messages that contain information relevant to each recipient. Every email sent will be to individuals rather than a large list.

When using traditional email marketing, you have to take in to account various regulations around the world. Take CAN-SPAM, a well-known law used in the United States, for example. Before sending any mass communication, you have to ensure the following:

  • All details are accurate and not misleading
  • Clear subject lines are used
  • The message can clearly be identified as an advertisement
  • Recipients are able to see where your physical address is located
  • A clear unsubscribe message is included
  • All opt-out requests are actioned within 10 working days
  • That you monitor what others are sending out on your behalf

The email signature marketing play

Transactional employee emails always have a much more engaged audience than a mass marketing email. This is simply because they are one-to-one communications. When an email is from a trusted sender, it offers a great opportunity to introduce a tailored message around your latest marketing efforts.

You can use an email signature template to enhance the relevance of your content and personalize messaging for a specific target audience. This is known as email signature marketing.

You can transform a professional email signature into a powerful marketing channel by including:

  • Your logo and branding
  • Promotional display banners
  • Links to your social media accounts
  • Links to your most recent & relevant content

Logo and branding

Branding is important and informs the design of your company logo, the color palette, font, etc. The same is also true of email signatures.

Email signature marketing example of corporate branding

The biggest element of a company’s brand is its logo – the aesthetic aspect of an email signature. This is probably the largest part spatially, but it’s consumed the quickest mentally: users glance once, then move on.

Despite this, a logo is relied upon to give your brand a personality. Hilton’s solid, simple design prefaces its traditional, trusted service, while Google’s implies a creative, eccentric personality.

The prominence of a logo in the email signature marketing mix often relates to the company's ideology. Hilton and Google might both be quite minimalist in their approach. However, Apple or Coca Cola might want to inject the entire email with their iconic visual themes.

If signature images are embedded in a message, they don’t need to be downloaded. They also won’t appear as boxes with a red ‘x’. It is also possible to use hosted images, like those in a direct marketing email. However, they will need to be downloaded as additional content and won’t appear in the email immediately.

Social media in email signature marketing

Social media in email signatures

Social media buttons, RSS feeds, and other functionality can also be incorporated into your corporate email signatures. Including icons that link to social media platforms offer an easy way to increase your follower base.

However, these should be deployed with care, noting their place in a consumer’s experience. For example a Twitter ‘Follow’ might be appropriate for a new user. However, a LinkedIn ‘Recommend’ might be wrong for a prospective customer who hasn’t yet used any of your products.

Nonetheless, their pleasant appearance and innocuous size makes them an effective marketing tool and are intensely useful if integrated correctly. Note that each social media provider has its own set of guidelines for using logos. For example, the YouTube logo should not be used with ‘drop shadow’ graphical effects.

The power of email signature banners

Email signature marketing example using banners

Using an eye-catching display banner is one of the most effective ways to implement email signature marketing campaigns. Sending emails is constant, so your signature is the perfect place for showcasing new content and drive traffic to your website. The call to actions can range from white papers and webinars, new special offers, attendance at trade shows, and so on.

An email signature banner typically goes below the contact details so naturally carries weight and credibility. There are no other distractions to an engaged reader. This means you can tone down the intensity of the banner design to land your message more effectively.

You can alter the signature messaging for different teams and give your target audience a message they’ll care more about. This will vary depending on what product or service you want to offer to your recipients.

For example, potential buyers could see an introductory offer while a regional office could be promoting a local event. You can even offer a range of official, on-brand and approved signature templates.

An email signature marketing banner will also bring up potential upsell or cross-sell opportunities without disrupting the sender/recipient communication flow. The sales message is then suggested rather than imposed or forced.

However, make sure you update your signature once banner campaigns have run their course. There's nothing worse than promoting a special offer or event that has already expired.

Tracking and measuring email signature marketing campaigns

Tracking links in email signature marketing

It’s all well and good adding promotional banners and social media links to your email signature. However, you’re not going to know what elements work well if you don’t have appropriate tracking in place.

Tag and track each email signature component via Google Analytics to better understand customer journeys, engagement and conversion. You can quantify your contacts’ level of interest with your signature content and propensity to convert down to the individual level. Pay attention to email signature marketing elements that gain the most engagement so that you can better optimize your email signature campaigns.

When using business email for marketing communications, you can exploit the high visibility of the email signature touchpoint and target the message with superior precision to get better results.

Setting up an email signature marketing strategy

Setting up email signature marketing with a realtor signature.

Professionalism counts towards a company’s brand reputation and inconsistent email signatures are simply unprofessional. This happens when the email signature channel is not properly controlled. A companywide email signature policy needs to be enforced if you want to get the full benefits of this channel. If there is no control, there is no way you can build a successful email signature marketing strategy.

If you let employees send their own email signature designs, it becomes their marketing communications touchpoint and not the company’s. Another option is to email out a template with instructions on how to copy and paste it into their email client. But how do you keep track of its usage? How many iterations of the same signature will end up being used for both internal and external communications?

IT could write some in-house HTML code that adds the signature to emails automatically. This means handing all control over to IT, although you’ll still need to supply images, link URLs and designs. The whole process will then have to adhere to IT’s policies, service level agreement and timescales. Again, you won’t be able to take full ownership of any marketing strategy.

As you can see, none of these methods are really ideal. You need centralized control to get the true benefits of email signature marketing.

The Exclaimer Signature Marketing Cloud proposition

In the end, specialist email signature solutions by Exclaimer makes managing your signatures a walk in the park. Our solutions eliminate manual intervention and simplify the design process. Once set up by IT and integrated into the email systems, all changes can be managed centrally.

You can then control all elements of the email signature marketing mix, ensuring everyone is using the correct signature template. Once you have central control, you then have the capabilities to track and measure the success of your email signature marketing campaigns.

Ready to get started?

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