Here at Exclaimer, we believe that email signature marketing is a great untapped channels. Email signatures are a key marketing touchpoint, but are often underutilzed by many companies. Most people think of an email signature as an electronic business card. An email signature, after all, does tell people who they’re dealing with. So why should you think of email signatures as an independent and valuable marketing communications touch-point?
Let’s start with a direct quote from someone who has put email signature marketing in practice.
“We went from about 40,000 followers to about 235,000 in 10 months. And we know these followers are relevant because we’ve seen an exponential rise in career page visits, and a significant increase in new hires from LinkedIn.” Paul Maxim, Former Global Resourcing Director Unilever (Source: LinkedIn Talent Solutions)
We think you’ll agree that this is a massive increase in social media followers. And all from an email signature. Wouldn’t you like to receive ROIs like that for all of your marketing campaigns?
The unique channel attributes
There are eight key attributes to the email signature marketing channel that you need to be aware of.
They’re targeted, they’re shown continuously, they’re high volume, they’re valued, they’re trusted and personal, they’re business relevant, they’re low cost, and they provide additional internal opportunities.
As a starting point, you often know who is receiving your email, the context of the message and roughly when the recipient is going to see it. This provides immense opportunity for precise targeting and segmentation.
Let’s put this into a bit more context. Different departments within a company will speak to different types of external contacts. During the buying process, your sales team will be speaking to potential customers whilst your customer service department will primarily be dealing with these contacts as they hopefully convert into customers.
So different signatures can easily be applied and communicate a variety of messages to different audiences at different stages throughout the customer journey. It’s a unique opportunity to target specific audiences incredibly precisely and provide information that is of key importance to the contact in question.
Continual display is a major feature of email signature marketing. Your professional network will end up seeing your signature repeatedly and frequently. Compare that to other marketing channels such as direct marketing emails where the message is often only seen once, if that!
That’s why email signatures have the most impact when ongoing business relationships are maintained between a single point of contact and a corporate partner. For example, between your your sales and customer support staff and your customers, your procurement staff and your suppliers, or your logistics staff and your distributors.
Signatures can then be varied for maximum effect by altering the message or merely the way it’s communicated. Or, they can be used to influence interactions without interrupting the email conversation. For example, you could cross-sell an add-on product or service in a manner that is not forced like with other channels.
The average office worker sends around 35 emails a day. In something like a 50-person office, that would roughly 1,700 email a day and just over 620,000 emails a year. Now that constitutes a substantial audience. If something is displayed on your work email, you can guarantee that it will get an audience – and a large one at that. That means your message will be received by many thousands of contacts.
And no matter how big your company is, you’ll consider the audience to be large. This is because it scales based on the number of employees you have and the size of your operations. It’s also worth pointing out the outbound travel of emails. Remember, these are often forwarded on and copied between colleagues and contacts long after you sent the original message.
This is actually one of the key facets of the email channel, especially when used to reach external partners like suppliers and customers. That’s why you should consider your email signature as an advertisement that’s displayed throughout the decision-making process: every contact, from CEO to project manager, that sees your forwarded message, will also see the content your signature displays.
Every email you send is going to contain what is essentially a payload of information such as an order confirmation, specific assistance to a customer etc. The recipient will want to read the message, which guarantees at least one impression with each signature sent. Again, this will predispose them to react with the content you’re promoting in your email signature.
It’s an opportunity to land a cross-sell message, drive your social media following, promote your presence at an industry event or share your latest piece of content. It’s a time when a recipient is most invested in your company so it’s perfect for landing that marketing promotion in their lap.
Personal/Trusted & Business Relevant
The main content of the email, if the sender is doing their job correctly, will also usually be positive towards your company, providing more of a reason for the recipient to engage with the messaging placed in your signature.
Then there’s the fact that email is used for commercial and professional conversations. That’s why adding marketing content via an email signature makes perfect sense.
With the fact that email signatures are targeted and controlled, you can enhance the relevance of your email content and personalize the message to better suit a particular audience or conversation.
So, if a recipient knows an email has come from your sales department, it’s potentially relevant to mention pricing or potential product or services add-ons. If the email is from the customer service team, it might be relevant to add something about the ongoing use of your product or service. And so on and so forth.
When you look at all channels available to a marketer, from PPC to display advertising and so on, they can often be very expensive with no guarantee it’s money well spent. But with your corporate email signatures, there’s basically no monetary cost involved.
Your graphic designer creates a banner and the IT team adds it to the signature. It then appears on all outbound emails, reaching a vast audience at no cost.
You don’t have to pay to host the imagery anywhere or worry that you’re spending money on a platform that might not work for you. Every click that you get is essentially an additional interaction with your marketing campaign, but you’ve not had to raid your budget to get it.
All of the channel attributes we’ve discussed, such as they’re trusted, targeted and valued, also apply to internal emails you send within your company. In fact, the larger your company is, the more essential your email signature becomes.
Are there some new internal job opportunities? Do you have a new clean-desk policy? Do you have an upcoming internal event? Do employees need to be reminded to turn their computers off at night? An email signature can easily incorporate internal communications without having to get your users to do anything extra.
It’s also a great channel if you have employees located in different areas. More and more people work remotely these days and are not in the same building or the same country. By adding a small message under internal emails, you can reach all of your employees and keep them up to date with the latest news without interrupting their work schedule.
For more information on this topic, check out our on-demand webinar on how email signature marketing can open up new opportunities for your business.