In Part 1 of our look at the 7Cs Framework of Email Signature Marketing, we introduced what this framework is, and looked at the first two components that make up the perfect email signature design. In this second part, we will take a look at the next three elements that will help your organization to really leverage email signature marketing effectively.
Certify your credibility
A certification image displayed in an email signature can establish credibility instantly, but there has to be a compelling reason to use one. So, which ones should you include?
Corporate certifications often provide value, but they need to be managed and leveraged correctly. Putting individual achievements on email provides employees the opportunity to make a strong statement about their expertise as well as provide them with a great morale boost. A lot of professional certifications are expensive and not promoting them means you’re not getting their full value or leveraging the positive image they can create.
At the same time, you don’t want to let your users add anything they want. The certification has to be relevant to your company. An employee may have completed a marathon and won an award, but should they really be promoting that in their email signature?
Then there’s organizational accreditations. These apply to the whole company such as meeting a quality standard like ISO 27001. Displaying these on everyone’s email reflects well on your organization and showcases your authority.
The same is also true if you win an industry award. It tells recipients that you are the best at what you do, and that your industry has recognized you for it.
In some circumstances, an award or certification will only be relevant to a particular department, e.g. including “The Sunday Times Best 100 Places to Work” on HR emails. But make sure you do shout about any important award win in your email signatures. Remember that this will be seen by thousands of recipients, thereby increasing its exposure.
Connect via social media
If you’re not promoting your social nature via your email signatures, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to introduce your customers to something like your Twitter feed, Facebook page or LinkedIn profile. Combining social media accounts with email signatures is a great way to get loads of new fans for free, improve the reach of your marketing campaigns, and increase your customers’ loyalty. Social media links are basically free marketing tools.
So how do email signatures and social media profiles work in tandem with each other? Well, firstly email signatures have a strong situational element. A recipient of your emails is already thinking about your company when reading your message. That means they can probably spare a few minutes to take a look at your social media profiles once they’re done.
You then take into consideration the fact that social media often provides the most up-to-date information from your company. Linking your profiles to your email signatures means you’re keeping your most important clients in the know easily.
Also, social media links offer your target market another avenue to continue that business relationship outside of traditional communication channels. People are more likely to engage with your brand on social media if they already have an existing relationship with you. Links in your signature can then be used as a subtle lead nurturing avenue, one that can work better than targeting them with ads and email communications.
However, you need to make sure that the social content you link to is relevant and up to date. Having a link to your Google+ profile is pointless when it’s no longer available. If you haven’t tweeted from your corporate Twitter account for more than a year, don’t include a link to it in your signature.
Recipients only want to read relevant and up-to-date content, so adding links to inactive social media profiles is just wasting their time.
Communicate with campaign banners
When you look at the various marketing channels available to you, most of them come with a cost, sometimes a substantial one. Now we would never suggest that email signature banners are going to replace any of these channels.
But when used as part of an integrated marketing campaign, email signatures are the perfect place for showcasing new content such as a white paper, highlighting special offers, attendance at trade shows and so on. And the clicks are all free!
For example, we’ve worked with Everton F.C. in the UK and they run a lot of advertising campaigns via their email signature banners. These banners particularly focus on its official charity Everton in the Community and adding banners to their corporate email signatures has proven to be a great way to get more exposure for the charity.
When it comes to designing a banner, we recommend you always go for simplicity! A banner typically goes below the contact details, so it naturally carries weight and credibility. There will be no other distractions for an engaged reader, so you can tone down the intensity of the design so your message lands more effectively.
You can consider altering the signature messaging for different teams and give specific contacts a message they’ll care about. For example, potential buyers could see an introductory special offer, while a regional office could promote a local event. You could also bring up potential upsell or cross-sell opportunities. The sales message will be suggested rather than imposed or forced.
To track how your banners are performing, you can add tracking links or UTM parameters to the URL, so you better understand customer engagement and conversions via an analytics platform. You can then quantify your contacts’ interest with your signature content and how likely they are to convert to the individual level.
You can even use display banners for internal communications. Some examples would be for internal job opportunities, company-sponsored training, corporate events, and general office reminders. Employees will then passively read and process the message without feeling pressure to take immediate action.
And make sure your banners don’t go stale. Don’t continue promoting a Spring sale in the middle of Summer or use banners that no longer conform to your brand guidelines. Keep on top of these just as much as you would any other of your marketing assets.
You have know learnt about five of the seven different components of email signature marketing. We will showcase the final two in Part 3 of this series on our 7Cs Framework. And, if you want to centrally control email signatures throughout your organization, click the links below to learn more about Exclaimer’s management solutions.