Email signatures have numerous marketing benefits. Here are 8 top reasons to turn your email signature into a marketing channel.
When we talk about corporate email, we’re not talking about sending out email marketing communications to your contacts. We mean the standard email that is sent out by your users every day to external and internal recipients. These will inevitably have some form of email signature appended to them.
So why should you think of email signatures as an independent and valuable communications channel? Let’s examine the unique aspects of the email signature channel with these top 8 reasons to use email signatures for marketing purposes:
You know who receives a message containing your corporate email signature, in what context and when they will see it, which provides immense opportunity for market segmentation and specialization e.g. if you know different departments speak with different types of contacts. Also consider the different stages departments will reach an email contact. Pre-sales technical support may speak to the recipient before they’ve tried your service but the account management team will speak to them as they’re negotiating to close the deal.
So, different email signatures on every group’s email could be used to communicate different messages to different segments or at different stages of the sales process. Email signatures become a unique opportunity to target marketing messages more precisely than other channels like digital advertising or email marketing communications.
2. High volume
Studies estimate every worker sends roughly 35 emails per day, a figure that continues to rise year-on-year. In, for example, a 50-person office that’s maybe 1,700 emails every day, which constitutes a substantial marketing audience.
In short, if a message is being displayed on your corporate email signature, you can guarantee it will get a large audience. No matter your business size, you’ll consider that audience to be large as it scales with the size of your workforce and operations.
We would also take the opportunity to point out the onward travel of emails. They are often forwarded and copied between colleagues and contacts long after you sent your original message. This is a key facet of the email signature channel, especially when messages are used to reach external partners like suppliers and customers. You could consider your email signature to be an advertisement that’s displayed on the internal decision-making process. Each contact, from CEO to project manager, that sees your forwarded message will also see the content your email signature displays. In this way, the already high volume of the email signature channel benefits from providing some strong force multiplier and network effects.
Continual display is also a major feature of the email signature channel as contacts will see it repeatedly and persistently. This runs counter to a few other marketing channels like direct email marketing communications, where the message is only seen once. That’s why email signatures will have maximum effect in contexts where ongoing business relationships are maintained between a single point of contact and a corporate partner e.g. your sales staff and customers, your procurement staff and suppliers, your logistics staff and your distributors etc.
This way, the email signature can be varied for effect such as altering the message or merely the way it’s communicated. It can also be used to influence those interactions in a subtle way, without disrupting the relationship your colleague and their contact has such as cross-selling an add-on product or service in the email signature message.
Your email signature appears on a message that’s delivering a valuable payload of information, confirmation, assistance etc. The contact wants to read this message so you can guarantee at least one impression with each email signature sent. This also means the recipient is more likely to react to your signature’s content more closely.
You could bring up a cross-sell opportunity, offer a social media resource or suggest an event via your email signature at the very moment the reader is most invested in the topic, which is as they consider the terms of some deal or the logistics of some provision.
As the reader and sender often know each other, there’s an implicit trust in what’s being said. At the absolute minimum, a corporate email is known to be legitimate, and in many cases, the mere fact it’s from a sender they trust may be reason enough to react to a campaign banner in an email signature.
Now, at its most base level, an email signature might only serve to demonstrate that a message is authentic, but in certain contexts, it can further intensify the impact the message has.
You can control and predict the context in which your email signature may be seen when compared with online advertisements that might be displayed alongside contradictory content such as an airline ad beside a story about an air disaster.
The main content of an email, if the sender is doing his job correctly, will be positive towards your organization, so it won’t undermine the communications in your email signature. You will also know the visual setting of the signature i.e. you know it will be mainly black text on a white background in Outlook.
7. Business relevant
Email is a channel used to discuss commercial subjects and professional matters, so the marketing content is linked, either directly or indirectly, to what the sender and recipient is discussing at that very moment.
As the email signature channel is targeted and controlled, you can use that to further enhance the relevance of your content. If you know it’s on an email from sales, you know it might be relevant to mention pricing or potential add-ons in the email signature. If it’s on a message from the customer service team, you know that it might do well if the signature is relevant to ongoing use of your product or service.
8. Internal Opportunity
All of these points also apply to internal email as well. These include messages sent to colleagues, subordinates, superiors and anyone within your organization.
In fact, the larger your company, the more essential the email signature channel becomes. Staff may be located miles apart in separate buildings and offices, so a small message in their email signature can be an effective way to reach all of them.
The attributes of the email signature channel, even taken individually, make for an attractive marketing communications channel - the targeting and control of direct marketing email, the high volume, constant presence and potential relevance of advertising.
However, the email signature channel goes further and combines all of these attributes and increasing the value of the next. It provides tight audience targeting and enhances your business relevance, which in turn can be further aided by its trusted/valued source. Email signatures, when used correctly, can be turned into powerful marketing opportunities that will provide additional benefits for your business.