The Ultimate Guide to Email Signature Marketing for Small to Medium Businesses

Introduction

Emails have become the primary communication channel for businesses worldwide. They’re used to communicate with clients, partners, prospects, and other professionals in their field.

Most businesses are so used to sending emails that they rarely stop to think about them. Emails are just sort of ingrained into their daily habits, and everyone on their team uses emails without giving them much thought. 

Did you know that on average a person sends 40 business emails per day? That’s 280 business emails per week, 1,120 emails per month, or 14,560 emails per year. Now imagine everyone in your business doing the same thing. If your business has a small team of 25 members, that quickly adds up to over 350,000 emails per year. That’s a lot of emails! 

Sadly enough, there’s not much excitement in daily email communications. Most emails look and feel boring, they’re merely plain text. But what if I told you that you can turn each of those 350,000 emails into marketing opportunities for your business without much effort or additional costs?

Therein lies the power of email signature marketing. When done correctly, email signature marketing will transform everyday business emails into a low-cost marketing channel that effortlessly grows your business. All by doing the same thing that your business is already doing, communicating through emails.

In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to address everything you need to know about email signature marketing. You’ll be able to learn:

  • What is email signature marketing and how it can help your business grow
  • How to implement email signature marketing for your business 
  • The secret weapon to successful email signature marketing 
  • Why and how your business should manage email signatures across team members
  • The fastest and easiest way to deploy email signature marketing for your business

By the time you finish reading this guide, you will clearly see the hidden opportunity behind the emails that your company is already sending on a daily basis, and will know exactly how to turn those emails into a low-cost marketing channel for your business. Let’s dive in!

CTA-The-Ultimate-Guide-to-Email-Signature-Marketing-for-Small-to-Medium-Businesses 


Chapter 1

How to Turn Everyday Business Emails into a Low-cost Marketing Channel

If your company isn’t actively marketing through the signature of every email your team is sending, then you’re leaving plenty of money on the table. The signature space in your emails is a prime piece of real estate just sitting there begging for some attention, and neglecting it can mean hundreds if not thousands of dollars in missed opportunities.

In this chapter, we’ll introduce you to email signature marketing, discuss the benefits that it can provide your business, and provide guidance for successfully implementing this strategy. Let’s get started with the basics, what exactly is email signature marketing?

What is Email Signature Marketing?

Email signature marketing is a strategy that turns every email your company sends into a marketing opportunity. It does so by leveraging the bottom section of your emails to display more than just a dull signoff with some personal information. 

For example, instead of merely concluding emails with something like “Sincerely, John” and some personal information, the email signature area would include an aesthetically pleasing banner promoting something about your company. This promotion can be almost anything, it can be a discount offer, an invitation to schedule a consultation, the link to your latest blog post, or whatever call to action you want. Doing so turns an otherwise boring email into a unique branded experience thats also serves as an opportunity to increase revenue.

Check out these examples to better understand what we’re talking about here:

 

4 Benefits of Implementing Email Signature Marketing

1 You will generate more revenue from the emails you already send

The main reason for any business to try email signature marketing is that it can increase revenue with minimal to no additional cost or effort. The truth is though that everyday business emails are all too often overlooked as a marketing channel, and that is a huge mistake. Your business is already sending dozens of emails on a daily basis, why not get those same emails to generate some extra revenue for your business.

 

 

2 Improved perception of your business

By providing a remarkable first impression with your emails, prospects will see that you don’t go about things haphazardly. Putting thought and care into the branding of your emails is an expression of how much quality means to you. The professional look will instantly develop a sense of trust in your business.

3 Competitive edge over competitors

When the emails you send are just another carbon copy of all the other boring-looking emails in your recipient’s inbox, your emails will just be another grain of sand on a beach. However, when you make the effort of correctly branding your emails and making your signature much more than the typical dull signoff, your emails will stand out from the crowd. This will make your emails more memorable than your competitors, giving you a competitive edge when it comes to earning the business of your recipients.

4 An uptick in engagement & responses

Recipients appreciate the attention to detail. By showing them you care enough to send something different from the boring emails they are used to, it’s more likely that they will feel compelled to click your links and even reply to your messages.

Best Practices for Email Signature Marketing

Now that we’ve discussed what email signature marketing is and why your business would benefit from it, we want to provide some guidance into how to go about implementing email signature marketing for your business.

Here are 6 of the best practices we recommend for email signature marketing:

 

1 Always include a single Call-to-Action (CTA)

The CTA, a digital invitation for your reader to take action in the form of a link or button, is the backbone of your email signature marketing efforts; it’s what turns emails into a marketing opportunity for your business.

 

Top-of-the-funnel-leads

 

Your emails should only have one CTA at a time, having multiple CTAs will distract your recipient, cause decision fatigue and ultimately make them not click anything at all.

In the next chapter of this guide, we will dive deeper into the secret weapon for effective CTAs. This secret weapon will essentially multiply the effectiveness of your efforts and is so important that we decided to dedicate a whole chapter to it.

For now, just know that the key to transforming your daily emails into a marketing channel is to include a CTA in all of your email signatures.

 

2 Stay true to your brand

This isn’t just an email signature marketing best practice, it’s also the key to having a professional-looking email. What does it mean to stay true to your brand? It means using the same styles of  images, words, colors, fonts, and logos as you do in your other marketing materials. If your website only uses dark blue and green colors, then it wouldn’t make much sense to send emails with bright red and yellow branding. Consistency makes your brand instantly recognizable and makes you seem more dependable. If the look of your brand is all over the place, couldn’t that give the impression that your business is disorganized? The bottom line is that consumers trust and stick to brands they recognize. Just think about Target and how you immediately think of their logo, the color red and the experience they provide in store and with their products.

 

3 Don’t complicate things, keep it simple

This is something we see a lot of businesses completely miss the mark on. Avoid wordy messaging, stay away from complicated designs, and make sure that your CTAs are clear, understandable, and readable. These days people read and move fast, when in doubt, go with the simpler option.

 

4 Ensure your signature is responsive

Email signature marketing won’t work well if your signatures don’t look right across all devices.

If the email signature banner looks good on a desktop computer but is illegible when the email is opened on a phone, that’s a missed opportunity.  If your signature doesn’t also look good in dark mode, then your strategy will be less effective.

It boils down to this, the more responsive your signature the more effective your efforts will be.

 

5 A/B test your signature

This practice will require you to be using quality email signature software. Using a solid program such as Black Pearl Mail will give you the ability to test audience responses between two different types of email signatures to see which one resonates the most with your readers. This can be extremely helpful when you’re looking to optimize your email signatures marketing.

Email-Signature-A-B-Test

 

6 Update your signature and banner graphics regularly

There are few things as frustrating as clicking on an offer only to find out it’s outdated. As your sales change and your offers are updated, update your email signature to fit your current deals and specials.

We’ve covered the most important best practices for email signature marketing, but as we said before, we want to dive deeper into our secret weapon for CTAs. This will be the key to unlocking the true potential behind email signature marketing.

Chapter 2

The Secret to Successful Email Signature Marketing

We’ve discussed the benefits of email signature marketing and gave you some tips on how to implement this strategy, now it’s time to reveal our secret weapon. 

In this chapter, we will cover what this secret weapon is, how you can effectively incorporate it into your strategy, and even showcase some examples for you to learn from.

So what is this secret weapon we keep talking about? 

Introducing Email Signature Banners.

What is an Email Signature Banner?

Email signature banners are aesthetically pleasing graphics that live right below your email signature. 

These eye-catching banners usually urge recipients of your emails to take a specific action, they’re almost like a small billboard placed at the bottom of each of your emails. These banners will reflect the branding of your company, make your emails look astounding, and are the best way to get a recipient to take action.

Banners will make your emails stand out and be memorable, they are also the best way to put a marketing offer in front of a prospective customer in a ‘non-pushy’ way. This is the key that unlocks the true potential behind email signature marketing, if you’re planning on implementing email signature marketing for your business, then utilizing banners is a must. 

The possibilities for email signature banners are endless, they can be used to promote almost anything. Here are just a few use case examples of an email signature banner can do:

  • Promote the latest content on your website
  • Sell your products/services
  • Schedule meetings and consultations
  • Promote special offers and discounts
  • Showcase testimonials and case studies
  • Promote awards and accolades
  • Generate referrals
  • Drive traffic to a website/funnel
  • Direct prospects to an application to work with you

    The list goes on and on, we recommend that you check out our Banner Gallery to get some inspiration on what your email signature banners can be like. We have examples for every scenario, from increasing brand awareness to promoting cross-sells/upsells, to showcasing reviews, and more. Make sure to check them out, they are a great source of inspiration for when you are ready to add a banner of your own to your emails.

    How Do You Create an Email Signature Banner?

    The first thing that needs to be done when it comes to email signature banners is to get clarity on the elements that will make up your banner. You’ll want to:

    • Plan what will be the call to action (CTA) for the banner
    • Think about the look and feel of your banner, and plan what the design will look like
    • Draft a few possibilities of what the banner will say
    • Turn your current advertising efforts into a banner

     

    email-signature-banner-cta

     

    Once you have a clear plan of the objective of your banner, how it will look, and what it will say, it’s time to bring your banner ideas to life. Once you have a final version of your banner, all that’s left to do is load them in and start sending emails!

    A few additional tips for your email signature banners:

     

    • Keep it simple: Don’t go too crazy with fonts, colors, or images. Simplicity is king.
    • Keep it short: We’ve found that headlines of less than 45 characters accompanied by subheaders of less than 90 characters are the sweet spot
    • Use a clear CTA: Telling people exactly what you want them to do in a clear way makes them much more likely to do it
    • Test different banners: You will want to test what works and what doesn’t. If it doesn’t work or isn’t working as well as you had hoped, try and try again. Even if your banners are working, we still recommend that you keep testing to find ways to optimize your banners.
    • Try making your banners move: Add an eye-catching twist to your email signature banners by utilizing GIFs. This is a fun way to add some personality, and capture your audience’s attention in a sea of otherwise boring emails!

    Chapter 3

    The Power of Managing Email Signatures Across Team Members

    Email signature marketing becomes increasingly powerful the more team members your company has. More team members mean more emails being sent daily, which means more opportunities to capitalize on. That’s why in this chapter we want to touch on the importance of managing your email signatures for your entire organization.

    Why Managing Email Signatures Across Team Members is Important

    There are three critical reasons that your business or organization should manage email signatures across all of your team members:

     

    1 Keeping control of your brand:

    Regardless of whether it’s a founder email signature, an executive email signature, or even just one of your new sales representatives – your messaging, colors, and tone should all represent your brand. Consistency is key when speaking from and for your company.

    Think about it – when you see the golden M, you think McDonald’s. When you see the little redhead girl with pigtails, you think of Wendys. Your colors, slogan, tone, jingle, etc… are the elements that tell the world “This is my company!” The more you can cement your brand in the market, the more recognizable your business becomes. And, as a result, generating revenue will be easier.

     

    build-brand-recognition

     

     

    2 Align and empower your teams:

    When everyone within your business is aligned on their role, then each person knows exactly what type of communication they’re responsible for, and how they’re supposed to help prospects or customers. This then allows you to manage the signatures across your company in a way that empowers each team member at their role.

    For example, if a customer receives a piece of correspondence with a CEO email signature, they will have different expectations than one with an IT email signature. Emails from IT are typically going to have troubleshooting information or links to set up a support call. Whereas an email from a CEO or one that has a business owner’s email signature will likely inform the customer about the state of the company, thank them for their patronage, or give them some other bit of information directly related to the running of the business.

     

    team-email-signature-alignment

     

    3 Offers that resonate more:

    As you convert leads to customers, your marketing messages change. When you have multiple departments sending correspondence, having the ability to update the marketing message you’re sending based on the receiving audience can help you achieve goals such as:

    • Increased customer retention rate
    • Improved customer satisfaction (which could increase customer advocacy)
    • More referrals
    • Better online reviews and testimonials
    • Faster closing of sales

    Goals such as these require a different message for each stage of the customer’s journey. You wouldn’t send a customer that has never purchased from you a return buyer bonus, for example. That is where email signature management provides you with a significant growth opportunity – you can adapt your email signatures so that they resonate better with each recipient, potentially bringing in more money to the business.

    Managing the email signature of all of your team members can quickly get complicated, not to mention time-consuming. But fear not, because in the next chapter we will discuss how to still get all of the benefits of managing the email signatures of your entire team without having to make things complicated.


    Chapter 4

    The Fastest Way to Deploy Email Signature Marketing

    We’d like to think that if you have made it to this point in this guide, you now see how powerful email signature marketing can be for your business. The simple fact is that email signature marketing can help you improve your engagement as well as your revenue by leveraging the emails you’re already sending.

    But we know from experience that manually managing email signatures can be a nightmare, especially when starting out. That’s why we want to share with you the easiest and fastest way to deploy custom email signatures throughout your entire company.

    Odds are you’ve already guessed the key to making this process effortless since we’ve alluded to it a few times – it’s email signature software. At the risk of sounding incredibly self-serving, the best program on the market for email signature management is Black Pearl Mail. But to really drive this point home, let’s explore the three ways you could manage email signatures for your team members. We call these methods good, better, and best.

     

    Good (But not really that good) – Let your employees manage their email signatures

    In this method of managing email signatures – you dictate the information about what to put in the signature and fire it off to your employees. You give them a list of instructions that may include copying and pasting code, adjusting email settings and even resizing graphics.

    While the memo was sent to everyone, readership was low, comprehension was even lower, followed by minimal implementation. Of those that do, there will be a steep learning curve to understand how to do it and do it correctly. 

    To put it mildly, this is the worst way a company can go about managing email signatures. Not only is there no guarantee your employees will understand how to properly implement signatures and banners, but there’s also little chance of uniformity across all departments. Lastly, think about the time needed to verify that all these individual signatures are working correctly. 

     

    mismanaged-company-email-signatures

     

    It’s like throwing a hail-mary pass in football – while some signatures will be successfully created, most won’t be. Suffice it to say, looking professional from one employee to the next is hit or miss.

     

    Better (But still leaves much to be desired) – Hand the task off to IT support

    In this method, your email signatures will be uniform. They will be done correctly. But, it’s going to cost your company time and money. 

    Even though this is quite a step above the previous methods, it’s a widely known fact that IT departments are generally small. In a small business, this could mean two, three, or just a handful of personnel servicing 100 to 250 people. To spend an average of 15 minutes per employee updating their new email signature could take days, if not weeks, of time.

     

    IT-Email-Signatures

     

    To make matters worse, every time the email signature of your employees needs to be updated, the IT team will have to begin the process all over again. It is not a very good use of company resources.

     

    Best – Use Email Signature Management Software

    Without a doubt, using Black Pearl Mail email signature management software is the most efficient solution you can use for managing your employee email signatures. Where the previous two methods can take days or weeks, our software can have you up and running in just minutes. With a few clicks, your administrator can put all the pertinent information, banners, links, etc… into every signature.

    From a single web-based platform, your administrator will also be able to adjust email signatures based on the departments, team members and even recipients without ever leaving their desk. Making any type of changes to email signatures will be a breeze, whether they’re based on new sales cycles or executive orders, they too can happen quickly and with little to no effort. 

     

    Additional Benefits of Using Black Pearl Mail Email Signature Software

    More than the time and energy saved, there are several benefits to using Black Pearl Mail. These include, but aren’t limited to:

    • No coding required to deploy or manage signatures 
    • Easy to customize fonts, link options, social media buttons, colors, and more
    • Effortlessly implement email signature banners – even moving ones!
    • Avoid images not being displayed correctly
    • Data insights and analytics reports to monitor the performance of your signatures
    • A/B testing capabilities to optimize your email signature marketing
    • Real-time notifications when recipients open or click your emails

    The functionality and customization of Black Pearl Mail will take your email signature marketing to untold levels. Branding every email your company sends with custom email signatures doesn’t have to be a complicated task. We can make it easy for you with less time and resources. Book a demo with us and witness with your own eyes the true power of email signature marketing.

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