This post of Doug’s got me thinking…
I’ve seen every variation of every possible email signature in the world. That’s a pretty broad statement, but I am 99% sure I have seen pretty much everything one can do with their email signature. Source: Service Untitled » Sample Email Signatures – customer service and customer service experience blog
The e-mail signature is something that can be helpful or royally annoying. You see while you can help people by including your phone number, e-mail, and website… adding a graphic or quote can just drive you batty.
No matter how your e-mail program does it, here are my tips:
- Keep it short. Seven lines is good. Mine happens to be 8, because I also include a row of “=” to separate it from my text.
- Keep it simple. Leave the images for your website. I’ve also found that images and other “nifty” things make your e-mail more likely to get tagged as spam and lost.
- Spell out websites. Don’t count on the HTML signature to work all the time. Instead of making a hyperlink like “My website” use http://www.onebyonemedia.com. This also lets people copy and paste into a browser or contact card.
- Only include the information you want to share. It seems silly, but if you don’t want business calls at home, don’t give out your home phone number. If you keep one IM account just for friends, don’t put it into your sig file.
- Forget the little quotes. Yeah I had this at one time too. I even had a random quote generator for a while While you might think your quote is pithy or wise or funny, it might offend someone or just be confusing.
- Don’t attach your contact card by default. Another potential spam flag and once you’re in my contacts, I don’t need it again and again.
Look we all know that an e-mail sig file is a great thing for making sure people have your contact information, but if you follow these steps, you won’t piss as many people off with yours.
Update: After I wrote this and it started to get more Digg traffic I thought of a #7…
7. Stick with black text and simple fonts. Repeat after me, Arial is my friend. Yes, I know it’s boring. But it’s also on every machine in the world and it was designed to be easily readable on screen. Yes, there are some better ones, but Arial is a great baseline. You can count on it. Use it. Arial is your friend.
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