Do you have the correct e-mail signature on all of your outgoing e-mail?
For many entrepreneurs the answer is no. In fact, I see a tremendous number of e-mails from small business owners that do not even have a signature line, let alone a correct one.
Are you guilty of just signing your name at the end of an e-mail and then hitting the Send button?
Every e-mail you send out is a representation of your company. Every word you write says something about your company. Therefore, every message you send needs to be professional and complete.
How to Set Up a Signature Box in Outlook
I remember talking to a friend and advising her to have an e-mail signature. She said she wanted to, but couldnít remember how to set it up with Outlook. So, for those of you who need instructions, hereís how you do it:
Tools Options Mail Format Signature
But before you get started on writing, here are some guidelines to follow when creating a professional e-mail signature:
(1) Include all your contact information in the signature box: name, complete address, phone, fax, e-mail address, website address.
Many people print out their e-mails and then go back to them for reference. You want all of your contact information available to them, including your e-mail address. Although your e-mail address is in the heading of the e-mail, itís a good idea to repeat it in the signature box so that it is easy to find.
Even if people donít print out the e-mail, they are probably saving it in a folder. Again, you want to make it easy for them to find your contact information.
Iíve had situations where Iíve talked to potential clients, exchanged a few e-mails and then things stall. When I go back a few weeks later to follow-up I am sometimes stuck because all I have is an e-mail address. If I hadnít specifically gotten their phone number I can only hope to reach them by e-mail.
(2) Include your companyís tagline.
Consider your e-mail signature as another way to brand your company. Your companyís tagline is part of its branding and needs to be included in the signature box. It not only sounds good, but gives a very professional look to the e-mail.
(3) Include your companyís logo.
This is again using the e-mail signature to brand your company online. Be memorable. Make it easy for people to identify who you are and what you do.
(4) Advertise or promote your services/product.
Itís a simple technique, but it works amazingly well. Use the last few lines of your signature box as an advertising tool for your company. For instance, when I am giving a seminar or teleclass, I usually list it in the signature box. Every e-mail that goes out will advertise my event.
However, the one thing you need to remember is to make sure the information about the event is current. Once the date is over, take it down or replace it with another future event. Otherwise you risk looking sloppy.
Make a decision today to create a professional looking e-mail signature.
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Michelle Howe, MBA, is an expert
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