We sit down with Tom Piamenta, cofounder of WiseStamp,to discuss the importance of formatting and presenting yourself to potential clients and branding techniques.
BC: Why is it important to have a well-formatted email signature?
TP: A good email signature serves 3 major goals.
First, it sets the tone of the email. It shows who you are, your persona (e.g. serious vs fun) and promotes your personal brand.
Second, it lets your recipients easily see who you are and take the conversation into a friendlier place while removing hesitations and obstacles. People are also less likely to ignore a “personal” outreach. This is why adding your personal photo or a favorite quote is a good idea.
Third, an effective signature can be a powerful ally of the content of your email. Let’s say you wish to setup a meeting with someone, you can add to your signature a distinct button saying “Let’s schedule a meeting” that allows the recipient to book a time online.
BC: Why is it important to put links to my website and social media profiles?
TP: People who take the time to view your email are likely to Google your name and gather more data about you. Adding links to your website and profiles makes sure they will come across the content that you want them to see and not random stuff they can found online.
BC: Is putting a profile picture next to my email signature a good idea?
TP: This depends on the outcome you’d like to achieve. A profile picture makes the email more personal and harder to ignore, while adding a logo makes matters a bit more formal. Personally, I use a profile picture, since I prefer to keep the conversation light and amiable rather than strictly professional.
BC: What other ways can email signatures help me as a freelancer or business?
TP: Your email signature is a powerful piece of real estate you are leaving untapped. That’s actually the reason we created WiseStamp – to allow you to make your signature more effective using a variety of Email Apps.
A physician can add a call to action to his signature (“Book a meeting with me”), where an eBay seller will add a promotion (“Click here to enjoy our holiday pricing”) and an actor can add the cover images to showcase their filmography.
BC: Are there any rules to how long an email signature should be?
T.P: I’m a devout believer in the saying that less is more. A good signature should include your profile picture or logo, personal data (name, title, company), icons to your social profiles (Linkedin, Facebook, IMDB etc.) and a concise call to action relevant to the outcome you wish to achieve.
BC: What about font selection?
TP: The only thing to remember is to never use fonts that are not websafe. If you do you have no idea what the recipient will actually see. We only allow websafe fonts at WiseStamp so no need to worry about that.
BC: Is it important if I work in a business that everyone’s email signatures are consistent?
TP: When WiseStamp started we only had a solution for individuals, but since consistency is of grave importance our users drove us to develop a team solution that does just that – allow for central management of the company’s email signature. Signatures that aren’t unified reflect badly on the company and sometimes cause actual harm (e.g. if the legal disclaimer is omitted by some employees).
A big advantage of a centrally managed solution is that the company can push its marketing messages in all emails sent with a click, thus promoting webinars, sales, launching new products etc.