By Maria Dahlqvist Canton, Head of Global Marketing, Exclaimer
Despite the growth and prominence of mobile messengers and office chat apps, email is still an essential part of daily, business life.
Last year, there were nearly 294 billion emails sent worldwide and it’s estimated this will increase to nearly 350 billion by 2023.
Though businesses recognise email is an effective communication tool between employees and clients, it’s valuable in supporting your marketing efforts too.
In this article, I discuss how company email signatures can be used as your next successful marketing channel.
The use of instant messaging tools in businesses such as Slack and Microsoft Teams have increased drastically over the years, so it is understandable some people may think ‘email is dead’.
But, regardless of these rises, it’s still ranked as the third most influential source of information – topped only by recommendations and industry-specific influencers – meaning email marketing is still considered one of the most direct and effective ways of connecting with your audience.
However, not all digital marketing content will be seen by every recipient they’re sent to. This is where a bit of creativity can be used to help boost your latest business efforts.
Think about it. Depending on the size of your company, the number of emails sent from your workplace could reach tens of thousands a day and most of the recipients of these emails will already have a relationship with the sender.
This means they’ll be more receptive to what their emails have to say as trust is already built and value placed on what is shared through daily correspondence.
With this in mind, it is clear email signatures can be used as a potential channel to help promote our latest business efforts and there are eight key benefits businesses need to consider when using them.
Targeted and personalised content
Firstly, email signature marketing is highly targeted. Different departments talk to different business leads, which means your marketing team can ensure relevant messages are added to different signatures, so they reach the right audience.
For example, you could include your latest case study link in an email to a potential partner or an attractive offer in an email to new customers.
With direct email marketing communications, the email is only seen once, whereas, with the use of email signatures, contacts will see these repeatedly, which is why they are seen to have maximum effects when ongoing business relationships are maintained between a single point of contact and a member of your corporate network.
To guarantee your email signature is including the correct promotional elements, it needs to contain specific information. This could be your company’s brand messages, display banners on your latest offerings or social media icons like LinkedIn.
Subtlety is key when promoting your latest business and marketing efforts without appearing too commercial.
When using email signatures as part of the marketing strategy, ensure your message is useful and informative – make it more human. This means those on the receiving end are more likely to engage with its content, as they are given a choice, whether they pay attention to your signature or not.
Also, it’s often asked whether you can display promotional content in your email signature without getting consent. It’s fine to share some commercial content in your signature if you follow the simple 80/20 rule.
If more than 20 percent of the message contains promotional content, then it’s deemed a promotional email. If, however, the email’s main purpose is relationship-building and sharing transactional information, then it’s classed as non-promotional.
I would, however, recommend including a compliance disclaimer within your email signature, which could include a link to your company’s privacy policies. This will help to show you are a trustworthy partner, taking every step to make sure personal data is processed according to GDPR.
High volume, low cost
Depending on the number of emails your business sends, email signature marketing has the potential to be high volume, but without requiring a huge amount of resource from your marketing department.
It’s important to note, emails can be forwarded on long after you sent your original message, meaning your marketing materials may be displayed across even more digital chains and conversations than originally intended.
Once you’ve established key business relationships, email signature marketing becomes a valuable and trusted channel. The recipient wants to read your message, so this means you can secure at least one impression with each email sent.
You can also update marketing messages regularly and easily to increase relevancy and to personalise your communication to the recipient, simply by adding or taking away different factors from the signature template.
I should also note the cost-effectiveness of including your latest marketing efforts in an email signature. There is no guarantee using other marketing tools such as PPC or digital advertising is money well spent.
Whereas, using email signatures for different marketing and sales purposes can cost your company next to nothing. You don’t have to pay to host imagery or spend money on a platform which might not work for you.
Not only is email signature marketing beneficial for external product promotion but it can support internal communications too. Employee-to-employee communication via email happens multiple times every day, so it presents an opportunity to share internal messaging with each email sent.
Whether, you want to advertise a new internal job opportunity, share company news or promote an up-and-coming internal event, these can all be easily communicated if added to a signature.
It also allows employees that work remotely or from home to be kept up to date with company announcements and information that would normally be displayed in the office. If used correctly, you can reach all employees regardless of where they are based, without interfering with their work schedules.
Consistency is key
When implementing email signature marketing, it’s key for everyone in the company to use the same template and it should be relevant to the department they work in. No matter how conscientious your workforce may be, you shouldn’t rely on individuals to edit their signatures as manual efforts can often lead to mistakes.
I would suggest centralising how to deploy your email signatures and recommend using a third-party solution such as an email management system. These can easily be tailored by your marketing team to ensure information is correct for each department, region and even country as offices expand globally.
Also, don’t forget to track the engagement from your email signatures. By using Google Analytics with appropriate UTM parameters, you can easily record how your links perform. Use the results to see which banners are the most effective and to help you make further improvements.