Email signatures in a desktopless world- do we need a re-think? [off topic]
Hmmmm- My signature's not that big but it certainly contains most of those details... although it is better looking. Anshu offers 5 Steps to a Great Email Signature:
This is a bit off topic- apologies- but I came across this post the other day by Anshu Sharma- Desktopless World: Is Your Email Signature Stuck in Desktop Era? and as a provider of email signatures it got me thinking... am I making the most of my email signature? Have I adapted mine to a desktopless world?
The key is to have a concise, one line email signature that captures how I can contact you and learn about you. Here is a typical long email signature and yes, I copied it from a real person's email but changed the identity:Hi Anshu,I am following up regarding sale of 7,000 user licenses.Did you get the invoice?-LindaLinda P. SmithSenior Vice President, Boiler Plate Inc.799 Bounty Dr, Suite 204, Foster City, CA 94107(919) 945 8344 Phone (919) 848 4843 FAXFollow me on Twitter @LindaPSmithFind me at http://www.linkedin.com/in/LindaPSmithBlogging at http://followmeblog.comYes, this is a real signature. And I have seen longer signatures that include other modes of connectivity. So let's look at what is and is not needed in an email signature.
1. No Email Address: This is an obvious one if you think about it - if I am getting an email from you, I already have your email address. Its redundant, get rid of it. 2. Only One Line: Your goal should be to fit your email signature on one line. This is the most important point (and missing from Dave Clarke's great post). Here is my email signature and how it looks in an email:Hi Dave,Great post on email signatures. Check out my post and let me know what you think about the improvisations I propose.AnshuAnshu Sharma | Vice President | 919.888.4343 (m) | www.anshublog.comHere's why? Most people these days read your email on a mobile device and every additional line you have makes it harder to scroll and read a thread. Remember, this rule applies even if you are not sending the email from a mobile device - its about the recipient and not the sender. 3. No Fax: I agree with Dave, unless you work in a job where you regularly get faxes, leave it out. Your recipient can always call or email you to ask for it as needed. 4. No Address: Again, same as above. No need to include a mailing address unless you expect people to show up at your office. Make sure your website has that information (and that when people search your company's name on Google Maps or Yahoo! Maps, it shows up). 5. Avoid Social Media Overload: We get it that you have a blog, a twitter account, a great resume on LinkedIn and so on and so forth. Pick one URL that is most relevant and publish that in your signature. If you have been watching TV these days, you will notice that Honda and Toyota ask you to visit www.facebook.com/Toyota etc. and not their corporate website. The call to action to visit you must be simplified. You can then let me connect to other media from that website. As we keep adding channels from LinkedIn to Twitter; and delivery mechanisms from desktops to iPhones to iPads; and message formats from tweets to texts to emails. Its upto us to help each other maintain a semblance of inbox sanity. A clear concise signature and a clear concise subject line are the first two steps in that direction.
He makes some great points- but is it too IT? What if you don't deal with techies all day? What about disclaimers?
I like the idea of a one line signature- reading conversations can be a nightmare on a mobile device with big signatures- especially ones that force horizontal scrolling.
Anyway, some food for thought when you're designing your next email signature.