E-Signature Files Benefits -Do's and Do'nts

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 Posted by Aman Jain

It is a good idea to develop several signature files to use with different groups of recipients. You can use an appropriate signature file for each different group you are targeting. You should update your signature file often to reflect current marketing-related information.

Some e-mail programs allow a maximum of 80 characters per line for signature files. You should design your signature file to fit well within the limits of all programs. Use no more than 65 characters per line to be assured that your signature file will be viewed as you have designed it no matter what reader is being used. As a matter of fact, the fewer characters the better to ensure that what you have on one line appears on one line (and not two) in your viewers’ browsers. Sometimes people open and view their e-mail in a small window and not the full screen.

Some people get really innovative in the design of their sig files. They often include sketches, designs, or logos developed by combining keyboard numbers and punctuation. Including graphics in your signature file is not a good idea. This might look quite nice on your screen, but when you send it to other people who have a different e-mail program or are using different screen resolutions, it could look quite different on their monitors. You should also stay away from using icons or sketches in your signature files. Check out sig files attached to messages you receive or those posted to newsgroups to see what you like, what you don’t like, and what suits you best. You can always build it, test it on your colleagues, and then decide whether you should use it or not.

The use of sig files offers a number of benefits to your company. If you use sig files appropriately, you promote your company and your online presence in the following ways:
§ The use of sig files increases your company’s online exposure. By merely placing a sig file at the end of a posting to a newsgroup, you ensure that your company name will be seen by thousands of people. A great tag line with a call to action encourages people to visit your site.
§ As with any advertisement, the design and content of your sig file can be used to position your business and create or complement a corporate image.
§ Using your sig file can enhance the reputation of your company based upon the e-mail that it is attached to. If your postings to newsgroups and mailing lists are helpful and continually appreciated, this will become associated with your company name.
§ Using appropriate sig files signals to the online community that you are a member who respects proper netiquette.