3 ways your email signature can market yourself

What’s in a name? More than you ever realized, according to this PR expert, who sees a critical missed opportunity to sell yourself and do good.

Remember in the old days, folks would call on others and, if they weren’t at home, they’d leave their calling card behind?

I haven’t been able to find an academic reference that confirms it, but it makes sense that the modern exchange of business cards stems from there. And even in this electronic age, I’m sure you’ll agree there’s still room for business cards.

But are you maximizing your most basic calling card: your email signature?

We all suffer from email overload. I’ve long since stopped counting how many emails I get in a day. Even when I’m not working or on vacation, I use my BlackBerry to delete emails to keep on top of the traffic (it never stops!).

I also know that when I send an email, it’s a unique way to remind others of what I do, affiliations I have and things important to me.

Three tips to maximize your email signature for marketing:

1. Proclaim yourself.

You normally include your contact information in your e-signature, right? Why not include hyperlinks to the data you think people should have access to? For example, your website, blog and Twitter handles.

Job-hunting? Include a link to your updated LinkedIn profile or VisualCV. Do you have a business to promote? Link to your Etsy site or another storefront.

If it’s in your signature, it’s right there to click through to, yet you’re not hitting them over the head with it.

Related: Tell your data-driven story visually—the strongest possible way.

2. Add a visual touch.

Go one step further. Add visual pizazz to your e-signature. A terrific way to do this is by using WiseStamp.

What’s cool about this: You can embed the hyperlinks rather than simply include them, and you can also include profiles such as Twitter, SlideShare, etc., at the bottom of your signature. Here’s mine:

3. Put a shortening service to work.

Working on a special promotion? Use a URL-shortening service such as tr.im, bit.ly, ow.ly (or several others) to draw attention to it just above your signature block. I used this as a way to raise funds around my birthday: “Why I’d like you to know how old I am: http://tr.im/K6Yi.”

Granted, not often does a woman proclaim her age for all and sundry to see, but if you write short but sweet copy and post a dedicated URL, it’s easy to add to your marketing mix with almost no effort.

What ways do you use your e-signature “real estate” to market yourself?

A version of this story first appeared on Waxing UnLyrical, the official blog of Shonali Burke Consulting.

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