One of my biggest professional pet peeves is when I can’t find direct contact information in someone’s email. It happens more often than I care to admit.
Since we rely so heavily on email communication in today’s business environment, we should include our email signature in all outbound emails.
We can all agree on that, right?
The biggest question then is what elements should be in your email signature? Those opinions vary widely, at least according to what I’ve seen on email signatures in the last few months.
I’ve seen email signatures with quotes, lists of speaking engagements and company logos. None of which I’d include in my signature. My theory? Keep it simple, but give people what they need (hint: basic contact info).
We don’t care about random Dalai Lama quotes. We don’t care about your company logo (we’re happy for you, but we still don’t care). And, we most certainly don’t care about your list of speaking engagements in the last year (at least not in this format).
So, what do we care about? Here’s what I’d suggest:
1. Name—first and last.
2. Title. Please don’t include ninja—even if you’re trying to be funny.
3. Phone. Include work and cell, if appropriate, and a fax number if it’s relevant to your industry.
4. Email address. Pretty simple, right?
5. Website. It’s still the best place to find more about you.
6. Twitter handle—but only if you’re fairly active. If you don’t keep up your account, do not include, it’s worthless.
7. Blog—only if you keep it updated.
Notice, I’m not suggesting you list every social network you’re active on, a link to your most recent campaign, or your artwork.
OK, your turn. What should be included in your email signature line?
Arik Hanson is principal of ACH Communications.