What Should You Include In Your Email Signature?


Arik Hanson Posted by

One of my biggest professional pet peeve’s is when I can’t find direct contact information in someone’s email. It happens more often than I’d care to admit. Since we rely so heavily on email communication in today’s business environment, it just seems to be table stakes to me: Include your email signature in all outbound emails.

We can all agree on that, right? Speak now or forever hold your peace.

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 Dali 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 listing in your professional email signature line:

* Name (first and last)

* Title (and please don’t include “ninja” in your title–even if you are trying to be funny)

* Phone (seven digits; work and cell, if appropriate; fax number if it’s relevant to your industry)

* Email (pretty simple, right?)

* Web (still the best place to find more about you)

* Twitter (but only if you’re fairly active; if you don’t keep up your account, please do not include, it’s worthless).

* Blog (again, only if you keep the blog up-to-date)

Those are my thoughts. Notice, I’m not suggesting you list out every social network you’re active on. I’m not suggesting you include any artwork. I’m not suggesting you include a link to your most recent campaign.

OK, your turn. What do you think? What should be included in your email signature line?

Note: Photo courtesy of Wisestamp Email Signatures via FlickR Creative Commons.

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About the Author: Arik Hanson, is the principal of ACH Communications, a digital communications consultancy focused on fostering meaningful online interactions, driving digital relevance and building measurable growth through social channels. Arik's blog, Communications Conversations (www.arikhanson.com), has received numerous industry accolades including being named “Required Reading” by PRWeek and one of “The Top 25 Blogs to Follow” by PRWeb. He’s also a regular contributor to the PR Breakfast Club, Ragan.com, PR Daily and MinnPost.