Email signature marketing can be a heavyweight traffic driver for brands—though it’s often forgotten. Yet, it’s free and downright simple to use.
What’s not to like about free traffic and brand awareness?
Why doesn’t email signature marketing get more love, then?
Well, it’s not sexy. We won’t argue with that.
Plus, it’s certainly not the topic of any brainstorming, so announcing it as a tactic in your go-to-market meeting isn’t going to win you a round of applause (though it should).
But you’re reading this article because you’re different—you get it. You know that email signature marketing has the potential to rake in leads and boost brand awareness.
We’re here to help you make it happen.
Below, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to launch email signature marketing campaigns that convert. We’ll cover why you need it, how to get started, and best practices. But first, let’s start with the basics: what is email signature marketing?
What is email signature marketing?
Email signature marketing is a tactic where you intentionally use the signature portion of your personal emails for marketing purposes. Instead of just saying, “Jesse Sumrak | Content Marketer,” you might use a call to action (CTA) such as, “Book a free 15-minute chat now!”
Ideally, you’d use some combination of both. And that’s where we get into the art of email signature marketing—it’s learning to balance the delicate-and-friendly signoff with the not-so-pushy CTA.
That’s easier said than done.
While a typical email signature might include your name, job title, company, and phone number, the marketing aspect comes when you throw in some other helpful elements, such as:
- Social media profiles
- Website links
- Videos (yes, videos)
- Calendar links
You can use email signature marketing campaigns as a solo business owner or for all your company’s employees. For example, here’s the email signature I use for my freelance writing business.
And here’s the email signature I use for my company’s email alias:
Reasons you should use email signature marketing
Not sure if email signature marketing is right for you? Consider these benefits:
- Advertise for free: Invest in your signature’s design (and possibly implementation software), and then you’re up and running. Each additional email you send doesn’t cost you money, but your optimized signature gives you valuable opportunities to engage with your recipients.
- Drive engagement: Prompt action by driving traffic, boosting leads, or increasing response rates. In short, get your email recipients to do something with your marketing message.
- Improve the user experience: Don’t make your recipient look you up on LinkedIn or google your business to find out what you sell—give them everything they need right there in the email.
- Add a touch of professionalism: Go beyond most emails with just black text on a white background. Your signature gives you a chance to stand out with eye-catching designs and instill confidence.
- Personalize your emails: Provide your recipients with personalized CTAs relevant to your conversation. Want them to schedule a meeting? Add an easy-to-click button to your email.
The point is that any team can find a way to use email signature marketing. However, naturally, your marketing team will find plenty of ways to incorporate it into product launches, webinars, and events—everyone from sales to human resources (HR) can employ it, too.
For example, your sales team can add buttons and CTAs to schedule calls or book demos. Perhaps HR can add links to look at career opportunities, explore employee perks, read Glassdoor reviews, or schedule an interview. Or your entire company could showcase your social impact arm by highlighting a recent accomplishment.
How to launch an email signature marketing campaign
Ready to get started with email signature marketing? Let’s walk you through the step-by-step process:
1. Set a goal
Don’t just use email signature marketing because you saw a competitor do it. Find a purpose.
What do you want it to achieve? Does it make sense to use it for your upcoming campaign, or should you save it for another initiative?
Answer these questions before you move on and invest in a campaign ill-suited for email signature marketing.
2. Establish key performance indicators
Now that you know what you want to achieve, you need to decide how you’ll measure it. Decide what metrics you’ll use to track success, such as:
- Lead generation
- Calls scheduled
- Pages visited
There’s no single best metric for measuring your campaigns. Just find what aligns the most with your goals.
3. Use email signature software
While you can edit your email signature from scratch in just about any inbox provider, there are plenty of easy-to-use marketing tools to streamline the signature-making process.
For example, HubSpot has a great email signature generator. You simply design your signature and then copy/paste the code to your signature editor. Voilà—you’re good to go!
Email signature management software also helps you make professionally designed templates and scale them across your entire business quickly. This signature marketing software comes in handy as you try to deploy an email signature campaign across hundreds of thousands of employees—and when you want to give each employee multiple options.
4. Launch your campaign
Once you create your email signatures and get your employees on board, it’s time to launch your campaign. But make sure you get the timing right so that you don’t accidentally promote discounts or deals that aren’t live yet (or expired).
5. Measure progress
Check your metrics to see how your campaign performs and pivot early if necessary. For example, if you see high click-through rates but low conversion rates, you might want to take a look at fixing your landing page.
6. Polish and repeat
Congratulations! You’ve launched your first email signature marketing campaign. Now, it’s time to do it again.
Learn from your wins, study your mistakes, and improve your future campaigns—keep reiterating and making each campaign better than the next.
11 email signature best practices
Creating and launching an email signature marketing campaign isn’t too tricky. However, the difference between success and failure is in the itty-bitty details—and that’s what we want to help you with next.
Below, we cover the essential email signature marketing best practices:
1. Make it easy for users to add
Don’t make your employees jump through hoops or download various apps and services to help with the campaign. Keep it simple and streamlined.
If you use a signature software management service, you can use click-to-apply features. If not, make it simple for users to copy/paste and personalize signatures quickly.
In short, provide a step-by-step process so that employees don’t get discouraged and quit.
2. Provide different signature options
Give your employees options, especially if you engage multiple departments and teams. Your HR team might not want to promote the newest YouTube video, but they may want to highlight current job openings—give them that option.
3. Use email-safe fonts
Email-safe fonts work across multiple devices, inboxes, and browsers. And while your brand might use different fonts, the following have the best chance of rendering properly. Consider using one of the fonts below:
- Courier New
- Lucida Sans
- Times New Roman
- Trebuchet MS
4. Stay on brand
Your font might not perfectly align with your brand, but try to ensure everything else does. For starters, use brand-friendly colors, CTAs, and copy. Then, maintaining this brand alignment in the inbox will ensure a smooth transition when the recipient clicks a link to your social media profiles or website homepage.
5. Add a single CTA
Don’t overwhelm your recipients with too many options. Your email signature should have a single CTA and button.
6. Make buttons obvious
Make your buttons stand out by changing the color and design. Also, make it clear what action your recipient is taking when they click the button.
For example, instead of “Sign me up,” you might try “Sign up for the email list.”
7. Update your signatures regularly
Keep your signatures fresh by updating them regularly. This doesn’t mean you need to come up with an entirely new design, but you should take the time to refine the copy and experiment with new ideas and verbiage.
8. A/B test designs and CTAs
Speaking of variations, you should continue to A/B test your email signatures to see which performs the best. Try experimenting with the format and the CTAs to find a new variation that works better than the last.
And remember, only change a single element when A/B testing your campaigns. That means if you want to change the layout, only change the layout—don’t change the layout and your CTA.
9. Test your signatures in different inboxes and devices
Your well-designed email signature might look good in Gmail but break in Outlook. To ensure consistency, experiment with multiple email clients and devices in the design phase to ensure your signature looks great wherever recipients might see it.
10. Include social media links
Social media links don’t count as your one-and-only CTA, but keep your social media icons small and out of the way to avoid distraction from your message. Yet, include them for your recipient’s convenience.
11. Create an irresistible incentive
Answer the question: what’s in it for me? But don’t just ask your recipient to take action. Give them a reason. That might be to save money, seize a limited-time opportunity, or get early access.
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