We all know that public perception of your business and brand is paramount; commercial success of any kind depends on customers and what they think of you. Just as a greeting is important, ending an email with nothing more than “regards, nathan” shows the recipient that you don’t even consider the communication important enough to capitalise your own name. Your credibility will come into question if you do not put any effort into correspondence between potential customers and yourself, losing trust and ultimately business. It’s time to review your salutations. Keep reading for the essential tips on how to leave the right impression.
Include your name and job title
These are the two most important items to add into your signature as they let the recipient know who you are and what your position is within the structure of the business. This kind of context helps us to pitch the tone of our conversations, as well as on a basic level ensures that we’re talking to the relevant person.
Add a sign-off or closing phrase
Ending an email without any sign-off can seem cold or abrupt, and make the recipient feel as though they are wasting your time. When you end an email, you are essentially setting the mood of the communication and defining a professional personality for yourself. After all, your signature is literally that – the unique sign that someone is talking to you. Some examples of positive salutations include, but are not limited to, the below.
- Best wishes,
- Kind Regards,
In the same way that there are positive sign-offs, you should do your best to avoid those which do not convey a professional tone, such as the ones below.
- TTYL, (“talk to you later”)
- TAFN, (“that’s all for now”)
Sign-offs like “Thanks” and “Cheers” can be perplexing and redundant for the recipient if you don’t actually have anything for which to thank them. Similarly, symbols and abbreviations such as “xoxo” and “TAFN” run the risk of coming across as very unprofessional in a business context.
Show some colour
Adding some interest to your signature can be merely changing the colour or font from the standard email body text, or you can go further and incorporate your logo. These distinctions will make your name and role stand out, making you and your organisation more memorable. Done in the right way, it can also add a tone of professionalism and credibility as your brand will look more established if it has a logo, motto, contact details etc. This is because people are much more likely to remember images and colours, especially if they contrast to the format of what they’ve read, rather than the specifics in a wall of text. However, these kinds of aesthetic alterations only add sophistication to a point, too much can look unprofessional. Look at some examples of signatures of clients or businesses you admire for ideas on how to customise your own.
Include a call to action
This is a great way to engage people in your product. Similar to formatting and logos, you can make this something you want your recipient to take away from your email if they remember nothing else. It can simply be a link to your website including a listing of your products and services. This is a clever and attractive option for both parties as everyone can save time writing and reading details in an email and instead just be directed to the source. As a bonus, it also increases traffic to your site. Go one further and add a “request a demo” or similar link to your signature. Again, this saves time on both sides and also increases trust in your business from a capability standpoint.
You can establish an efficient, professional and effective signature without these extras, but the below could enhance the perception of your brand.
- Individual staff photos: this mimics face-to-face conversation and so is a cornerstone of trust-building as it shows the recipient with whom they are speaking.
- Social media: another great way to showcase your brand and give your client other options for contacting you. It also establishes that you have a web presence across multiple channels.
- Other contact details: Telephone numbers and addresses may seem increasingly unnecessary in the digital world, but traditional means of communication and physical presence will always be favourable to some of your customers. Alternatively, this extra text is just a useful way of making your business look more established and your email more professional, even if it’s not read or used.
Again, these things should be added within reason; too much clutter and a lack of coordination can distract the recipient and therefore damage your brand. Keeping this in mind, a final thing to add could be some ‘pop’ or individual flair. Think about what differentiates you from your competitors to make you memorable.
So, don’t just think of your sign off as the end of your conversation. Within a few guidelines and with a bit of creativity, your signature can be the ultimate free marketing tool.