Structuring Email To Promote Your Brand

About 2 weeks ago, I received a forwarded email from a colleague with some wonderful content. She had received this email from a consultant, and it outlined some great online resources that this consultant had come across in her travels. So, naturally my colleague forwarded this email to me and to another colleague on our team to let us know of the possibilities.

I knew about some of the sites from my prior endeavor in getting a VoIP telecomm interest off the ground, but still found the information interesting. I still have her email today and still reference it.  But here’s what I find interesting about how the original consultant assumed other people would use her email.

See the Email From Your Prospect’s Point of View

In the original email, the consultant provided several items in her email signature. She had the:

  • name as text
  • address as text
  • phone number as text
  • fax number as text
  • email address as a hypertext link
  • web site URL as a hypertext link
  • logo as a GIF formatted image
  • slogan as text

What she didn’t have was all of this information conveniently captured inside an image, something I’ve seen used in small companies.

What A Bitmap Email Signature Gives You

Here’s the deal. Putting all of that information into an image file is convenient. And it is useful when you want to maintain a consistent look and feel across various email platforms. You don’t have to worry about formatting or placement when your clients use different email platforms.

It also does a few other things that may be working against you:

  • The Image is Unreadable by the Algorithm

    It makes any information captured in that image unreadable by the search algorithm in the email programs. Essentially that means that your client won’t be able to find your email should she do a text search for your company. This becomes vital for small consultancies using yahoo mail, AOL or Gmail.

  • The Image Might Not Display

    It makes the email signature invisible if their email program is not set up to display images for security or marketing reasons. Many of the email programs out there have the capability of not displaying images. In fact, some of them don’t show images by default meaning that the only thing your client will see is a square box taking up a space.

  • The Material is Unlinkable

    It makes none of the information distinguishable as hypertext, Which means that if your client is displaying images and sees a web address, she’ll have to type it into the web browser instead of just clicking on it or cutting and pasting it into a browser.

Make Your Email Signature Functional As Well As Informative

Naturally, when sending out your correspondence, you want to make it easy for the recipient to contact you. It becomes even more important when the recipient forwards your email as a resource to someone else. We did this with postal mail using letterhead with address, phone, and, fax number. We should do it with email by including name, email address, and website in a usable form. After all, if you provide decent information, don’t you want to get credit for it?

This consultant had turned recipients of her email into a promotional force, forwarding contact information to hundreds of their contacts. It’s good communication, good business, and good marketing.

Email is an integral part of our communication style, like the telephone, television, and postal mail of the past.

Give your clients every opportunity to see to your name and easily contact you. They will thank you for it later and you will get more exposure in the process.