Centralized Email Signature Management and Why You Should Care

Most of us don’t give too much thought to email signatures, but, to be honest, responsible business owners should. The fact of the matter is that leaving a lasting impression is hard to do, especially in this day and age of “everyone seems to have a business of some kind,” and doing it at the end of an email is even more difficult. This is the reason why so many people end up searching for professional email signature templates to use every time they change jobs, get a promotion or experience a sneaking suspicion that their current sig isn’t up to snuff.

A strong email signature is attention-grabbing, yet professional…it’s not flashy, but it’s far from bland.

Into this scenario has come email signature management – specifically centralized email signature management – which is an effort to unify email signatures throughout a company. This can become a challenge, of course, when there’s dozens or even hundreds of users taking advantage of various email platforms (Outlook, OWA, iPhone/iPad, Android, et al.); some users may configure their signatures correctly while others will fail to include all necessary (e.g. contact) details…or will perhaps create a layout inconsistent with the business’ corporate identity.

In this post, we’re going to tackle centralized email signature management from three perspectives:

  • How centralized signatures yield a more professional presentation to your customers
  • How centralized signatures provide an easy way for customers to contact you while preventing employees from having their own information (thus forcing that information, such as cell phone numbers, to be centralized and consistent)
  • The different types of signatures (including for Outlook, where factors such as the server level and limitations of mobile device usage come into play)

If you haven’t given much thought to managing your company’s email signatures, now is the time to understand why it’s an important element to consider.

Providing a More Professional Presentation to Customers

It is important to have a corporate signature attached to all of your business emails, and the rest of your staff should understand that, as well. Centralized signature management yields a more professional presentation to your customers because it enables you to create email signatures with an up-to-date company look and feel, update any off-brand corporate email signature content and include relevant marketing campaigns and legal disclaimers (useful for specific employees who may be dealing with certain clients).

Here’s an example of a good corporate email signature:

Note the extended company details, corporate logo, marketing banners, social media icons and disclaimer.

Now, this next example isn’t necessarily one showcasing a “non-centralized” signature, but it’s a poorly-implemented one, nonetheless. In it, there are far too many social options to click on, a phenomenon known as the Paradox of Choice – the more options offered, the less likely any of them will be clicked. Rather, a company should focus on the few accounts that matter the most to growing the business or building a personal brand.

Providing an Easy Way for Customers to Contact You

As we mentioned in the beginning, centralized email signature management provides a simple way for customers to contact you while preventing employees from giving out their own information; and, as we also mentioned, this means that information such as cell phone numbers are centralized and consistent.

When you actually think about it, a big part of your branding management shows up in your customers’ inboxes, and one of the best ways to remind your current customers of your professionalism and stability – and to instill confidence in prospective clients – is with a professional email signature. An email signature provides additional ways of contacting you while yielding more information, such as a link to a website, an event or technical knowledge base.

The Different Types of Signatures

The best email signatures go beyond just your name and contact information by showcasing you and showing off your brand. As such, not everyone will need an elaborate email signature format to accompany their communications; sometimes, simple and elegant will do the trick.

Still, the primary elements of a professional email signature include names, titles, company names and phone numbers. You may also include an address and your company’s website, but don’t include your email address – after all, this is redundant and unnecessary.

You can also use splashes of color when centralizing your signatures, include a head shot of company representatives, attach a company logo and add social media icons (but, as we mentioned, not too many).

Now, there’s also the mobile factor to take into consideration here – you need to keep in mind that most people check their email on their phone, so picking a design and graphic elements ideal for mobile is a smart move. The limitations involved in working with mobile, when it comes to an email signature, include considering using the parts of your logo that translate well onto small screens and ensuring any links or icons are spaced out enough for people to click with their fingers.

Here’s one last thing we’d like to say about this: If you use Outlook as your email server, you can and should set up a signature – or multiple ones – for your email messages. With Outlook, your signature can include text, images, your electronic business card, logo or even an image of your handwritten signature.

You can create an Outlook signature that is automatically added to all outgoing messages – a “set it and forget it” approach that many business owners prefer – or you can create your signature and add it on an as-needed basis.

To learn more about centralized email signature management, contact the experts at DMS iTech.