When you are presenting yourself to someone or to an entity, you want to make a good impression. Not only your physical look is important, but also the oft-forgotten business signatures. Whether written in an e-mail or printed on a business card, your business signature is not an option when it comes to business.
Why is it so important that you have a presentable business card or e-mail signature?
- It tells people who you are and what you do.
- It reflects your personality, how people perceive you, and the tone of every email/introduction you make.
- Makes you more reachable. Business people will rely on business signature for contact information and your company details.
- It’s a good marketing tool, it can drive more clients to your company or more traffic to your website. You can use it to promote special offers or newsletters in your business.
Make sure to include
- Full name
- Job title
- Company’s name or logo
- Business phone number
- Business e-mail
- Company’s Website URL – This is a must, especially if you’re corresponding with people working on internet related businesses. Instead of hyperlinking the URL with a display text like “company website,” type out the URL, which will be useful for those who want to copy and paste the address.
You May Include
- Alternate Phone Numbers –Avoid including multiple phone numbers and email addresses, unless you have several business contacts or want to state an emergency contact.
- When to get in touch with you – timing at which you would available to receive phone calls or respond to e-mails.
- Standard company disclaimer/ non-disclosure agreement (generally in a smaller italic font) Only If your emails include confidential information, or your job deals with sensitive information. Check your country/company standard statements if exist.
- Personal details:
- Personal Social Media Links –Facebook, Twitter, Twitter, IM or Skype. But still, you can add your professional network links such as LinkedIn.
- Your home phone number or address.
- Personal e-mail or the URL of your personal website; they could be suspected as spam.
- Personal Photo, unless mandated by company regulations or for certain jobs like journalists or writers having their signatures published in media.
- Quotes – Quotes are fun for family and friends, but they are risky when talking business as they might offend someone or give the wrong impression.
- Your skills and/or your accomplishments. They belong to your CV.
- Your degrees as it can look arrogant to some people, unless they are needed/related to your job.
- Your company Fax number or mailing address. Both can easily be located from the company website. State them if the company has no existence on the Internet.
Keep it Short
It can be challenging to recipients to go through a very long or heavily formatted signature to find your contact information. Do not go for more than 5 lines, having average of 80 characters per line. Condense the lines into fewer ones by using dashes (-), colons (:) or pipes (|) to separate the different fields. Not too long business signatures are professional, easy to digest and informative. When using e-mail signatures, use the full version of signature when starting a new thread, use shorter versions for replying or forwarding.
Images and Colors
Unless you are in an art-related business, your business signature should be in simple plain text with minimal use of colors, uncommon fonts or graphics. Otherwise use your creativity to make your signature more attractive and less boring. Images should be used with care and attention. They should be small in both dimensions and size (try to go for less than 1 MB). Do not use too many colors, stick to a color theme of two colors or simply use the color scheme of your company.
Some companies have internal policies relating to business card templates and e-mail signature templates. They may also have policies related to non-disclosure agreements, legal disclaimers, e-mail virus scanning methods, working hours.. etc. Check these policies before starting to prepare your signature from scratch. Also check out the related rules that apply in your country. Some countries require to have the company VAT number in signature, if exists. Other countries require the company registration number and the place of registration.
Finally, it might be boring and the last item on your list of things to do is correctly writing your business signature, but in fact it really worth it. It is never bad to seek your family and friends’ opinions on your signature before having your signature printed and/or published.