5 Things Every CMO Needs to Know About Email Signatures

The email signature is an often-overlooked asset in corporate marketing, and considering the amount of 1:1 emails sent every day, this is a massive opportunity to brand-build and create conversion opportunities.

Signature contents and formats can vary wildly by employee and even groups within the same organization.  This is an issue, especially for any company looking to build a durable brand – where consistency is the key to any brand strategy.

When (not if) you decide to adopt an email signature standard for your organization, here are 5 Things Every CMO Needs to Know About Email Signatures.

Email Signatures | It’s About the Brand

There’s probably a lot of reasons you want to standardize on email signatures, such as:

  • You’re tired of seeing philosophical quotes attached to some signatures
  • You’re tired of seeing logos from 3-logos-ago in email signatures
  • You’ve seen too many out of date promotions in email signatures

The biggest benefit to realize by embarking on this approach to standardizing signatures is to drive consistency throughout the organization, which at the end of the day is what your brand will be built upon. In the immortal words of [insert name here of any marketer worth his/her salt], “You can’t have a brand without consistency”.

You can be Flexible and Have Standards at the Same Time

Consistency is the key to any brand-building strategy; it’s the foundation of every brand. You can ensure the proper logos, tag lines and web addresses are used in signatures, and with some solutions you can even manage this centrally, cutting down on the time required to see value of doing it in the first place.  You can also allow each department, if you’re so inclined, to participate with their own objectives, such as:

  • Perhaps support wants to highlight a new knowledge base article or new support hours
  • Sales wants to highlight an event they’re going to, or a new sales promotion their offering customers at the moment
  • Finance may even want to highlight changes to a new accounts payable mailing address

With the right solution, you can enforce standards, while allowing for flexibility. You win, as the brand is protected and reinforced.  They win by highlighting what’s important to them.

There are Low Friction Conversions Hiding in Your Email Signature

Growth hackers, are you listening? This is what you want your CMO know. Do you have a content marketing asset (a case study, a podcast, a whitepaper) that performs well in other channels? Add it to your email signature as a content highlight to gain more high value conversions. In many cases you might not even have to do a full lead-form in front of the asset (you’ve already got their email, you can just track their activity!).This is especially beneficial if you’ve paid for those assets to be created. Each “free” conversion for an email signature drives down the overall cost of that asset over time.

It’s Not a Blind Activity – You Can Measure It!

Just like with customized links and UTM codes, links in email signatures can be customized to track performance by group, or by an individual employee. With the proper integrations with your marketing automation systems, you can create low-friction methods to expose content, while tracking activity and, if applicable, increasing lead scores along the way.

A great example: If you have a product video or case study that has proven to consistently helped accelerate deals in your funnel, including links/highlights of that content in signatures can be a way of creating a shortcut to faster deal wins over time. If it truly is a great piece of content, this will all show up in the funnel!

You Don’t Need to Rely On, or Burden IT

Not to long ago, this would have been an exercise that required marketing design work and IT deployment support.  This is where most of these projects stalled out. Today, as it relates to the email signature, IT has little work to support, except for maybe the occasional directory sync so that user information is current. All of the administration, management and reporting can be done via the cloud, by the same team members who are already running your content marketing or marketing automation activities.

The email signature should get a seat at the table when it comes to marketing operations.  It’s a valuable piece of real estate that can pay incredibly high margin returns if properly managed.

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