Promote Your Business With an Email Signature

By June Campbell

Does your email signature contain a humorous quip or a philosophical quote from a dead poet? If yes, you're wasting a wonderful opportunity to promote your business for free!

An email signature is the text that you see at the bottom of the body of an email message. Most email software applications allow you to create an email signature that will be used automatically each time you send out a message. To the individual, the e-sig is a chance to be creative or funny or to make a political or social statement. To a business person, an email signature is a beautiful opportunity to advertise your business to everyone who views your email. While advertising is often banned in mailing lists and newsgroups, email signatures are not. Post a message and your carefully worded signature will follow.

Remember that an e-sig is an advertisement and therefore the basic guidelines for writing advertisements apply. However, modifications for online use are required. To get the most mileage out of your email signature, keep the following guidelines in mind:

1. Less is more. Some email systems and mailing lists will automatically cut off any signature exceeding 4-6 lines, so keep it below this length. It's also a good idea to set your line lengths to about 60 characters -- the optimal length for readability. Many email programs will allow you to set line to 60 characters. If your email program doesn't offer this feature, use hard returns to end the lines at the desired length.

2. Attract attention to your signature by creating "borders" of text or special characters.

3. Include the name of your business and a short, pithy marketing statement.

4. Sell benefits, not features.

5. Offer something free - i.e. free information, a free-to-enter contest, free samples, etc. Your free report can contain other advertising material, but please ensure that it does include free information so your potential customers will not feel that they have been exploited.

6. Make it easy for people to contact you by providing clickable links to URLs and emails. For example, if you add &auot;mailto:" in front of an email address, most email programs will allow the user to open a new message to that address simply by clicking on the link.

7. Avoid using HTML coding in the signature. Many persons do not or cannot view HTML email. If you send plain text email, you are sure that everyone will be able to view it properly.

For example:

"A healthy puppy is a happy puppy! "
For a FREE report on canine health and nutrition, send a blank email to
The Good Dog Shop -- For All Your Pet's Needs! (

In the simulated example above, the mythical Good Dog Shop sells a benefit (i.e. -- a happy pet), offers free information that pet lovers will appreciate, provides contact information, states the business name, and gives viewers two methods to quickly contact The Good Dog Shop. All in 31 words plus two lines of border!

Disclaimer: I have created the name, "Good Dog Shop" for the purpose of providing an example. If there should happen to be an actual business by this name, my article does not refer to it.

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