How to Market Your Company Daily Using No Time & No Money
Due to an unfortunate shipping glitch, for the past couple of weeks I've been emailing back and forth with a man from whom I purchased a product on eBay.
All of his emails, excluding his most recent one, came from his personal gmail account (which looked like Sam@gmail.com). The most recent email he sent came from his company's email account (which looked like Sam@ExampleCompany.com).
Out of curiosity, I visited his website (which would look like http://www.ExampleCompany.com in the case of this example) and, to my delight, discovered that his services were exactly what a dear friend of mine was searching for. I sent her a link to his website and she ended up hiring him within a day.
Now, imagine if this eBay seller had never sent me an email from his company account. I never would have had the option to visit his website or learn what his business was all about.
I never would have suggested his services to my friend and it would have meant an easy sale for him = lost.
Say it loud, say it proud
Now that I've shared my short little anecdote above, I'll get straight to today's tip.
If your outgoing emails end with your name, you're overlooking a 100% free, automatic, effective marketing opportunity that you could be taking advantage of on a daily basis (with no extra effort required). You're overlooking your email signature.
You send out many emails (hundreds? thousands?) of emails each month.
Some recipients know you.
Others you don't.
Some recipients know all about what you do.
Other recipients know little about what you do.
Still other recipients know abolutely nothing about what you do.
Providing non-intrusive information, links, and calls to action at the bottom of your emails gives your recipients the opportunity to learn about you or to refresh their memory about what you offer. It reminds collegues and friends that, oh yes, you have a blog and they should check out the most recent post or that, oh no, they forgot to Like your Facebook page the last time they looked at it, so they should head over and do that now.
Set it and forget it
Take 15 - 30 minutes to create an email signature that gets added to the bottom of all your outgoing emails with links pointing to the places you wish more people would look. Those links might point to your Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn profile, company blog, personal Google+ page, or specific announcements or pages in your website that are new and exciting.
Using a strong email signature is like having a captive audience (think: your recipients are sitting at computers or using smart phones when they see them) who's being shown links and opportunities to learn more and/or connect with you. All without them being made to feel like you're trying to sell them.
Think of all the new people that will learn about your company and social profiles that otherwise would never have known about them.
Which of the following pieces of information might you add to the bottom of your email?
- Your position at the company
- Company logo
- Phone numbers
- Fax #
- Skype name
- Company tagline or Unique Value Proposition
- List of services you specialize in
- Pleasant invitation for people to contact you in regards to certain topics/with questions
- Photo of yourself
- Recent awards or recognition
- Current promotion
Which of the following links might you add to encourage people to visit or connect with you on the web?
- Link to your Twitter account
- Link to your Facebook account
- Link to your LinkedIn account
- Link to your Google+ page
- Link to a map of your store
- Link to your company blog
- Link to recent, important Press Releases or 3rd party writeups promoting your company
- Link to a page where people can sign up for your newsletter
- Link to your reviews on sites like Yelp! or TripAdvisor.com
Be creative and try working backward: What do you wish more people knew about your company?
Once you can answer that question, ask yourself what information and links you could include in your email signatures that will encouarge people to see these things.
And once you've figured this out, create your signature, configure your email settings so the signature is automatically added to the bottom of all new emails you send out, then sit back and relax for a few minutes.
And smile. You know that now every email you send out is acting as a non-obtrusive, helpful salesman that's marketing your company at no cost.
Here are a few examples of email signatures that might provide you with a bit of inspiration:
Though nice (especially when you use your logo to promote your visual brand), images are not necessary for email signatures to send people to your Facebook page and blog. You can keep it simple:
Including icons to all your social media accounts encourages people to visit you on the web when the thought to do so otherwise would most likely not have crossed their minds:
Showing a photo of a smiling you creates the first building blocks of a social bond. Photos help people feel like they know you. They make you feel approachable and more likeable. And remember, people want to do business with people they like and trust. The email signature above as well as this one below are great examples of email signatures with smiling, friendly, personal photos that make the senders feel approachable.
This is the email signature I'm currently using at the bottom of all of my emails. The larger, brighter buttons are slightly more, er, encouraging, than the other examples. I want to make it as easy and brainless for my email recipients to "curiosity-click".
Are you sold, but unsure how to do this?
Are you sitting there scratching your head, wondering how you can create and attach an informative signature to the bottom of all your emails?
If you're looking to keep it simple (text only) or you already know a bit of HTML, you'll find a countless number of tutorials and step by step walkthroughs if you Google “add email signature XYZ program” (without the quotes, and with XYZ program being the email program you use).
For the rest of you, I definitely recommend you look into WiseStamp. (Note: I'm not affiliated with WiseStamp in any way, nor do I receive any money from them if you sign up. I simply feel it's a valuable tool that more businesses should consider taking care of. Granted, using WiseStamp would mean that using today's tip wouldn't actually be free, as I promised in the title, but it would only run you around $3/month, which is exceptionally close to being free.)
I'd love to hear from you.
Post a comment and let me know:
Do you use an email signature? If so, what's in it?