When it comes to your email signatures, there’s a lot more you can do now beyond just listing basic data. Think of it as “signatures going social.”

So ditch the boring “here’s my name and phone number routine” or even the annoying “here’s a long list of links to my social media pages” routine and try these ideas on for size.

Get Real-Time Feeds – Using SigBuzz, you can stream real-time social media updates to your signature. This increases recipient engagement far more than just listing links – and you can track the click-through rate.

Use Icons – Insert social media icons and QR codes with WiseStamp.

Regain Corporate Control – If you want uniformity across employee signatures, especially if you’re using any of the above apps, then check out Hancock.it. If you’ve got an HTML savvy team member, use Blank Canvas, which creates really unique social media inspired email signatures.

Email Trends You Should Avoid

Before you do what’s right in an email signature, you have to undo what’s wrong:

  1. Don’t make people hunt for information.
    Basic data like your website and phone number should always be visible.
  2. Don’t list every single social media platform you’re on.
    There are a lot out there and listing them all is just going to overwhelm your recipient.
  3. Don’t be cute.
    This cannot be stressed enough. No one respects cute. On that note, get rid of emoticons. Emoticons should be used intelligently and only in two cases. The first being where you’re trying to reach out to someone who also uses them profusely, or second, where you’re trying to soften your otherwise robotic demeanor or use of language.
  4. Don’t make your reader grab a magnifying glass.
  5. No one cares about your personal motto or quote.
    Keep inspirational jargon to yourself.
  6. Do not attach your logo.
    No one cares about always seeing your logo – especially if that means the email server is showing us an attachment image. It’s incredibly confusing and frustrating – and it will make your recipient slowly hate you.

Why You Need to Be Different

Different Stands Out – Different gets remembered. If you’re putting in a bid and hoping to score a new client, then you’re digitally competing with at least half a dozen other businesses. Have they put that much thought into their business? Have you? As a client, I’m going to go with the company that puts thought into their own business – down to the signature detail. If they’re that fine tuned to their own business needs, they’re likely to give my project the same treatment.

Different Means Money – Different, when done right, reflects creativity. While we have a lot more tools and gadgets to rely upon, they don’t necessarily equate to creativity. Creativity is still an original and rare element – and a solid client will realize it’s worth paying the price for. You can’t buy creativity from stockphoto sites, from content farm sites or any other run of the mill ‘turn a quick buck for a cheap product’ site.

Different Highlights Creativity – Creativity is in the details, and your signature detail is one of those important trademarks that gets communicated every time you shoot out an email. It’s marketing on a subconscious level letting you display confidence and competence without saying a word to sell yourself.

Different Gets Respect – Real business owners know that an ideal business sales and marketing environment is where you never have to sell yourself. Your brand and reputation should speak so strongly, even if you’re just starting out, that people understand and respect what you have to offer. Getting to that mark is all about the details.