Gentle reader, we are doing a “best of The Art of the Business” week, so no new posts this week, but rather, I am dusting off and re-sharing popular posts from my past.
Originally posted on May 28, 2013
Let’s go old-school for a bit. Despite the 1 billion people on Facebook, and the half a billion on Twitter, and the 4 billion hits that YouTube gets every day, the #1 form of social communication in the world is still email.
So, if you’re like me, you probably send and receive hundreds of emails a day. Every email that you send, a fresh, new one, or a reply, is an opportunity to have the receiver connect with you via social media. If they know how to find you on social media.
It’s a form of lead capture–let’s say someone emails you to inquire about your products or services. You email them back. At the bottom of your email is a spiffy email signature that lists all of your social networks. They think “oh, hey! I’m on LinkedIn, I’ll connect with them on LinkedIn,” or they’ll “like” your Facebook page. You’ve now increased your ability to communicate and win this person over as a customer or client by two-fold (that’s assuming that you are keeping your social networks active and interesting).
Everyone should have an email signature. No matter what email program you’re using, be it a computer-based, desktop program, or a web-based program, all of them support signatures.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to create a professional-looking email signature:
Build your own: you need to know/understand a little html for this method, but it’s really not that hard. Check out this video:
WiseStamp: is an add-on for your browser that works well with web-based email.
They allow you to create really elegant email signatures. One of my favorite things about WiseStamp is that they give you the ability to stream RSS feeds–so you can include in your signature, your last blog post or YouTube video. My pal Steve Dotto explains more about the tool and how to use it.
V-Cards: Although V-Cards are Microsoft-based (meaning they work best if you are using Outlook or one of MS’s deskstop email programs), they are very cool, and quite useful. They are probably the closest thing to an electronic business card you can find. You can attach them automatically to each email you send, and then people can add you automatically to their contacts with one click. You can also send them to other people, if you want to share contacts. V-Cards are built into any MS desktop email program, or check out V-Card Maker.
Vizify: This is a cool little web-based program that allows you to create interactive online infographics. You can create a little signature to attach to your emails, that, when people click on it, it takes them to your page. Here’s mine: www.vizify.com/rebecca-coleman. And here’s what the email signature looks like:
Here’s one last bonus tool for you.
Rapportive: is, again, like Wise Stamp, a browser add-on. It works a bit like a reverse lookup of an address or a phone number. When you get an email from someone, it displays, in the right-hand margin, all of their social networking. Here’s what Steve Dotto’s looks like when I get an email from him:
Cool, right?? You can actually connect with the person and follow them or send them a friend request right in the margin of your email.
Do you have a favorite email signature tool? Share it in the comments section below.