An email signature is a free, simple way to look professional, communicate your brand, and make life easier for the recipients of your email messages. By my tally, that's win-win-win.
If you're ready to start signing off in style, here are the steps to get you started.
1. Decide what to include.
Typically, a signature contains your name, plus a few of these items:
• Telephone number(s)
• Web address
• Blog address
• Social media links (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace)
Hunt down the full addresses for any websites as you'll need the URL, starting with http, to create links.
2. Format your content.
Let's say you've decided on this:
I'm using my own URLs, but you get the idea.
Most email programs will let you change the font, the weight and the color. However, don't choose an exotic font because if the recipient does have that font on their computer, your signature will default to something like the decidedly unsexy Courier.
So…you jazz it up a bit and decide on this:
JANE SMITH :: Technical writer
3. Learn how signatures work in your specific email program.
If you enter "email signatures" in your email program's HELP window, you should find what you need to set up your signature.
To get you going, here are instructions for the most common programs:
Don't despair if the instructions don't match what's on your screen exactly. Software gets updated all the time, so some items may be reordered or on another menu. Poke around—you'll figure it out.
If you don't have an email program and check your mail from a web browser, you can still have an email signature. Just look for a menu item called "tools" or "settings" or "preferences."
4. Fine tune your signature and test it.
If your program doesn't turn your URLs into clickable links, you can do that manually (in most programs).
Finally, type a few lines in a test message and send it to yourself. Adjust the signature as needed, then start using it.