The Book Publicity Blog

News, Tips, Trends and Miscellany for Book Publicists

What you need to include in your email signature

As a book publicist, I often correspond with journalists and bloggers, via email as likely as not, these days. If I’m reaching out to someone with an unsolicited email, I want to make it as easy as possible for the recipient to get back to me — either by email or by phone — or, if they forward on my message to another, for that person to respond. The reverse should also be true …  but you’d be surprised at the number of bloggers and journalists who ask for review copies of books but who fail to provide mailing addresses. Enter the esignature.

There is lots of information that you can include in an esignature (Twitter handles, forthcoming books), but here are some features that I consider “must haves,” in order of priority:

  • Include your full name in your esignature. Contemporary business etiquette allows us to sign off with just our first names. (And of course you get those folks who sign off with their initials.) Which is all well and good, but it means that unless your full first and last names appear in your email address, recipients won’t know you from Adam.
  • Include your email address. A lot of people assume that the email address pops up in the message itself. Usually it does — but not always. Even if it does show up, many people copy and paste an esignature into their address books — if the email address isn’t in the signature, it means having to copy-and-paste the information twice.
  • Include a phone number in your esignature. While voicemail may be an inefficient way to do business — the jury’s in on this one — the phone still has its uses and if you use an email address for business purposes, it’s only professional to include a phone number in your corresponding esignature.
  • Include a URL. Either for your company or, if you are self-employed, include your personal website. If I’m going to provide a (complimentary) review copy of a book, I need to know that the recipient is a legitimate journalist or blogger.
  • Don’t include a logo in an esignature — if you can help it. Some companies require employees to use a standardized esignature with a logo; if you are not required to do so, don’t. The logos — no matter how small — are read as attachments by the recipient’s system and that makes it more likely for the message to land in a spam filter. Messages with attachments also take longer to load.
  • Set an esignature for Replies and Forwards. If you have a long esignature, set a different, shorter, one for Replies and Forwards that includes just the vital information — full name, email address, phone number. Messages are frequently forwarded to people not on the original recipient list and if you jump in with a reply but do not include your contact information, you might as well be Jane Doe.
  • Set an esignature on your mobile device. Do you use your iPhone / iPad / Blackberry for business purposes? Then you need to take two minutes to adjust the settings and add an esignature. If you can’t be bothered to include your full esignature, at least include your full name, your email address and your phone number.
  • Use proper punctuation and capitalization. Unless you’re five years old (which maybe you are — kids these days are pretty tech savvy), you need to use capital letters. (Again, if people copy and paste your esignature into an address book, you don’t want them to have to correct all your information.)

What are your must-haves, likes and pet peeves in esignatures?

November 14, 2011 - Posted by | Email | , , ,

28 Comments »

  1. I think your mailing address should always be included. It can take up more space, but having to ask is a needless waste of time. We try to keep our database as up to date as possible, and having addresses provided in correspondence is very helpful

    Comment by Rebecca Lang (@itsrebeccalang) | November 14, 2011 | Reply

    • That’s funny, because one of my pet peeves is overly long email signatures.🙂

      That being said, I did just have “o_O” moment, when someone requested a book, but didn’t send his shipping address.

      Comment by Kama | November 15, 2011 | Reply

  2. These are all great suggestions! In additional to your points, I also like the idea of including hyperlinks for social networking platforms so that others can connect with me (and I can connect with them) on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    Comment by Julie Schoerke | November 14, 2011 | Reply

  3. Something I just thought of, check options. You can have a different signature for replies. No one wants to see the following for every reply in an e-mail chain.

    Bob Smith
    Head Muckety Muck
    Really Big Company
    1515 Fifth Avenue
    New York New York
    212-555-5555 / bsmith@reallybigco.com
    @bobsmith / Friend me on Facebook / Connect with me on LinkedIn / Read my blog!

    Comment by Kama | November 17, 2011 | Reply

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  5. I just updated my email signature. Thank you for the tips.

    Comment by Heather Villa | April 14, 2012 | Reply

  6. These are great tips! I didn’t know about the logo. Thanks.

    Comment by Lena | June 4, 2012 | Reply

  7. For signature i use Brandmymail ( http://www.brandmymail.com ), which has full control over email signature and overall template🙂

    Comment by GMailTricks (@GMailTricks) | August 19, 2012 | Reply

  8. gonna update mine today

    Comment by drsurenthiran | September 22, 2012 | Reply

  9. Social media links! In PR, I use social media on a daily basis to promote my clients. In my signature I include links to my social media profiles – Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

    Comment by Kelsey McBride | February 6, 2013 | Reply

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  13. Must have social media links and mailing address. Also, I think it is important to include your signature in replies as well, not just in the first email.

    Comment by Book Publicity Services | April 16, 2013 | Reply

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