I’ve outgrown my email signature

There came a point when I looked at my email signature and realised it was getting a bit lengthy. This first occurred a few years ago, I think after reading this article. Each of my emails could look like a novel instead of the ideal short, punchy message. Half a page of text (or more), and half a page of signature. Too much padding that could distract you from the point.

When I stopped to think about it, most of my signature content was irrelevant. I quoted my email address. Duh! Why would I do that? You’ve just received an email from me; you know my address. What more do you need? If you’ve never met me before, chances are that my email address is most useful to you; you’ll reply if you need to. If you’ve not engaged with our organisation before, it’s unlikely that you are coming directly to me, but rather to some other established public contact point. You also know who I work for thanks to an incredibly useful email domain, which most users can easily translate into a web address.

It was interesting to read Seth’s post recently about how you might sign a letter, with ‘respect’, rather than ‘regards’. The same might apply to email – less is more, but be aware of how you say it. Seth talked about email signatures last year and included some other suggestions that you might also want to think about. Try number eight – send yourself an email now and again. Hopefully you aren’t using all those whizzy formatting tools that your mail client offers, but sticking to simple readability techniques. After you’ve done that, why not think about Seth’s second suggestion and consider your email signature. Would you be content with a two line sig – your name, and your organisation?