So, why exactly should a freelancer use an email signature?Though we have established that marketing experts believe an email signature to be a good way to put forth a digital business card for freelancers, the appeal has not been clearly established. To help understand it, here are three reasons why a freelancer email signature is a must-have.
Personal brandingAn email signature is a great way to establish and promote a personal brand. It is an opportunity to share your website, social media accounts, and other relevant publications without intervening with the main message of the email content. As a result, an email signature for freelancers helps strengthen your credibility by providing an added personal branding opportunity.
TrustIn line with the effects of personal branding, an email signature is an opportunity to highlight notable publications or achievements. In case a freelancer has a credential worth highlighting, an email signature is a great place to include it. Notable credentials include things like badges and certificates; both of them strengthen credibility. As a freelancer, you want to make sure each contact with customers is used effectively. In the long run, this helps build connections and trust.
UniquenessAn email signature can give an email a personal, friendly, and unique touch. Let's face it, all freelancers have an online presence that showcases their digital footprints. Each independent specialist is unique, and an email signature for freelancers provides an opportunity to showcase their unique digital footprints. This uniqueness helps prospects and customers form better connections and ultimately help the efforts of freelancers. So, it has been established that an email signature can help a freelancer. The next step is to understand how to use an email signature effectively. In other words, what are some marketing tips and tricks that freelancers can employ in email signatures? Here are five ways this can be achieved:
- Portfolio: Whether a freelancer is a writer or a designer, chances are they have a portfolio of samples. An email signature for freelancers is a perfect space to place a link to a portfolio without being spammy. This will allow interested individuals to access relevant items and help improve conversion rates.
- Testimonials: Whether a fortune 500 company or a freelancer is sending a marketing email, there is nothing that helps more than honest testimonials (okay, maybe freelancers benefit more). Including testimonials about happy experiences will showcase a freelancer in a positive light. An email signature for freelancers is an ideal place to integrate these positive thoughts.
- Awards: Whether it’s a local society award or some internationally acclaimed accolade, an award is an award. Especially for a freelancer that wants to establish some credibility, adding these badges of honor can strengthen their efforts. Include these awards strategically in an email signature and impress prospective clients.
- Social Media: Whether someone has a million followers on Twitter or one hundred, it does not matter. Just make sure the account being promoted is professional and in sync with freelancing efforts. Professional social media accounts integrated into an email signature can provide interested individuals with an added insight on a freelancers' area of expertise.
Design tips for freelancer’s email signatureA clean email signature and clutter-free design will ensure a reader is not lost or confused while looking at an email signature. Yes, an email signature for freelancers is an opportunity to list important digital footprints but is not a place to stack everything important without any thought. A freelancer should ask themselves, what is most important and create an email signature design that works best with the information in hand. For example, things like name and website are no brainers, but do all social media accounts need to be listed? Maybe not.
LayoutThis overlaps with design. The layout needs to be built based on the intent of the freelancer. Whether the purpose is to list the things from most important to least important or blindly follow a business card layout, it needs to be well thought out and clearly established. Regardless of how the content is organized, it needs to be perfectly developed. For example, if a publication is more important than a Facebook page, make sure the layout showcases that.
PhotoFreelancing and remote work have made it possible for people across borders to collaborate. This means that prospects and possibly some clients do not know what the freelancer they are working with looks like. Adding a photo to an email signature lets a freelancer connect with their audience. This adds familiarity and helps strengthen business connections. This does not mean a photo of a recent adventure expedition, but a professional mug shot like the ones people prefer to upload on professional networking websites. So, a professional photo is a great email signature addition.
BrandingAs a freelancer, it is important to invest in personal branding. For starters, here are few simple branding questions a freelancer should ask themselves: ‘Do I have a website? What are the colors I use? Do I use these colors across all platforms?’ Establish a color of preference or one that works with the overall personal branding appeal and use this across all marketing efforts, including an email signature. Branding will help create a strong freelance email signature and help remote workers establish a strong personal brand.
Call-to-actionAny seasoned marketing expert will say that a call-to-action is a must in all email marketing efforts. In line with this thought, an email signature for freelancers is no different. Remember, it is the last thing people see in an email. So, a strong call-to-action is a must in an email signature to maximize its benefits. Whether it's a simple ‘click here’ that directs readers to a website or some clever quote that encourages a click-through, a call-to-action is like the cherry on top for an email signature. In summary, we have established the importance and productive uses of email signatures, but what exactly does a good email signature for freelancers look like? Here is a checklist for a good email signature and what differentiates it from a bad signature to help explain what works and what does not.
What separates a good email signature from a bad one?A general rule of thumb to keep in mind while identifying a good email signature is to make sure it has the following:
- Link to portfolio and/or awards and/or testimonials and/or social media accounts
- Clear design and layout with personal branding efforts
- Photo and call-to-action
Nick is a professional content marketer and writer at MySignature. He has been working in digital marketing for more than 5 years.