How often do you think about all elements of your corporate marketing? Can you list them? Your list may include many or all of the following elements: annual marketing plans, brand identity including logo/tagline and letterhead, annual reports, newsletters, all collateral especially direct mail and print ads, radio and/or television ads depending on the size of your company and budget, email marketing, blog posts, social media (at a minimum, a presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube), brochures, event sponsorships, tradeshows, seminars, webinars, videos, strategic partnerships, promotional goodies, proposal templates, presentation templates, mailing lists, website design and maintenance, professional association dues, public relations/media outreach/advertorials, strategic partnerships, co-branding initiatives, and software renewal fees. But, there is something clearly missing, and it touches every employee, every vendor, and every customer everyday. Still stumped? The answer is the universal email signature.
Think back to your first day on the job. On an employee’s first day, he/she receives an employee manual and a tour of the company, and is assigned a desk, computer, and phone. Then the role of human resources is done for 90 days. But, shouldn’t there be a discussion about corporate marketing, which is actually a discussion about brand consistency and the role of every employee as a brand advocate? You can be sure that all Apple employees receive some form of what I call “brand advocate training.”
There should be a discussion presented by the HR Department about the corporate mission and brand consistency. Of course, the ideal situation would be for the Marketing Department to hold a one-hour brand marketing overview for all new employees, but depending on the size of your company and the size of your marketing team, this may not be feasible, but all of us in the marketing arena can dream. Back to the issue at hand, the discussion should focus on the need for brand consistency, which means that emails sent from all departments should look the same.
There should be no flowers as wallpaper, no rock musicians plastered behind the email message, and no size 4 font. The consistency will ensure that all emails sent by the company look the same, which reinforces brand identity or the company. A good universal email signature contains the following information in the same font and the same font size:
Name of Company – include tagline if appropriate
Address for Company
Social Media Links – if applicable
Promotion for Company Event – if applicable
Testimonial for Company – if applicable
There are some final considerations. A logo image may not be recommended since it may not appear as intended due to email servers. In today’s electronic age, some companies do not include their mailing address in email signatures, based on the URL to the corporate website. Some social media links may be more appropriate than others, so carefully consider which should be included as part of the company’s email signature. Do not use link shorteners because some may be considered spam, and your customized URL may be part of your brand marketing. If a large tradeshow or other event is coming up, it might be beneficial to include on all employees’ emails, however, it is essential to remove it from the email signature immediately following the event.
So, what do you include in your universal email signature, and is it consistent with your brand marketing strategy?