All About Signature Files
by Joshua Reimer
Okay, okay, the signature file is a subject that has been brought up many times in marketing newsletters, and probably many of you aren’t too happy that I have decided to “waste” some more space here with it.
So why am I bringing up such a basic subject yet again? Because some of you still haven’t “got it” when it comes to signature files. I receive many messages each day that simply include the name of the sender, with no website address, much less a full signature! Sometimes I really want to visit the sender’s website, but can’t because I can’t find a URL!
If the message does include a signature file, it is often very poorly done.
Either those messages are from beginners, and haven’t seen the many articles on the subject yet, or they are “experts” who just tune out when yet another writer talks about “those things”. Well, this time, don’t tune out.
Let me tell you that signature files are amazing promotional tools. In my personal opinion, they are one of the best traffic generating methods out there.
Some of the ways you can use signature files to draw traffic:
- Include them at the end of your every day email communications. You would be surprised at the number of people that actually click through… I myself quite often click through URLs in signature files.
- Write articles and submit them to large, high quality newsletters, much as I am doing with this article. I know one fellow who had his article picked up by a large newsletter, and within a day he had received over 1,000 visitors to his website. That was a nice evenings work, if you ask me!
- Post to discussion forums and email discussion loops with relevant, helpful messages and, of course, include your signature file. Posters to my own discussion forums have reported large amounts of traffic as a result of getting involved. Just remember to check the posting documentation first, as some discussion forums don’t allow signatures.
Those are just a few ideas, but unless something is very wrong with you, you should be convinced of the necessity of having a good signature file. Now, to get down to the important stuff: How to create your very own signature file.
All signature files should include:
- Your name
- Your email address
- Your website address with a short, compelling description
You may also want to include:
- A dividing line to separate your signature file from your message
- A free offer to entice people to your site
- Subscription instructions for your newsletter, if you have one
- A short quote to grab people’s attention
- Your company name
- Your phone number
Ideally, a signature file should be kept to under six lines. That may sound like a lot, but believe me, when trying to write a good file it can sometimes be a little tricky to edit it down so that it still looks good.
Here is an example signature file for a make-believe website called “Beetle Zone”, which sells beetle-raising products.
For beetle collectors of all ages, visit BeetleZone for a
——-> FREE sample of our new, nutritious beetle feed!<——-
This is my idea of an excellent signature file. Very simple and to the point. It contains what is important, the name, email address, and URL. It also contains a well-written “hook”, using a free sample as a drawing card. It has been my experience that “free” sells very well.
Make sure to keep your lines under 65 characters each, as they might wrap around on different-sized email readers. If it did that, it wouldn’t look anything like the way you intended it.
Now you have seen some reasons to create a compelling signature file, and are probably eager to get going. Go for it! And then remember to use it. Most of the major email programs have a way for your signature file to be automatically attached to all your outgoing emails.
Oh… and don’t forget to have a look at my signature file 🙂
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