Email signatures—the untapped channel your marketing and sales teams need right now
What if I told you that your brand could reach 1 million people every year...without paid ads? You would think I was crazy, right? Luckily for my team at Opensense, I'm not.
The Coca-Colas of the world have spent millions of dollars to get in front of buyers, some with little return on investment—with Coca-Cola itself spending an average of $4 billion a year on advertising. That's a hefty price tag to gain impressions in any marketing channel.
Meanwhile, there’s a forgotten-about channel that brings millions of opportunities to get your brand in front of people—tapping into the value of recipients with proper campaigns and targeting.
I'm talking about email signatures. They’re an opportunity often overlooked, with the same components as typical paid ads but in a more personalized space. They impact your brand, marketing efforts, lead generation, and so much more.
40 emails per day = 1 million emails per year
The average employee sends 40 emails a day. This means that about one million emails are sent annually per one hundred employees. That’s one million brand impressions across this undervalued real estate that is already being used every day
Emails are more than just a means of communication—they're an extended branch of your brand and can create a sense of brand consistency when used effectively. This is real estate that is more likely to be seen than any other asset.
Your email signature should be a New York Yankee
Would you be more impressed with the Bad News Bears lining up on the first baseline or the New York Yankees? The Yankees, of course—known for their dapper appearance and undeniable brand recognition. Your email signature should be a New York Yankee. Clean, crisp (even throw in some pinstripes), and recognizable.
Companies spend time and money on email marketing but leave signatures as an afterthought—leaving leads and money on the table for someone else to scoop up. And with 4 billion daily email users worldwide, that adds up to quite a bit of missed opportunity
Email signatures are significant enough that they’re distributed in some manner to every employee within the company. Setting them up is often a step in the onboarding process, ensuring the font, logo, and contact information are on par with the rest of the team.
And companies aren’t just doing that for fun. The expectation is that employees adhere to a specific brand standard when communicating with prospects, partners, employees, and other recipients.
However, while there is a high expectation, there is little follow-through, as it's almost impossible to enforce when left to your team. Factors like indifference, incompetence, and limited tech options give way to email signatures becoming a forgotten brand staple.
There are plenty of people out there who have never given much thought to their email signatures. Some may enjoy using that real estate for inspirational quotes or seasonal messages. Marketing teams likely have their company's social pages and a link to the next event. And sales and account management teams typically use email signatures to define themselves to their contacts.
With all these varying interests, how can you possibly get all of these people on board with a shift to centrally administered signatures?
Crawl, walk, run
If email signatures are important enough to have out there, they should represent your brand in the same way that the rest of your marketing capital does. But a manual approach won’t work. And the level at which you choose to use your email signatures can determine your output. Employees are your brand, and they represent who you are, what you stand for, and how your company is perceived.
A preliminary step in creating impactful signatures is to standardize your company signature. So often, we see customers compromise their brand with stretched logos, old branding, and a less than desirable quote at the end of an email.
Standardizing not only gives each employee an easy template to follow but emphasizes brand consistency to all your email recipients. It's a core element of your brand's digital IP (intellectual property). When using Opensense, you can incorporate your brand logo, colors, and other identifying factors, making it easy to keep that consistency across the board.
Another essential element of the crawling stage is email disclaimers. These provide blanket protection for your company, especially if you're emailing globally and seek compliance with CASL and GDPR guidelines.
When you're ready to do a bit more, it's time to walk. Start by promoting things already on your website. If it's important enough to be on your website, it should be important enough to promote in your email signatures.
Many of our customers take the same campaigns they’re running via digital and retargeting channels and account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns, resize the banner and apply it to their email signatures. This makes targeting leads a cakewalk for marketing and sales teams because the data is pulled straight from the CRM and marketing automation platforms.
Here is where we can get super personalized with targeted content. Our technology allows us to match email recipients with their job roles and promote content that is highly relevant to that role.
If there are multiple recipients on the same email thread, teams can use Opensense to map different banners to different personas that target that specific company.
The sales director sees a banner about revenue targets.
The IT manager sees a banner about the company being SOC2 certified.
The marketer sees a banner promoting the company's webinar.
Each receives the same email message but with a targeted approach for a more effective conversation.
One of our customers used their email signatures to promote reviews to existing customers, resulting in email becoming their top source for new reviews. These signatures give senders the opportunity to say more with less, strengthening their efforts without adding to their workload.
Smoother than the Autobahn
Emails have been around for over 50 years, so there's no need to forge a trail like Lewis and Clark. Instead, companies can use emails as a catalyst for targeted marketing.
Think of email signatures like a 2-3 million brand impression highway that's already paved for you—you just need to put the car on it. Your employees and the relationships they build are the high-grade brand fuel that pushes your car (the brand and campaigns) forward.
The value of employee email as a marketing channel is so much more than the content in it. It leverages employees’ existing relationships to drive growth and engagement across the board.
Embrace the untouched territory
At the end of the day, email signatures aren't supposed to feel like marketing. When you open an email with someone, you're not typically expecting to be marketed to.
Email signatures are an untouched territory. They're not a business card with your contact info— they're almost like a mini website—an engagement suite designed to give readers a glimpse into your brand. Skip the wining and dining and make a better first impression with personalized email signatures.
Opensense brings brand consistency to the forefront. We remove the barriers of human resistance and error, ensuring your brand is putting its best foot forward in new channels.