But it can also be highly beneficial in driving traffic to your site/art/biz. Lets take a look at a simple yet often overlooked way to take advantage of the current “social” craze.
Your email signature.
Sure Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and a blog are all important parts of a well rounded social strategy. Perhaps, you have a presence on one or even several different social sites. At the very least you probably have a website or at least a few areas of the web where you market your art or business. For certain though, you send and receive a fair amount of email. To customers, potential customers, friends, family and even randoms.
Email presents a day in and day out opportunity to expose all your contacts to your various endeavors. A great way to do that is with a proper email signature. So lets take a look at the anatomy of what can be considered a proper email signature.
Anatomy of a proper email signature
Keep in mind you can adjust the placement of these sections as you see fit.
- Your contact info
- Your website, phone details, and company logo/name.
Important part here is to try and get a proper looking logo and or design of your name. Your signature needs to pop and draw your email readers eyes towards it.
- A content feed of your latest art/blog/sales
This is perhaps the most important part. To have your email signature always updating, always new, dynamic.
- Links to your other social sites on the web
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, eBay, Flickr, Etc.
Having all the necessary info is important and you will want to spend some time properly formatting the text to look good. Moreover, you will want to include the links to your social sites on the web. Yet whats most important about the signature is two fold. First, a proper looking logo for your company or at least a jazzy way of displaying your name.
There is an immediate perceived value with logos and good design that plain text just won’t accomplish. Think of the logo or name design as the hook you are using to draw your readers eyes to the signature.
For companies with logos you are all set. For individuals you want to try and display your name with some nice design. This does not need to consist of more then a nice font that sets your name off the page and catches the eye. Use Photoshop or Illustrator and pick a good looking font. For example…
In either example (logo or name graphic) you will need to create a image file that you host on the web and can embed into your signature. Second, is a content feed that automatically updates your signature based on your activity. This is really the key as its takes your signature from static text into a dynamic billboard constantly changing.
Examples of what you can include are RSS feeds, your latest tweets, an item on sale on eBay, custom banners, etc. With this constantly changing you will always have something new that your email readers are exposed to. For Breathing Color we highlight our latest blog post. So how do we go about doing this?
Wisestamp is a free browser add-on that will do all the work for you and generate all the code for your new email signature. Here is a link to their video tour explaining the add on. As of now Wisestamp only works for Chrome, Firefox, or Safari on the browser side and supports the email clients Gmail(including domain hosted gmail), Yahoo mail, Hotmail, AOL and Thunderbird. But if you use outlook or mac mail there are workarounds I will address later in the post.
Installing and Using Wisetamp
Visit Wisestamp.com and install the free app. You can then get to work on your signature. You can add all your info, format the text with fonts and bold/italic options, enter your logo or jazzed up name, your social sites, and then pick which content feed you might want to add. Great examples can include blog posts, tweets, eBay sites, your Flickr page, or even a manually edited banner. See their example page for some creative ideas.
Perhaps you are an artist and you want to highlight your latest blog post of your art, or your latest art for sale on eBay. If you are a photographer you might highlight your latest shots on Flickr, or a blog post about your latest gallery show. If you are a print shop how about a banner of your newest print service or a 10% off coupon on first time orders? Maybe even your latest tweet so non twitter users can stay up to date.
The opportunities are endless but the main point is engagement. You are sending email all the time and with updated content feeds embedded in your email even routine emails can turn into new leads, new buzz, and new interest in what it is you are doing or selling or promoting.
Outlook and Mail users
To make it work with outlook or mail we need to get creative. You can go about doing this in a number of ways with the most important part being the addition of a content feed.
- Upgrading your already in place signature or starting from scratch
Many of you will already have a good signature in place and some will want to start over. To do this you need to get a wisestamp compliant email account and create your signature with your desired content feed, info, links, and logo. So signup for say a gmail account or use one you already have and install and configure wisestamp. Once you have your signature you go to compose a new mail. Your signature will automatically appear at the bottom of the email. Select the portion of the signature that you want to copy(the content feed part or all of it) and copy it. YOU ARE NOT COPYING CODE HERE BUT JUST THE VISUAL PART. Drag your mouse across the parts you want and copy it. Then go to your outlook or mail signature form and paste the content in. From there you might have to do some formating with fonts and sizes with the outlook/mail text editor.
- Using feedburner for your content feed
If you look at the breathing color signature in the image above you can see we use feedburner for our content feed. Its rotates our newest blog posts. If you have a blog and use feedburner for the
feed then you can find that option by visiting your feedburner account and under the publicize tab its called the headline animator.
With as many different versions of email clients and operating systems it would be tedious to say the least to address them all. If you get stuck and need help, or the above directions seem unclear, feel free to leave a comment below and we will try and help walk you through it.
Since putting the new signature in place at Breathing Color we have received some great feedback on it. Perhaps, more importantly we are getting increased traffic to our blog posts and new followers on our social sites. There have been multiple situations where customers have been emailing during the normal course of business and been exposed to blog posts dealing with the various issues and addressing the various questions they have.
With as many distractions as there are on web these days it can be tough to get visitors to your various venues across the web. Email presents a great opportunity to do just that and more often than not its an opportunity that most ignore or fail to take advantage of.
While it is by no means the be all end all or greatest of the greatest tricks out there in driving traffic, its best to look at it under the “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take…” analogy.
What about you? Are you taking advantage of the marketing opportunities email offers? Already have a great email signature? Let us know in the comments below.