How every email can include a low-key but effective marketing message about you and your organization.
With a little fine-tuning, every email that you send can automatically communicate a lot about you, your work and/or your organization. A complete signature block at the end of every email is a low-key way to communicate a lot of good stuff about yourself and your organization.
If there were a category for highly useful and effective healthcare marketing tactics that are “free,” “easy,” “simple,” and “much-neglected,” this little idea would be in the Top 10.
Here’s a quick story to set the stage. Recently Stewart was working on a project that was completely unrelated to our core healthcare marketing business. Routine email correspondence flew back and forth among several individuals who are mainly in the investment and finance community.
It turns out that one of the participants happens to be a physician (although this wasn’t a medical matter), who said, “By the way, I took at the links on your email signature. While I always thought highly of you based upon our interactions, I had no idea your credentials were so impressive.” Thanks for the nice compliment, but the marketing gem idea worth sharing is about Stewart’s email signature.
The comment illustrates the idea that if you’re not using a complete signature block at the end of every email you send, you’ve missed a golden “communications moment,” maybe a hundred times a day. It’s a low-key way to communicate a lot of good stuff about yourself and your organization.
This idea’s useful for physicians and other providers, medical offices and practices, hospitals and healthcare organizations. And it’s particularly helpful for anyone in healthcare marketing, PR or communications with routine email contact with the public, media or the community.
Take a look at the end of a dozen, randomly selected emails in your IN box. And then look at how you signoff your emails. Typically the signature block at the bottom of most email messages contains little or no information…after all the name and email address is at the top, right? The recipient of your email probably has your phone number, right? Well…maybe not always.
OK…now look at Stewart Gandolf’s standard signature block.
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, Founding Partner
Toll Free: (800) 656-0907 Ext. 3
Subscribe to our enewsletter
Connect With Me: Linked-In – Twitter – Facebook – YouTube
Schedule a phone meeting with me here
It’s a “connection convenience” for the recipient (and anyone that the message may be forwarded to), and a nice slice of marketing for Stewart, every time he hits SEND.
This works because most people you know in business only know a little bit about you or your job. Chances are that at least some of these additional particulars will be new info for the recipient. It gives them a larger awareness of you, your work and/or your organization.
Many of the benefits here are self-evident. The recipient knows all the basics-the correct spelling of the name, full title, area code and phone number, email address, URL, etc. Plus there are additional- and possibly unknown-connecting points such as eNewsletter, blog, social media, etc. It’s a complete package.
Stewart’s “Schedule a phone meeting with me” line is a link to an online software service. This one’s called TimeTrade, but there are several such services for businesses. In this case there’s a fee for various products that support sales, marketing and customer service in the interest of productivity.
Instead of a traditional “business appointment,” this might be a link for a patient to schedule or request an appointment where appropriate.
Here are a few additional tips:
- You probably already know how to set it up. Depending on which email system you’re using, the “auto signature” options are commonly found under “settings” or “user options.” (Perhaps you are using this to generate a “confidential” disclaimer?)
- Alternatively, there are “widgets” and graphics available online. If you want to get a bit fancier, search online for “automatic signature block” to find little software add-ons that include tiny logos for the social media connections, facilitate a hand written signature and/or show your business card. (Hint: some are free, and others are low cost.)
- Consider having more than one signature block option. There will be times that it’s useful to have a “personal” or informal version, as well as a “business” or standard form. These and other options are usually part of your email system settings or options.
- Use the same info in your auto-responder or out-of-office messages. A simple “I’m out of the office” message will be much more helpful if you include the signature block info (in addition to your own) for a designated alternative contact in the “vacation response” setting in most email systems.
- You may also want to include: A thumbnail photo of yourself (if you are a meet-and-greet type), your logo and/or tagline and maybe a Quick Response (QR) code.
- Caution: Whatever you include in your signature block will remain attached to the message if it is forwarded or forward-forwarded. Chances are that’s OK in business, but you probably don’t want to include any personal info.
- Keep the information in your signature block up to date. You only have to set it up once and it works automatically. But check what you’re sending from time to time, and verify that any links are working properly.
Adding a few words and links to your routine signature block is a modest but highly effective tool. It’s easy to create, and it can help you communicate more quickly and efficiently. And if you’d like to connect with us at any time, click this convenient link or anything on Stewart’s signature block above.