7 minute read
Email signatures need no introduction. In fact, if you are a 90’s kid like me, you probably got introduced to them with Gmail. Although, the history of email signatures goes way back to 1983 with Usenet introducing them to give author credits. You also probably have been using message signatures for years. Let us deeply understand it once before diving into the article.
An email or message signature is any kind of comprehensive ‘signature’ you include towards the end/footer of your email. The purpose can be different for different entities – signing off as oneself, giving crucial contact information, reinforcing company’s identity, promoting a brand, or a combination of everything. They also come in all shapes and sizes – one-liners, complex, image-supported, animated, or whatever one wants to make out of them.
Many email signature editors and generators give multiple formatting and design options. Every such option is an opportunity to be more unique and true to one’s brand – whether personal or professional. That is a great tool until we realize that we don’t just communicate through emails, especially as brands and organizations. In fact, 90% of brands, in 2023, need to have an omnichannel presence, i.e. be present and communicate through various channels such as social media platforms and messaging apps altogether. This has to be achieved while delivering a standard and consistent customer experience across all of these channels. This means we shouldn’t be having to miss out on one of the most powerful and easiest marketing tools out there – the message signature.
We, at Chatwoot, recently rolled out an update allowing for message signatures to be utilized across all inboxes connected to Chatwoot. While communication now goes beyond traditional emails, it is equally important to consider having unified message signatures. This, is now possible with Chatwoot.
Omnichannel message signatures
Omnichannel message signatures represent a revolutionary approach to modern communication. They are like a single, consistent signature that you can use across different channels of customer communication, and not just in emails. They make it easy for you to have the same signature whether you're sending emails, chatting through website live chat or social media channels like Facebook or Instagram, or messaging on your phone through Line, WhatsApp, Telegram, or SMS.
This approach makes your online identity instantly recognizable to everyone, regardless of where you engage. It's a simple way to keep things neat and consistent in your online conversations, ensure professionalism and strengthen brand identity. These are just a couple of many advantages that message signatures have to offer.
How to use omnichannel message signatures in Chatwoot?
Chatwoot is an omnichannel customer communication platform, i.e., you can connect various inboxes to a single dashboard and manage your conversations from there.
To start using a singular message signature, go to your Profile Settings → Personal message signature. Create your signature using the best practices explained below.
When chatting with customers, the signature automatically populates your text editor, which you can always edit before sending.
Advantages of message signatures
Serves as your electronic business cards
Physical business cards are an excellent way to build awareness, encourage interest for a business, and give contact information. Message signatures, in many ways, mirror the purpose of these traditional cards, by acting as digital business cards. That is why, carefully designing them can make a huge difference to how your brand is perceived, and encouraging action from the customers.
Plays a crucial role in brand building
This one is underrated. Consider this: when any employee from a company interacts with a customer, they aren't just representing themselves; they become a face of the company. In such interactions, having well-crafted signatures with their messages can make a difference. These signatures serve as a subtle yet powerful way to reinforce the company's identity, and recall brands.
Using message signatures saves you the effort of manually entering your information every time you send a message, making your workflow more efficient.
Signatures add a professional touch to your messages, which in turn builds a lot of trust with customers.
Helps with promotion and marketing efforts
You can promote your webinars or events, product launches, pricing offers, etc through message signatures. You can include relevant CTAs to invite subscriptions to your newsletter or YouTube channel, or a calendar link to encourage demo requests. You can even ask for product reviews. You can also include tracking links to measure the effectiveness of such links in your signatures.
Some countries even make it mandatory to include your company’s name, and/or other necessary details with your messages. This is where message signatures come in handy. You can also use this opportunity to include any relevant disclaimers and ensure compliance with your industry’s regulations.
How to design the best message signatures?
Taking some time to design your message signatures with care always pays off. We previously established how these signatures serve as the face of your brand. Anything substandard that doesn’t do justice to representing your brand is not worth it. We explain below some useful guidance to keep in mind while crafting your signature.
Decide which elements to keep
A message signature typically consists of any or all of the following elements.
- Contact information like email address, phone number
- Headshot or full image of the sender
- Company logo
- Company’s website link
- Any other links for marketing
- A friendly message or quote
Understanding the primary purpose you want your signature to serve will guide your choices about which elements to include. So consider if you aim for it to be a brief author introduction, a means of sharing contact information, or a tool for marketing and promotion.
Pro tip: Position the most crucial elements of your signature towards the upper left corner of your design. Psychologically, individuals tend to notice and remember these components more readily than others.
Let the elements breathe
Avoid congesting your design. Instead, embrace whitespace to naturally highlight key elements within your signature. A clean, elegant, and minimalistic design tends to be the most effective, ensuring clarity and aesthetic appeal.
Use careful formatting
Bolden the parts of the message signature where you want to draw the most attention, but be careful with overusing it. A message signature is already a compact design, so it's advisable to bold just one of the phrases. Opt for a font size from 10 to 13 for a balanced and visually appealing result.
Pay attention to the visual elements
When including images or any graphical elements, aim for a high-resolution quality. Additionally, consider incorporating professional headshots, unless your specific profession demands a different approach.
Emoji are a great and quick way to add useful icons or fun elements to your signature. For example, you can use the telephone (📞) emoji with your phone number, the email (📧) emoji with your email address, and the briefcase (💼) emoji with your position in the company.
Practical tips for using omnichannel message signatures
Edit before sending
In Chatwoot, when you select a message signature during your conversations, it populates your text editor. Take a moment to see if it goes well with your message, or the customer you are talking to. Consider a situation: You are speaking with an angry customer who’s asking for a refund, and your standard message signature contains a product demo link. It might be a good idea to quickly delete that line from your sig before sending the message to this customer. Another situation to consider is of a regular customer who you have been talking to for months. In this situation, you can opt to completely delete your sig from your messages to avoid unnecessary overcrowding.
Personalize for different platforms
In Chatwoot, when a customer messages you, you can see which platform the message came from – web live chat, social media inbox, mobile messaging apps, or any other API inbox you may have connected. You can use your sig on any and all of these platforms. However, we recommend taking one more step by being a little thoughtful about the type of content that works well on specific inboxes. What works best on email inboxes may not fly by too well in other inboxes. Or, you may want to add a dash of fun to social media conversations. Say, if you have included your professional name in your sig, you could consider editing it to a casual one when talking with customers on Instagram.
Resize your image
When uploading images to your sig, choose an appropriate image size among small, medium and large.
Determine behavior for follow up messages
Message signatures are generally sent along with the first message you send. It is not a great idea to include it with every follow up message that you send, and often times not required too. This could prove to be annoying for the customer and bad news for the brand.
While chatting with your customers, consider editing your signature in the editor. You can either create a condensed version of it or opt to disable the signature altogether.
Utilize brand colors
While designing your image to be uploaded in your signature, try using more of your brand colors. This practice helps with reinforcing your brand’s identity and enhancing its recall value.
Maintain and monitor
You can monitor the performance of the links included in your sig by adding UTM tracking to them or using a link shortening tool and using the analytics feature provided in them. Monitor them on periodic basis and determine your best performing ones. You can drill down deeper into the why’s of the successful links and use those learnings for other marketing projects as well.
Standardize across team or organization
Take some time to standardize sigs for your team, especially if you are a large one. This could mean mandating the use of company logo with sigs, having a singular email address in the place of contact info, a color palette to be used, use of full names, or headshots only in formal collars. Alternatively, you can have sig guidelines for your employees to follow. You could also consider applying such standardizations or guidelines for specific teams rather than for the entire company. This, in turn, allows for hyper personalization and strong customer experiences. For example, the Sales team could use a calendar link for inviting demo requests, and the Customer Success team could use a calendar link for inviting account management calls.
Avoid these things
- Too much text
- Fonts that are not web-safe
- Irrelevant or personal links
- Arbitrary quotes that don’t resonate with your brand
Ideas for using message signatures
Here are a few unconventional ideas to inspire you:
- Show a recent testimonial from a happy client
- Promote an upcoming webinar or event
- Link to a recently written article or a white-paper/report download link, and ask for feedback
- Give a hint to the next big feature your team is building
- Run promotional offers
- Flaunt your badges or certificates
- Ask for reviews
Are you feeling inspired to use omnichannel message signatures? We would love to see your designs and feature them in our library – ping us using the live chat below. ↘️
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