Have you ever gotten an email from a client asking you for a quote that you needed to respond to right away? One where a phone call or a visit to their web site could clear up the issue or secure the job quicker than just replying to the email? And then when you went to look for the web address or phone number you couldn't find it because there was no signature with contact info at the end? Yup, me too! So frustrating! Well guess what - every email you send out to your clients without your signature and contact info has the potential to be just as frustrating!
A well-crafted email signature has multiple advantages and is the perfect opportunity to introduce potential buyers to you and your brand. It gives your clients an instant first impression about who you are and what you do. Wouldn’t it be nice if that first impression was, “Wow - Its obvious this person is a professional and knows what they're doing- I need to hire them NOW. Let me contact them right away.” That being said, it would be prudent to take some time to craft a great signature that is recognizable, professional and authentically you. One that makes it easy to hire you again and again!
Legitimacy and Professionalism
If you’ve ever worked a corporate job, one of the first things you typically have to set up is your company email address. Most of the time, everyone within the company will have a similarly structured email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org . A consistent company branded email signature is also required. This is important because it brings cohesiveness and professionalism to the organization as it presents to outside parties. As a voice actor, you are a professional business as well, and need to present that to your potential buyers. Lack of an email signature may cause clients to not take you seriously. If you don't care about how you look to them, why should they care about you?
Showcase Your Biz
Outside of conveniently providing your contact information so customers can get a hold of you easily, one of the main benefits of having an email signature is the opportunity to include links to important information about your business. Links to your demos and/or website are great additions to include in your email signature. Most new buyers or prospects will want to hear what you sound like, so an easily accessible way to hear you is important. You can also include links to your LinkedIn profile, YouTube channel or other social media accounts. To make these links stand out even more, you can embed an image of the social media logo and hyperlink to your specific account. Just make sure your images are consistent in size with one another.
ProTip: Create a unique URL using bit.ly or another tracking program to track clicks to these links. This will tell you what people are clicking on in your email signature — what may be important to include and what you could do without.
Digital Business Card
One of the main goals of an email signature is to let the person who you are communicating with know who you are… literally. Don’t get so wrapped up in your email that you forget to sign your name and what you do! Think of it as a digital business card, or the official stamp of your business.
The following should be included in your signature for optimal results.
Links to your demos
Logo or Picture
Small icons or links to your top social media platforms
There are lots of great online sites or programs that can help you create a professional looking signature. I happen to use the gmail signature setting along with a great program called Wise Stamp. You can try it for free or spend a few dollars a year for the Pro version. Take a look at a few of my email signatures below. They are inserted automatically by my email program every time I compose or reply to an email. I don't even have to think about it. What's great is that the signature simply stays in the email no matter how many times it is forwarded - which means more exposure to more clients!
Common Email Signature Mistakes
Now that we have discussed how to make a email signature stand out, let’s talk about some common mistakes you should try to avoid.
Images can be great if it’s your logo or professional headshot. However, don’t go too crazy with them. One maybe two is probably all you need. Make sure the size of your images are optimized. They should be proportionate to everything else; neither too small or too big. Also, you'll want to make sure your images are embedded into the body of your email and not sent as attachments. Make sure to test this out in your email program by sending it to family and friends that have different email clients.
Don’t get carried away by font choices. Pick one and stick with and make sure it is a standard font that can be read in most email programs. Make sure all your copy is easy to read. The font and color should be the same. There really is no need for five different fonts in five different colors in your email signature. Also, make sure your font size is easy to read as well. If possible, it should be the same size as the font you use in the body of your email.
Don’t use just an image for your signature. This is a red flag for spam filters and might hold your emails up. Also, since images only have one clickable area you aren’t able to include more than one link. And think twice about the length of your signature - you don't want it to be obnoxiously long or look like you don't have a clear cut brand or call to action.
A Great First Impression
When it comes right down to it, remember that your email signature is an opportunity to make a great first impression. Take 10-30 minutes and create something that looks and acts as professional as you are. You'll be glad you did in the long run, and have a great chance of getting more work too!
Keep on rockin' your biz,
About the Author: Anne Ganguzza is a full-time voice talent and award-winning director and producer who works with students to develop their voice over and business skills - including VO demo training and production. She specializes in Conversational Commercial and Narration styles, including Corporate, E-Learning, Technology, Healthcare - Medical, Telephony, and On-Hold. Located in Orange County, CA, Anne offers private coaching and mentoring services to students in person and via Skype, ipDTL or Zoom.