Last week, I read a simple, no-brainer tip that made me say to myself, “Hey, moron, why aren’t you doing this?”
Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI, wrote a post about including a P.S. in your email signature. Dr. Misner was looking at it from a networking perspective.
In addition to contact information and links to your social media pages and blog, use a P.S. at the end of your email signature to tell people who would be a good referral for you and your organization.
I immediately went into Microsoft Outlook and edited my signature to include the following (I prefer PS without the periods):
PS: If you hear a colleague, client, vendor or business contact say something like “our website sucks,” “our brochure is ancient,” or “we haven’t posted to our blog in months,” that person would be a great referral for me. If you know a marketing service provider (website development, graphic design, social media, public relations, video production, etc.), an introduction would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Will this instantly open the flood gates to new business contacts and gobs of money? Of course not.
But in an oversaturated marketplace, we should leave no marketing stone unturned. That includes the email signature.
Writing the PS and adding it to my signature took me about 10 minutes. It didn’t cost me anything. The message will go to clients, prospects, colleagues, vendors, referral partners, people who signed up for my blog, and anyone else who receives email from me.
My little PS message gets ignored or goes unnoticed. Who cares. The same can happen when you spend thousands of dollars on certain types of marketing.
Someone reads my little PS message tomorrow and says, “Hey! I know someone you should talk to!” That person becomes my biggest client. Cha-ching.
More realistic-case scenario?
Some people who I have relationships with are reminded of the type of referrals I need to grow my business. If they bump into someone at some point, in person or virtually, who would be a good referral, they think of me and mention my name.
For a 10-minute investment of my time, I’ll take it.
More Ideas for Using Your Email Signature as a Marketing Tool
The more I thought about this whole email signature thing, the more I realized how versatile an email signature can be as a marketing tool.
In the PS I created for myself, I asked people to listen for specific triggers that would indicate someone is a good referral for me. Although the triggers were specific, the more generic “ask” was clear – a good referral is anyone who needs good marketing content, either for themselves or their clients.
Of course, I could change it up.
Maybe I could create a signature geared towards people who have speaking engagements at seminars, workshops, conferences, trade shows, etc. I would ask to be introduced to someone who might consider transforming that presentation into a white paper or a series of blog posts.
Maybe I could create a signature geared towards people who have success stories to share and want to get beyond generic, cliché-filled testimonials.
Maybe I could link to blog posts about those topics in my PS. Like I just did here.
You could even – gasp! – show you care about your business contacts by using your email signature to ask how you can help them grow their business. What kind of referrals are they looking for? Givers gain, as we say in the world of BNI.
I would recommend against doing too much direct selling or self-promotion in your email signature. But if you’re having a sale or special event, there’s nothing wrong with some short-term promotion. Just make sure you’re offering something of value and selling the benefit or the outcome.
If you’re having a sale on a product or service, hit the price point, but focus on the value they’ll receive. If you’re promoting an event, like a workshop or seminar, hit the date, time, place and topic – and link to the registration page – but focus on how they’ll benefit by attending.
It’s an email signature, not an ad, so make it personal. Say you would love to see the person at your store/office/event, and you would appreciate it if they wouldn’t mind telling others who might be interested. Make sure it sounds like something you would say, and thank them.
If you’re going to a big industry conference or trade show, you can use your email signature to plug your appearance. Again, sell the value.
Look for us at booth ABC to see or find out about XYZ. Hear from our CEO, Joe Blow, during a panel discussion about leaving no marketing stone unturned.
Of course, if your promoting something, you have to change your email signature when that something is over. Otherwise, you create the impression that you’re not paying attention.
You can also announce new products, services or personnel. For example, if your video production company just started using a drone to shoot video, or your law firm just hired a new attorney, share that information in your email signature.
Obviously, you wouldn’t rely solely on your email signature to make these announcements, but why not use it to help get the word out?
Another use for your email signature is to give people a heads up that you’ll be on vacation. I try to let my clients know when I’ll be going on vacation so they don’t find out from an automated out-of-office reply. Including this information in your email signature before you leave serves as an ongoing reminder.
Granted, this isn’t marketing. But it’s a friendly courtesy that can help you build a stronger relationship and get important business done before you leave.
I don’t know about other email applications, but Microsoft Outlook lets you create multiple signatures. You could create several signatures, make a generic version the default, and choose a specialized signature from a dropdown menu, depending on who you’re emailing and what you want to accomplish.
It comes down to a simple question. If it’s free and requires minimal effort, why would you not add a PS to your email signature? When it comes to marketing, you need to use every weapon in your arsenal. Leave no stone unturned.
Are you using your email signature to support your marketing goals? How so? What are your ideas for using a PS message?