An estate agents’ guide to email signatures
An email signature is an electronic way of signing off your name at the end of a message and that’s about it, right? For many people that pretty much sums it up, but in reality an email signature offers much more. They are an important tool, allowing you to offer greater insight to yourself and your estate agency.
This is particularly important for estate agents, who place a strong emphasis on their personality to help build important relationships with their clients. The wrong email signature won’t necessarily damage your reputation, but the right one can go a long way to enhancing it and promoting your brand.
A bit about signatures
Let’s move away from the online world for a second and look at the word ‘signature’. There is a reason that, as children, we would spend ages scribbling down our signatures on a piece of paper. It is the same basis behind why so many people hold a little squiggly line from a celebrity in such high regard.
Signatures are a signifier of our personality. They are handwritten extensions of our name and they say a little bit more about us. We put a lot of thought into our signatures because we want them to reflect positively on us, giving the people that see them some indication to who we are.
The concept behind an email signature is exactly the same, however, the use of the word ‘email’ at the front actually allows us to inculcate our personality even more so than a signature signed by pen. Sure, the electronic element means we lose personalisation on the actual signature, but that little footer at the end of a message affords more freedom to display creativity in a different, more detailed way.
The good news is that it’s not hard to have a good email signature, which makes it all the more baffling why so many are often poorly executed. To make sure you don’t fall into the trap of a bad email signature, we have detailed a few key factors to help you construct one that offers more information than simply displaying your name.
What goes into an email signature?
Think of an email signature as a type of letterhead. They rubber stamp your company and your role within it, providing information to your recipients with important details about your agency.
Keeping them short is the best way to go, limiting your signature to no more than four or five lines of information. At the very least you should include your name, your role, company name and a contact number or web address. By including this information, you are giving your recipient more ways to get in touch with the company in case they can’t exclusively get back to you when they need to.
Don’t go overboard with graphics
There are lots of exciting things you can do with graphics in your email signature, but keeping them clear and concise is important for creating a good user experience for the recipient.
As far as using graphics, we recommend including your estate agent’s logo in the signature. It might be worth looking at social media icons that you can link to. Possibly a headshot image, too.
The overall size of your email is important as you don’t want to send out something that is too large. The more graphics you have, the larger the email file will be, meaning it is possible your message could end up in the recipient’s spam folder.
Personalise with imagery
As touched on earlier, using a headshot in your email signature can be a good way to add some personality. This is already common practise with estate agents when using marketing material – and it might be a nice touch to incorporate it in your emails.
It is a helpful way to make yourself seem more personable with your recipients. After all, a key factor for an estate agent is to build good relationships with their clients . By using a professional image of yourself, you are helping to make it more personable and recognisable.
Make it social
Agents are placing a greater emphasis on online marketing, with a particular focus on social media platforms. If you have a consistent social media strategy, you can implement links to your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts through the logo icons.
A constant flow of content through different mediums enhances your agency’s online profile, which should lead to more website visits and help improve your ranking on search engines.
Consistency is key to the success of many businesses, and having consistent email signatures between staff members at your agency is important. The names and the roles will differ, but company-specific information should match for each employee.
Use the same template across the company, making sure that all the signatures look professional and are a good representation of your agency. Keeping their layout consistent helps to enhance the brand and shows that thought has gone into the overall image of the business.
Call to action
A ‘call to action’ is a good way to promote any ongoing content that you have, and would be beneficial to share with your recipients. The content could be about anything you deem of importance – you might want to link to a recent blog post, or perhaps you want to trial linking directly back to your stock.
It can just be a simple, yet effective, sentence saying, “why don’t you check out our latest properties”, with a link which will then take them through to the property for sale/let page on your website.
Use your signature to help position your brand with information that will appeal to your recipients. If you have been particularly successful at converting sales shortly after properties enter the market, say something along the lines of: “We sell 86% of properties within the first three months of them being on the market.”
This can be used as a key differentiator to your competitors email signatures. Just make sure you get your property market data on estate agents right and keep the statistics up to date.
Leave your email address out of your signature
It may sound obvious, but many people still include their email address in their signature, despite the fact that the recipient will already have it from the initial sent email.
Think of it as introducing yourself to homeowner, then going up to them and introducing yourself again. It is the same with an email signature – they already have it; there is no need to waste the space when you could be using it for something else.
You won’t solely be rooted to sending emails from your desktop or laptop. As a negotiator you are likely to be on the go, which means that a good amount of emails will be picked up from your smartphone.
iPhones, Android phones and Blackberry’s usually have their own, shortened down version of signatures. Don’t be afraid to embrace these, even creating your own versions that move away from the traditional ones on your desktop email footer.
The graphics play an important role behind why you should change your email signatures for mobile. While graphics you have created on your desktop might look presentable, they do not transfer seamlessly to mobile. This can lead to distorted and blurry images, even going as far as breaking the email entirely.
Most emails are opened on mobile devices, which mean it is even more important to make sure graphics are optimised for your device. Larger image files equal more data consumed by the recipient downloading them, potentially resulting in higher mobile charges.
Leave dated terms out of your email signature
Several years ago, businesses sending emails were required to include several paragraphs relating to their company’s terms and conditions. These would take up extensive amounts of space and were simply impractical.
It reached the point where government offices debated the need and necessity of it, stating that paper was being wasted when having to print the emails because the T&Cs were adding several extra pages to the printing process.
Thankfully, rule changes mean that you no longer need to include T&Cs in your emails and they can now be implemented on your website, which you can link to in your email signature. The removal of terms means a better user experience for the recipient and the chance to highlight more important features in your agency.
Be effective with your email signature
There are lots of different ways to use your email signature, and it is mainly about finding out what is right for your agency and then running with it.
It is important to remember that email signatures play a much larger role in your agency’s branding than it initially seems. By creating good, informative signatures, you are enhancing your agency’s brand, adding more information about your company and helping to further generate interest products.
Feel free to share you estate agency email signatures with us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can give you some pointers to help make them more effective, making your email look stronger in the process.