You’re probably reading this on a smartphone.
These days over 50% of email is read on a smartphone. Given that fact, you should probably make sure your default email signature is optimized for smartphones.
So, what does that entail?
Slim it down, and be harsh about it
Most of all, be ruthless about what you put in your default email signature.
Picture your most important client in her car, struggling to find the quickest way to get in touch with you by phone, text, or email.
She doesn’t want to see, or accidentally click on, a fax number or main office number. She intends to get in touch with you.
Immediately. As in NOW.
Does she want to look at your email signature and see fancy graphics as she wheels out of the rental car parking lot? Does your tagline about considering “the environment before printing this email” make her pause and silently revel in your social altruism?
Do her a favor and get rid of unnecessary mumbo jumbo gumbo.
So what does belong in your default email signature now?
Three things must be in your default email signature: here are the first two
Your name should be the first thing. It’s useful for people who are just getting to know you, but it’s especially helpful if your client forwards your email to someone else. So, naturally, you put your name in your default signature.
Then you put a phone number, and only one. But which one?
Your mobile number is the one that, these days, most clients and contacts are going to use to get in touch with you quickly. So that’s what should be right below your name. Include the area code.
You want the phone information to be something that, when tapped on a smartphone, will automatically dial your number. If you do it right, then that’s what’ll happen on most smartphones.
Here’s what the default email signature would like based on what we’ve discussed so far:
Note that “cell” appears behind the number. Very helpful. Maybe you prefer “direct dial” but the point is: let them know what the number they’ll be calling is.
The third thing you’ll add is your email address.
Why put your email address too?
A lot of folks don’t put their email address in their default signature. But they should. The reason is not apparent, and frankly, it will only rarely come into play. But it’s worth doing because it’s easy and there’s no reason not to.
So here’s why most people think the email address is not worth adding: the person obviously has your email address because that’s how you contacted them. So why clutter your signature by adding it?
Yes that person has your email address, and they can easily hit “reply.” But some (maybe not many) clients may want to quickly create a new email with a different subject line from the one she’s reading now.
If you add your email address most smartphones will make it clickable to create a new email. More and more folks are discovering this and using it to quickly compose new emails.
(If it’s not clickable, there’s a simple way to make it clickable: highlight the email address and copy it; then highlight it again and create a hyperlink and put ‘mailto:’ in front of the email address and click OK to confirm that hyperlink).
Another reason to include your email address (even if it’s not a hyperlink): some email program add-ons will pull out someone’s contact information when it sees a name, phone number and email address grouped together. Other add-ons will allow a recipient to copy that grouping and add it to their contact list with one click. Putting your email in there makes that easier for them.
In short, there are some hard-to-spot reasons why adding your email address makes sense. And there is no reason not to put it in.
There’s a famous country song with the title: If The Phone Don’t Ring You’ll Know It’s Me. The line is funny in a country song, but not so much if you’re in a business that depends on having important people easily get in touch with you.
So spend a few minutes updating your default email signature on all your computers and devices. Make it easier for people to reach you, and you might start getting more work from busy clients.
Lawyers who have paperless law practices are free to work anywhere, and they understand the importance of efficient email communication. If your practice isn’t yet paperless, perhaps it’s time to start learning how to make the shift.
Quick Action Step
If you want to learn more you can get started right away with our free 1-page guide called 5 Keys to Creating a Paperless Law Office.