Although email communications have been in use since the 1970s, many organizations today still haven’t developed their own email signature standards. Creating an email signature standard is similar to developing your non-profit’s logo and name criteria, which are part of its overall brand or communications standards. When it comes to branding and looking professional, consistency is key. Here are the 7 steps to creating your organization’s email signature standard: If your organization has a selected sans-serif font style for headlines and Internet use, use it. If not, fonts such as Arial, Tahoma and Verdana are classified as sans-serif and help facilitate reading on electronic screens. Begin with each employee’s first and last name – the way each is recognized by constituents. The employee’s title or position should come next, followed by the name of the organization. The next few lines have flexibility in their order. Here’s my preference: Physical address, city, state/province, zip/postal code. Local telephone number, toll-free number, fax number. Individual’s email address. Organization’s website URL. Underneath the signature, there’s prime real estate where the organization can include both permanent and rotating links and messages. Permanent links to the organization’s social media networks are a natural inclusion to promote engagement and information sharing. If your non-profit has any subsidiary sites, blogs or other sites of importance, add these. If there are too many to list, rotate them monthly. Lastly, create text or banner ads for special events or promotions you want to emphasize for a finite period of time. Fundraising events, campaigns, membership drives, registrations, etc. are examples of these types of ads. The End Result? When you’re done, you’ll have consistent and professional email signatures for each individual in the organization. No more cutesy font styles, smiley faces or backgrounds that don’t jive with the organization’s brand image. Here’s a fictitious example: Brenda Garcia Development Director Main Social Services 123 W. Main St. Greenwood, IN 46142 Tel: (317) 123-4567 Toll Free: (800) 674-1298 Fax: (317) 123-4568 firstname.lastname@example.org www.mss.org Don’t miss our annual Gala Dinner! The deadline to reserve your table is October 19, 2012. Register now! a Rafflecopter giveaway
Elaine Fogel is a professional speaker and president and CMO of Solutions Marketing & Consulting LLC, a boutique marketing agency in Scottsdale, AZ. She has been a contributing writer for The Business Journal and her articles have appeared in many publications, including The Arizona Republic, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Marketing News, Advancing Philanthropy, Nonprofit World and several association publications. She is a contributor for MarketingProfs.com and American Express Open Forum. Readers in 10 countries regularly read her blog, Totally Uncorked on Marketing.