Your Signature File -- Give It Some Love

by: Nicole Dean

Your signature file -- the blurb at the end of your forum posts and your emails -- is prime real estate. Are you using it to the fullest?

Do you put any thought into your sig lines? I hope you are putting as much thought into your sig lines as you would a paid advertisement. Your signature file has the potential to work for you, if you let it.

Of course, if you’re posting on forums, the #1 most important thing is your actual message. Don't attach your signature file to anything that will reflect poorly on your business.

And, likewise, in emails, if you're sending around jokes that are a little risque, then think twice about attaching your URL if it's not appropriate.

Tip 1: Give people a reason to click on your URL.

How can you entice viewers to click?

Your signature file should capture attention and create interest. It should always be clear and direct in stating the benefits your program offers.

Don’t just say “We sell gadgets.” Explain how those gadgets will help your potential customers save time, money or to make their lives better.

Tip 2: Don't Write a Novel

Make your signature file short and catchy. A long, drawn-out signature file is sure to be ignored. And, a boring one will be, too. Stick to one or two URLs, even if you have 30 or 40 websites. Any more than that will dilute your branding and effectiveness.

Tip 3: Don't Confuse

When writing your sig file, remember that a confused mind always says "no". Don't go crazy in your signature file with too many links or options. Be clear and direct about the benefits of your program so anyone and everyone reading it can see exactly how your product or service can help them.

Don't assume readers know as much as you do about your business. Don't talk jargon. Some terms or ideas in your industry may be over the heads of potential customers. Oftentimes I read ads and have no idea what in the heck they are selling, or why I'd need it. Make sure to state your benefits in simple words and grammar so that anyone who isn't in your industry can understand them. For instance, everyone has skin, but not everyone knows what an epidermis is. Make it simple.

Tip 4: Nab them

Once a reader does click through your sig line, do you have a way to capture their contact info so you can stay in touch? If not, get your newsletter sign-up box ready to collect those interested visitors. Otherwise, you're losing that potential customer, possibly forever.

If appropriate, offer something free to collect their email addresses. Offering a discounted item or freebie is always a good idea.

You may be wasting PRIME opportunities to get visitors to your site if you aren't putting as much thought into your sig line as you would invest writing paid ads. Try some new wording and watch your click-through rate rise.