You might have noticed more and more companies are adding a digital scan of their personal signature (usually a .jpeg, .gif or .png file) to the bottoms of their emails or even the bottom of their digital newsletters. I’ve even seen one or two people adding them to the bottom of their blog posts.
How can you, the small business owner and entrepreneur, add a signature to your emails? Easy. All you need is a clean white piece of paper (no lines) and a smooth writing pen or marker. I recommend you then sign your name 4-6 times or until you find that ‘perfect’ one that you like the best.
Next you scan the white paper with your signatures with your scanner or, if you don’t have that, you can make sue sometimes by taking a very steady, high res photo of the signature you like. Then it’s just a matter of opening the file in your easiest photo-editing program and cropping the image so you only have the signature you like. Rotate it so it is positioned correctly and resize it to probably somewhere around 150-300 pixels wide. Save as a .jpeg, .gif or .png and then all you have to do is add the image to your email’s signature. (Which varies depending on what program you’re using)
Now that you know HOW to do it, the big question is, is it safe
Is it safe to drive a car? Is it safe to cook a meal?
Sure, a hundred myriad of things could go wrong, but all in all these days it seems the benefits out weight the risks. First let me be clear: You should have identity protection, whether you put signatures in emails or not. Personally I use Zander Insurance’s Identity Theft plan which costs under $7 a month. I like their plan over Life Lock because they handle all the paperwork if/when something bad happens where as Life Lock just gives you money and you have to sort all that crap out. Let’s face it, we’re entrepreneurs. Who has time for MORE paperwork?
Now that you have identity protection, understand this: the signature used to be the end all be all way of proving you were, well, YOU. It’s not anymore. Half the programs I sign up for ask for a “digital signature” which is nothing more than me typing my initials into a form. It’s been proven time and again that people can sign Mickey Mouse and Betty Boop on credit card receipts and nobody even pays attention. If someone wanted to forge your signature, they could and they would likely get away with it.
That in mind, I don’t think it’s dangerous to include a small signature file in your emails. I see it more and more every day.
So WHY are people adding images of their signatures into emails and newsletters that could be stolen.
A signature offers a personal touch to an otherwise dead and emotionless medium. It reminds us of handwritten letters and helps the reader connect better with the person behind the desk miles away typing said email.
In a world where digital is the fastest growing method of communication we crave above all human interaction. Anywhere you can add personal touches it helps establish better credibility and approachability. Ultimately it helps add a step towards trust.
That’s a priceless marketing tool.