Many language professionals are unsure as to what information they should include in their email signature. To help you decide, we have collated a comprehensive list of elements that could feature in your language business’ professional email signature.
First things first: just like all your other marketing elements, an email signature can and should be used to provide information about your business, while making a good impression on the email receiver.
So, here are 13 things you can include in your email signature.
1. Name and title
Your name and title should stand out for obvious reasons. Try to come up with a short, straightforward title to clarify what you do.
You can also mention specific languages and/or fields of work (i.e. “FR>IT Legal Translator”, “English Travel & Tourism Copywriter”, “Chinese Teacher and Coach”).
Needless to say, you should use your logo across all your marketing materials. Should you have a business name but not a logo, it should definitely be mentioned.
A photo in an email signature helps humanise a business, especially if you rarely meet your clients in person. They will be glad to put a face to all those well-crafted texts you keep sending their way.
Make sure it’s a professional headshot, though. This means no pets, no babies, and no favourite mugs.
If you’re a creative translator, for instance, some degree of creativity might be acceptable given your specialism, but you should still keep it simple and professional to avoid sending the wrong message.
4. Contact details
You want to tell your email recipients that you’re available via other channels, so think about how you want to be reached:
- Office phone
Including your email address in your signature is a bit redundant, unless you’re also using the signature in a secondary email account. In that case, adding your email address will help you centralise all future communications to your primary account.
5. Website URL
When you have a website, it should be mentioned whenever and wherever possible. Plus, there will be a lot of information about your business in your website, which might remove the need to add certain details to your signature.
Stating your services in your signature is a great way to tell others what you do. It will already be implied in your title, of course, but as language professionals we don’t usually offer just one service. You may call yourself a translator, but you probably also proofread, transcribe, subtitle, or post-edit. We suggest you leave that info for a short service list below your name and title.
Just imagine you happen to exchange emails with an online shop after a purchase or one of your favourite local restaurants: wouldn’t it be great if they needed a specific service you provide and noticed it in your awesome signature?
7. Social media
You should only add social media info to your signature if it refers to your professional profiles rather than personal ones. As cute as your cat pics on Facebook may be, they won’t look professional in the eyes of your clients.
It’s perfectly acceptable not to have a professional Twitter page – it will depend on your marketing strategy – but in that case, just don’t include any reference to social media at all in your email signature.
By informing viewers you’re a member of certain associations, you’re also showing commitment to your trade. You could list the names of such associations or display their logos for a tidier, more visual approach.
9. Professional profiles
Just like your memberships, including your professional profiles in your signature not only says you’re serious about your business, but it also lets everyone know where they can find you.
These pages can be particularly useful when you don’t have a website. Those seeking more information can refer to your profiles to learn more about your services and experience.
10. Location and time zone
It’s always useful to know where you’re based and what time zone you’re in, especially if you work with foreign clients. That way, they’ll know if you’re a good fit for more urgent tasks or if you might be available to answer a call.
11. Legal requirements
Did you know that, in some countries, an email disclaimer is required by law? You can talk to a lawyer to find out exactly what you need to include in your compliant email signature. This article might also be helpful.
12. Occasional messages
You might also want to inform your clients, partners or students about things like:
- Holiday periods and breaks (i.e. I will be out of the office from X to X)
- Seasonal greetings (i.e. XY Translations wishes you a Merry Christmas!)
- Special discounts on services or products (i.e. books, courses, webinars, etc.)
- The recent launch of a book, website, course or service
- Free resources, such as a downloadable e-book, guide or checklist
- Special offers, such as a free first consultation or first online class
- A conference/event you’re hosting, attending or speaking at
- Prizes or awards won, such as ‘language blog of the year’ or ‘third most successful freelancer in the world’
Quick tip: use your message as a call-to-action button and link it to a relevant URL.
If your email signature is an image file with all the details, you’ll only be able to add one hyperlink, so choose wisely. You can direct viewers to your:
- Website, where they’ll find all the details about your business
- Profile on LinkedIn or other professional platforms/associations – just make sure it’s complete and updated
- Blog with relevant, updated content for your audience, perfect for attracting new prospects
If you decide on your website, you can even dispense with social media icons in your signature, since people will find that information on your website anyway.
Whatever you decide to include, make sure the final email signature:
- Represents your business and who you are
- Isn’t too long, or it will put viewers off instead of attracting them
- Doesn’t include inappropriate personal information (i.e. contacts, profiles, etc.)
- Is consistent with other marketing materials you may have
You should also remember that most email clients have a character limit for email signatures. Gmail’s, for instance, is 10,000 characters.