Note: this article is part of a series about current issues to consider when writing business email. Subscribe to this blog to receive the full series.
A business email signature I received today from a Human Resource manager included this somewhat inspirational quote:
“Just when the caterpillar thought its’ life was over, it became a butterfly.”
While I often tend to agree with inspirational insights theoretically, do not include them in your business email signature.
They are distracting from the core message of your email. Business email volume is heavy, and we need to streamline our messages to assist busy readers. This quote offers only unrelated extraneous content, and requires additional valuable reader time – never good practice.
(Additionally, there is a grammar error. Its’ is a grammatical formation that does not exist. The possessive form of its is its. Correct it's vs. its grammar should be, “Just when the caterpillar thought its life was over…” )
Match Business Email Signature to Your Reader
This quote is particularly odd for a Human Resources manager, given the layoffs occurring across many companies. There is an oblique hint of ending/layoff mentioned, and reminder of this in an email from Human Resources is not helpful! This statement could easily cause employees to worry needlessly.
Email signatures can be hugely valuable for marketing:
- Use business email signatures to increase sales
- Announce new initiatives to internal staff
- Announce new products or events to external contacts
- Highlight a new marketing initiative
- Inspirational quotes
- Any political statements
- Any religious statements
- Colorful fonts. Keep your business email signature clean and professional
- A jpg image. Many email clients will add this as an attachment only. They are not helpful and add clutter.