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You'll Boost Leads with This Powerful B2B Marketing Trick

Posted by Wendy Marx

Youll Boost Leads with This Powerful B2B Marketing Trick

You're likely often hunting for ways to promote your brand and increase viable leads. Did you know that one of the simplest tactics is literally right at your fingertips? Yet, many people are still not grabbing this free trick that targets prospects that may already be on the line. 

I'm talking about a customized email signature. How does this B2B marketing trick boost leads and how you can you create your own signature?

Let's take a look.

How A Customized Email Signature Boosts B2B Leads

We've all fired off quick emails from our mobile device that include a very basic signature, or even none at all. 

However, I'm sure you'll agree that this is not a best practice for courting prospects or communicating with clients. Rather, you want to present a professional edge. In addition, email marketing is alive and well, so you want to use the real estate in your emails effectively. For more email marketing tips, check out my post, How to Nurture Leads with Low-Pressure Emails

 

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You'll also want to provide as much relevant information as possible. And you can do that right in your signature line. What are some elements you can include in your signature that will help boost credibility and showcase your brand? Let's take it step by step and find out. 

1. Full name

This is a given. However, have you ever thought of linking your name to your website bio? The ultimate goal is always to drive traffic to your website and increase conversions. Linking your name to a bio on your website is a simple way to do just that. 

2. Social Media Links

Allie Kingsley over at designscrazed.org rounded up some of the best social media icon packs out there in this post

Make sure you that all your social icons are part of same design family. You don't want to have a mismash with some vector images, others square, and still others round. Icon packs, such as this one (from Kingsley's post) can help you to create a consistent design:

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Or, if you prefer a funkier edge, you can head over to tutorial9.net to download these vintage style postage stamp icons:

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3. Your Photo

We typically remember photos better than words, and photos of people better than objects. Put a face to your name in your signature line.

4. Your Logo and Website

Make sure to add your company logo in your signature. Link it to your website for easy navigation. This increases brand recognition and works better than simply typing your website address in your signature. 

5. A Call to Action

Have you recently recorded a podcast, written an ebook, or launched a new video? Showcase your latest creation by creating a CTA for it and including it in your signature line. 

 

"Having calls to action that go beyond "contact us" help to make a site successful." ~ Bernie Borges, Founder and CEO of Find and Convert CLICK_TO_TWEET.png

 

After all, you include CTAs in all your content, so why not consider your email as another piece of original content?

Ultimately, you can use your signature as a portfolio of your expertise. One key advantage is that those who are viewing it may already be engaged with your brand. Your signature line info may just what they need to leap from prospect to customer.  And for those new to or less familiar with your brand, it may spur them to check out your company.

Next, let's talk about the technical details of creating your signature. 

How to Create Your Own Signature

There are certainly a plethora of services that will create a standard signature for you. Companies like Wisestamp.com will even give you a basic signature for free.

The disadvantages are that you will always have to delete the Wisestamp branding before you send an email and your signature is not as customizable as it could be if you created it yourself. To avoid this, you can pay the $4 monthly fee, or you can create your own signature for free!

So let's talk about how to create your own signature, free of cost, using tools such as Canva, Tinypic, and Gmail.

There are a couple of different tools you can use to create your signature. One is Photoshop. In Photoshop, you can create your signature as one solid image and then add links where appropriate. This is probably the easiest way to create your signature. 

The disadvantage is that if you want to change just one element of your signature, you'll have to upload the entire image again with your new changes. Plus, not everyone has Photoshop.

If that's the case with you, head over to Canva where you can create each element of your signature individually. This can be challenging because you're essentially arranging the pieces of a puzzle and each piece is a different size. In addition, Gmail doesn't let you adjust your image's size in your signature to a precise measurement. Your choices are small, medium, large, and original size. 

It may take some playing around to get the right size, but rest assured -- it's doable.

First, open your Gmail settings and navigate to Signature. This is where you will insert your customized signature.

Note that in order to insert an image, some versions of Gmail require insertion via URL, rather than simply uploading your image file from your computer.

If you use Wordpress or Hubspot, you can simply upload your image file to the platform and it will generate a URL for you. If you don't use either of these platforms, or one like them, you can upload your image to sites like tinypic.com, and a URL will be generated for you at no cost. 

How to Create Your:

1. Signature

You can create and upload your own signature if you wish, or you can choose a font that best represents the overall feel of your signature.

If you want to upload your own using your Mac, enter Preview, click on the toolbox, and then click on the signature icon. You will be instructed from there.

On a PC, you can either scan your signature and upload it as an image, or you can sign your name on your tablet using a stylus, and then send it to yourself as an image.

You can then upload your signature as an image directly to your image host (Hubspot, Wordpress etc.). In your Gmail signature settings, insert your image by clicking on the picture icon. Next, make sure to highlight your signature image and then add a link to your bio.

Alternatively, you can simply write your name in the font of your choosing directly in your Gmail signature settings, although your font options are not extensive.

2. Social Media Links

Download the icons of your choosing and then upload them to Gmail using a unique URL for each of them. Highlight the icon and then insert the link to each of your social media profiles.
Your Photo. Upload your photo to Canva, then navigate to "frames" to choose a shape for your photo. Insert your photo into the selected frame and adjust the size as needed. Download your image and then insert it where you would like it to appear in your Gmail signature. 

3. Your Logo and Website

Insert your logo, preferably right below or above your name. Make sure to link it to your website. 

4. Call to Action

If you haven't already created a CTA for your current offer, head over to Canva to create one. Some current best practices for CTAs include using an image, making it clear that the viewer should click (DOWNLOAD NOW, CLICK HERE), and briefly describing the benefits of your offer. Insert the CTA as an image (using the image URL you've created) and then link it to your offer. Make sure to create a dedicated link so that you can measure traffic your signature is generating. 

Want to see all of this in action? Check out a snapshot of my email signature below. If you're wondering where the photo is, I chose not to add it since it is already quite busy. 

 

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Next, let's talk about a couple of  things to avoid  when creating your email signature. 

  1. Don't repeat your email address. It's redundant since the receiver already has it in the email and can always hit "reply."
  2. Don't include favorite quotes. Some people feel it's necessary to included their favorite quote. However, this can appear a little cheesy. Better to avoid the quotes and keep it professional,

 

Generating B2B leads is an easier task when you use all the tools at your disposal. Don't waste any opportunity to build credibility, thought leadership, and visibility! 

Do you have a secret weapon for generating or nurturing leads? If so, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

 

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May 9, 2016
 
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Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx is the founder and president of Marx Communications, a boutique inbound marketing and public relations agency. An award-winning B2B public relations pro, she has helped many small- & medium-sized firms (SMBs) become well-known industry brands and transform their businesses, going from Anonymity to Industry Icon™.

Her business articles have appeared in The New York Times, InformationWeek, Inc., Advertising Age, & Fast Company, among other outlets. 

View all posts by Wendy Marx