Networking Pitfall: Your Email Signature Line
Posted by Molly Wendell // in Job SearchNetworking
Last week, I got an email from Jerri – someone we’re doing business with. Her email had some bad news that I didn’t want to hear (read?), so I wanted to talk to her about it. When I picked up the phone to call her, I realized her phone number wasn’t in the email. I went to another email she sent me and looked for her number. But it wasn’t there either. Then I went through the last 10 emails she’s sent me in the past two months. Not one of them had her phone number. Not one of them had a signature line. And that’s when I got really perturbed. I mean, it’s bad enough that she sent me an email to deliver bad news instead of calling me, but she made it even worse in that she made it difficult to call her back.
I finally went to google and looked up the number at her company. And by then, my frustration with the email was coupled with my frustration at wasting time trying to track her down.
About an hour later, I needed to get a hold of Jim, a business associate. I went into my email to find his number, and apparently, he went to Jerri’s School of (Lack of) Email Etiquette, because he didn’t have his phone number or a signature line in his email either.
Later that day, I was trying to introduce two people to each other. I had emails from both, but neither, that’s right, neither had their email in their signature line. Unfortunately with our Outlook system, when I see their name in the FROM line, it shows as a name, not their email address. So I have to take an extra step getting their email and adding it to the rest of the contact information before I can paste that contact info to a new, introduction email to both of them.
And that’s when I thought, is this a conspiracy? Is the world out to get me? Does no one realize the value of putting in a signature line to save others some time?
In this world of high speed communications, you need to do your part to keep the concept of “high speed” in high speed. You need to make it easy for people to reach you (of course, I’m only talking about the people you want to reach you). You need to make it easy for people to refer you.
I think the problem is that most people have their signature line set up (not always correctly) on their company email (their personal one is another issue!), but the majority of issues lie in the REPLY TO feature. Most people don’t include their signature line again in the replies. But, it’s time you did. Please, make it easy for everyone else. Remember the first rule of networking – it’s not about you. It’s about everyone but you!!
What can you do to make it about everyone but you? Right now, go fix your signature line (and REPLY TO signature). Here’s what you want in your work email signature line: Name, Company, email, phone and website. And in your personal one, put your name, email and phone.
Please, save the rest of us a little bit of time and a lotta bit of frustration!!
And finally remember that email is no way to deliver bad news. Pick up the phone people!!
P.S. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!! 52 Years… Congratulations!!