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How to create an Outlook email signature?

Often underestimated, Outlook email signatures are actually a powerful marketing tool. Your employees’ emails offer the company a dynamic medium, much like your website, your business card, or your blog. How can you make the most of it? At what conditions? For what purposes?  

 

Each day, 128 billion emails, as well as signatures, are sent and received all around the world. On average, an employee sends 40 emails and receives 121…every day! Multiplied by the number of employees, the impression rate and the weight of the message-driven by this channel, can leave any company’s communication and marketing team dreaming. Even more so if the email signature can be modified in real-time according to the objectives. 

 

Email signatures: opt for a centralized management  

For different reasons, the email signature still remains underused as a communication tool: difficult to implement to every workstation manually, create signatures, keep them up to date, the impact to the IT, and add them to Exchange On-Premise, are all obstacles. 

Letsignit eliminates all these points of friction. Proposed as a SaaS, the deployment of Office 365 email signatures is automated and centralized. Each user can take advantage of a harmonized and consistent signature that complies with the company’s graphic charter without impacting business. More than a business card, Letsignit transforms the email signature into a powerful communication channel. Whether it is for ensuring brand consistency, amplifying marketing campaigns, or aligning to a big or small organization’s rules, there are many reasons to centralize email signatures in Outlook.  

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Email signatures: nourish the 1st interaction with your brand 

The email is often the first – and the main- interaction between the company and its audience. Following the saying, “you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression”, a messy or non-compliant signature leads to a negative perception of the company.  

It is a shame to create a whole array of communication around the brand and align it with all your media, only to ruin it with a bad email signature.  

To effectively convey the company’s image, the email signature of each employee must include the company’s graphic codes. By simply using Outlook in Office 365, the implementation of the signature relies either on the user or on a resource in the IT department. Despite everyone’s goodwill, how can you be sure that the graphic charter is respected? Consistency in the information hierarchy? Harmonization in the form of these signatures? The greater the number of employees, the greater the risk of a wrong interpretation of the corporate signature. Not everyone masters the techniques for editing visuals, the names of the company’s departments and functions, or simply the key messages to be delivered. 

To avoid random individual implementations, the IT department can dedicate a resource to configure each workstation. But because it takes 30 minutes per workstation, multiplied by the number of employees, the time allocated to this low value-added task could undoubtedly be better used by the IT department.  

Not to mention the fact that an email signature evolves every time someone changes their job title, the company has a new logo, or moves, etc. In these cases, updating signatures is not always the priority of employees or even of the communication department. Ideally, the addition of an email signature in Office 365 should be automated

 

The Outlook signature, an ignored marketing channel  

What marketing manager doesn’t dream of an email campaign with a 100% opening rate? By skillfully using the signature of your employees, it is the opening rate you can expect. Since the exposure and visibility of your messages will be proportional to the number of interactions, you might as well take advantage of this and make Outlook signatures a marketing tool. The email signature can carry much more than the names, functions, and contact details of your employees; it can above all serve as a support for many types of messages and act as a very powerful call-to-action to meet your objectives

Simply put, your signature is graphically and technically equivalent to an ad or a perfectly targeted communication.  

The banner use cases integrated to your email signatures are numerous: 

  • Information on an upcoming event  
  • Studies and surveys  
  • Inbound marketing  
  • ABM 
  • HR marketing 
  • Internal communication  

These communication and marketing actions are easy to deploy. Whatever the goal, templates help to create a signature with the right messages and visuals. The account administrator only has to assign the signatures to the desired employees. 

Internal communication also finds a new lever thanks to signatures. How many of your employees are aware of your last study, your presence at an important conference, a webinar close to your industry’s heart? Probably a small portion. Now, by seeing the banners integrated into the signatures, each employee is indirectly informed of the current happenings of the company. A much-welcomed additional benefit to compensate for the low view ratings on the intranet and other internal newsletters, which are often deleted or at best archived to be read “when there is time”.  

 

Measure the impact of your email signatures  

The capability and reactivity of the email are without limits. For example, the marketing team can create and make available a signature catalog adapted to the different phases a prospect goes through in the conversion funnel. The sales representatives are then able to draw on these signatures according to the targeted recipients. The email sent to the cold prospect integrates a signature that promotes a whitepaper, while the email sent to a hot prospect includes a signature that includes a promotional offer. A useful approach for an Inbound strategy as well as for a more targeted ABM (Account-Based Marketing) campaign. 

Also, to boost the participation of a study or survey, a call-to-action on the banner which sends the recipient to a questionnaire is easy to put in place. Just as equally as easy as putting content on company life for your HR marketing.  

No marketing without measures? A dashboard displays the main necessary KPIs: opening rate, click rate, number of clicks per user. 

The effectiveness of the signature for your marketing, communication, or brand image is amplified thanks to the possibility of creating groups and assigning signatures by groups or even by employees.

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Create email signatures in just a few clicks  

Signing your emails with Letsignit is so efficient that only a matter of clicks your directory (user information, groups, and more) are synchronized to the management solution. And, with just a few more clicks you have created your ultra-precise signature, thanks to the existing templates, the drag and drop editor, or even by importing an HTML code. 

All that is left to do is to assign the signature to your colleagues and invite them to download the application – or send it out. From the first use of Outlook Office 365, your colleagues will have the signature integrated into their emails, on Outlook PC, mobile, or web, without having to perform any additional maneuvers. It is impossible to make it any simpler. 

Summary of the procedure: 

  • Sign up to Letsignit  
  • Automatically synchronize your Azure directory to the Letsignit platform 
  • Create the signature 
  • Install the application or send it to your colleagues’ workstations (or, in the case of the server-side deployment, configure the Office 365 SMTP connector) 
  • The signature is automatically integrated to the first email sent after relaunching Outlook (and to every email after) 

In 5 simple steps, your colleagues have a harmonized email signature consistent with your company’s graphic charter, and most of all, ready to be a new media of your communication and marketing

 

Assign signatures to employees  

Another benefit of centralized administration is the ability to finely manage the assignment of signatures. The main use cases are related to global governance according to the company’s rules and the implementation of signature campaigns in the context of communication or marketing. 

If your company directory includes different groups, Letsignit allows you to preserve them as they are imported during the synchronization. You can also create Letsignit user groups from the administration interface via the Team tab. The procedure is also very simple: select users imported from your directory, possibly using the search engine or by using attributes, such as a person’s job function or the department to which they belong, add and name your group!  

To make this feature more flexible and to relieve the administrator, you can appoint another administrator to manage the campaigns of a given group. 

 This team feature can be used in multiple ways: create a group for sales representatives, for the communication or marketing team, for managers, and so on. When launching or modifying a campaign, it is then very simple to assign a specific signature to a specific group. 

 

Delegate the management of signatures to your subsidiaries 

The ability to segment is valuable for a large enterprise organized in subsidiaries or with different entities. A group organized by brand and decentralized will need each of its subsidiaries to be able to manage its own signature and benefit from a local managing director. This autonomy by entity or subsidiary is also necessary to meet local requirements, such as legal standards and disclaimers found in certain countries, or so that each can conduct its marketing campaigns independently. 

Based on a principle like that of group creation, you can create subsidiaries according to specific criteria. The most common is the country, but other criteria can also be chosen (a specific group, a domain name, etc.). To appoint a group administrator, notify them by mail. You will find here all the details to delegate the management of Outlook email signatures. This autonomy given to the subsidiaries compartmentalizes the activities, but the global administrator still benefits from all the rights on the directories and keeps the supervision of the whole

 

Simplify the task of the IT team with the integration of Office 365  

The deployment and maintenance of signatures can be tedious for the IT team. Luckily, the integration of Letsignit to Office 365 – a suite coupled with Azure- has a very low impact on the information system and human resources of the IT department. The synchronization of your directory and the update is done in only a few clicks.  

Also, if your directory and Exchange server are deployed in On-Premise or if you are in the middle of the migration, an API and connector to Letsignit allows you to integrate the signature platform and automate the deployment. Even better, you can personalize the user attribute, the specific fields can be dedicated to enriching the user information. The result, the directory is updated in real-time and the information is always the latest. A task that is usually tiresome, and therefore rarely done.  

On the side of safety, the integration with Office 365 and Azure provides native, unique, and transparent authentication for the user– which is called Seamless Single Sign-On (SSO). For the user, one connection to their Office 365 gives them automatic access to Letsignit without needing to identify themselves every time. A big benefit for the support team, where a large part of their interventions consists of resetting forgotten passwords.  

Moreover, with support for this seamless SSO, the solution adapts to the company’s security policy and fits into every type of encryption governance. This flexibility of the Cloud service allows the IT department to offload the management of the signature, thanks to the ease of deployment and the possibility of delegation. The key advantage is that it provides a value-added service to users without adding to the IT team’s already heavy workload and without making the IT system more complex

IT intervention is reduced to the bare minimum, without adding intermediate layers or interference with the company’s servers. For a minimal investment by the IT teams and a frictionless deployment, the benefit for the user and for the company is immediately seen. 

 

Take advantage of the robustness of the Azure Cloud  

When it comes to signatures, the choice of the cloud is important. By relying on a strong integration with Office 365 and Microsoft’s Azure cloud, Letsignit offers a centralized, standardized communication vector, aligned with internal standards and is secure against external constraints or threats. This ensures maximum protection against cyber-attacks and other threats related to an intrusion or hijacking attempt. Similarly, ISO and Azure Cloud certifications ensure compliance with regulatory standards by geographic area. A wise choice for companies in the public service or subject to strong legal and regulatory constraints. 

The email signature goes much further than an electronic business card, it is a communication asset. It can also offer a simple, fun, and effective user experience. It would be a shame to pass it up. 

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