Presenting Your e-Business Card

A signature file is your e-business card and should be attached to the end of all your emails including emails that are sent to individuals, forums, discussion groups, newsgroups, and mail lists. If your email program doesn’t allow for the use of a signature file, you should consider switching email programs. Sig files are readily accepted online and, when designed properly, comply with netiquette. Sig files can also be quite effective in drawing traffic to your Web site when used appropriately.

Your sig file should always include all basic contact information: your name, organization name, snail mail address, phone, fax, email, and URL. You should provide every way possible for recipients to reach you. The customer is king, and it is the
recipients’ choice if they would rather call than email you.

URL
Uniform Resource Locator— the address of a Web page.

Some businesses also include a line that reads “Click here to go to our Web site” on their sig file, and when you “click here” you go directly to their Web site. This is a nice idea, but you must also remember to include your actual URL so that the recipients can see it, read it, and have it. Some people print their email to read later or provide a copy to someone else. If your full URL is printed, then they can read it and access your Web site wherever they are. They
can’t get to your Web site by trying to click on a piece of paper.

Tag line
A variant of a branding slogan typically used in marketing materials and advertising.

It is also a good idea to include a tag line in your sig file. Many businesses use tag lines to offer information about their operation, their e-club, their specials, an award their company has received, or other marketing-focused information.

When creating your sig file, it is important to always remember to make URLs and email addresses hypertextlinked.
This allows readers to click on the URL to take them directly to your Web site or to click on the email address and send you an email without having to copy and paste the address in their browser or email program. To make your URLs and email address hypertext links, place http:// before Web site URLs and mailto: before email addresses. Without the http:// before the www, some older email programs don’t recognize it as a link, meaning that to get to your site, recipients have to copy the address, open their browser, and paste the address in the address field to get to the page you are recommending.