A few weeks ago, I was trying to get in touch with a client who had prepaid for a service.
When two emails got no response, I pulled up the client’s email signature in my inbox to find a phone number or other contact information. Instead, the email signature was blank.
It made me realize just how important email signatures are for nonprofit consultants.
Having an incomplete or missing email signature is counter to your goal as a consultant: which is to make it as easy as possible for clients to contact you!
So, what exactly should you include in your consultant email signature?
What to Include in Your Consultant Email Signature
1) The name you use professionally as a consultant
Some of us use different first and last names in different circumstances. For example, like me, you might prefer to go by a nickname rather than your given name. Or if you changed your surname when getting married, you might still use a “maiden name” professionally. You’ll also need to decide on middle names or initials (and then be consistent!). If you’re on the fence about your middle name, research shows that including a middle initial can make you seem smarter.
2) Your title, consulting business name, and the type of work you do
We all send and receive a lot of emails. If you’re following up with a prospective client, make it easy for them to remember you and what you do. For example, you might be the CEO and Founder of Awesome Grant Writers, LLC.
If your business name doesn’t convey your field of work, you might consider adding a tagline or a very brief description. Keep it simple and think about what a prospective client needs to know about you and your work. For example: “Grant writing and research services.”
If you don’t have a business name or an LLC yet, then it’s time to get one! I recommend setting aside funds in your consulting budget to hire an accountant to set up and maintain your LLC or other business entity.
3) Your preferred email address for consulting business inquiries
To add an extra level of professionalism, set up an email address that includes your business name. For example, [email protected].
4) Your preferred phone number
Sometimes emails truly do get lost. By providing your phone number, you’re giving potential clients (and any consultants you hire) a backup way to get in touch with you.
5) Your business logo and/or your photo
Including a professional photo and logo (if you have one) helps personalize your email signature further.
6) Your business website address
For most consultants, having a website is incredibly helpful for finding and landing clients. Be sure your website address is hyperlinked—so that all people need to do is click the link!
7) Your social media handles
Icons with hyperlinks are the most common and visually pleasing way to share your social handles. Be sure to only include social media handles that reflect your professional work. Do not feel pressure to be on every platform. Sometimes less really is more. If you only use LinkedIn professionally, then only include your LinkedIn handle!
8) A call to action
Adding a “call to action” in your consultant email signature isn’t required, but it can be a nice touch. Your call to action could be subscribing to your newsletter, registering for an upcoming course or webinar you are teaching, or snagging a lead magnet you recently developed. This is the part of your consultant email signature that will change most often.
Other considerations for your consultant business signature
If you have a color palette with your logo, you may want to experiment with different ways to include your primary color.
If you have multiple team members, creating one template for email signatures ensures brand recognition across the company and makes creating new signatures easy peasy. You can save an email signature ‘template’ and send to anyone with a new email. We have had to do this a lot this year as our team has grown. Anne has had a template to share with everyone, which makes this task all the simpler.