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The eMarketing Digest
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Volume III, Issue IV, Sep. 15, 2005
How To Design an Effective .sig File
by Nick Nichols
The right signature file can attract qualified prospects to
you like a powerful magnet and dramatically increase your
A signature file -- or "sig file" -- is a brief tag at the
end of your email that provides contact and other
information about you to the recipient. A good sig file can
attract qualified prospects to your company's Web site or
motivate them to email or call you for more information.
Why You Need a Powerful Commercial Sig File:
A sig file is like an online business card. Yet most sig
files -- like most business cards -- are woefully
ineffective. How many business cards have you tossed
because they offered you no reason to keep them? How many
sig files prompt you to make contact with the writer?
Your sig file can be useful when posting to online
discussion lists. Normally, you're not allowed to post
blatantly commercial messages in most moderated lists. But
most lists will permit you to say just about anything in
your sig file.
Since one result of a meaningful discussion list post is
that people may want to know more about you, a powerful sig
file can provide a compelling reason for qualified prospects
to email you, call you or visit your Web site.
It's a proven direct mail technique that including a "P.S."
will dramatically increase your response. This is because
many people go to the end of a letter to see who sent it
before they actually read it. A good P.S. can reinforce
the main benefit of a sales letter, it can make a special
offer, or it can create a sense of urgency about the offer.
You can do the exact same things with your sig file.
Even if your email is targeted and recognized by your
readers, they may scan it to the end first before reading
it. Because of the formatting limitations of email, a
compelling sig file can stand out and be noticed.
If your email is a response to "Offer A," your sig file can
introduce "Offer B." You can use your sig file to test
headlines and offers.
You should use a compelling, benefit-related, offer-oriented
sig file even when emailing your friends, business
associates, your mom, and anyone else. You never know when
one of these people will have a need for what you offer or will
know someone else who does.
How to Create a Compelling, Interest Generating Sig File
Many sig files give "name, rank and serial number"
information, which is fine if you're not trying to get
qualified prospects to contact you. Your sig file should be
designed to get attention and make a compelling offer that
will motivate the people you want to do business with to
contact you or visit your company's Web site for more
You should position your sig file so your most likely buyers
will immediately see the benefits of what you do. This will
get qualified prospects to notice you, it will get them to
respond to you, and it will lead them to buy from you.
Your sig file should be a brief statement that describes a
specific benefit your product or service provides, why that
benefit is important to your prospects and customers, and
why they should respond to you now. Your sig file is the
fastest and least-costly way to get qualified prospects to
take action in your favor.
Gets You Qualified Prospects
Your sig file should tell readers "what's in it for them" if they
do business with you. This will differentiate you from 95% of
all other people, and attract qualified prospects to you like a
magnet. A good sig file is the easiest way there is to get new
customers or clients to contact you.
The longer you wait to develop a great sig file, the longer
it will take you to start pumping out sales and profits via the
Internet. Ninety-five percent of business people don't have
great sig file or, worse, have no sig file at all. Don't be
one of them.
I hope this helps,
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