It seems like everyone enjoys a good quote. Look online and you’ll find thousands of books, posters and calendars that collect the most motivational and inspirational quotes. Some people love quotes so much that they share them in their email signature.
These range from inspirational quotes for email signatures by some of history’s greatest minds (“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein) to witty and funny quotes designed to put a smile on the reader’s face (“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.” – Margaret Mead)
This article explains why quotes for email signatures are so popular, how they affect email engagement and the best way to structure your email signature to close more sales and build your brand.
Why some people include quotes in their email signature
There are clear and established rules for finishing a traditional letter, and no one is overly concerned with how you sign off your social media direct messages (DMs). However, emails fall somewhere between the two, making closing an email more challenging than you might think.
Many feel that putting “Yours sincerely” feels too formal, but in that case, what is the correct etiquette? This problem is compounded for salespeople and marketers, where every element of communication can affect your customer relationships, for better or worse.
In an effort to stand out from the crowd, people are getting creative with their email signatures, with some choosing to share a quote. Whether you’re using Gmail, Outlook or a dedicated email service provider, you can easily add a signature in a couple of clicks that goes out with every message you send.
As well as filling the space at the end of an email, people use quotes to:
Add a bit of personality to their correspondence (e.g. including a quote from their favorite movie or song)
Inspire others (positive quotes or motivational quotes from entrepreneurs or historical figures like Confucius or Elon Musk are often a popular choice)
Boost their personal brand (i.e. amplifying quotes on subjects that resonate with their beliefs and image)
All of these are perfectly valid reasons to include quotes in your personal email signature. However, should salespeople or marketers use quotes in their professional email signatures? Let’s look at how quotes for email signatures affect engagement.
How do quotes in email signatures affect engagement?
It’s generally agreed that including a quote in your professional email signature is not a good idea. There’s little data suggesting that email signature quotes positively affect any sales or marketing metrics, but quotes certainly run the risk of confusing or alienating potential customers.
A Mark Twain quote may hold great meaning to you, but to someone else, it could come across as unprofessional or even be interpreted as pretentious. In addition, quoting political or religious figures could easily end up inadvertently offending prospects with differing beliefs.
Including quotes in your email signature could also distract readers from the main point of your email. In psychology, the primacy and recency effect means that people are more likely to recall the first and last items in a list of information.
When applied to emails, that means the introduction and conclusion are of critical importance and may be the only parts that the recipient remembers.
As a result, many salespeople and marketers use the end of the email to add a call to action (CTA). Some will also add a “P.S.” at the very end of their email, repeating the key point or CTA for the email, so that readers who’ve skimmed to the end still get the main message. Using such a valuable section of your email to share a quote, no matter how good it is, risks burying your email’s objective.
When you send a professional email, you’re representing your company. If you were to share a quote, it would have to be carefully selected to reflect the company’s brand.
While you could use your email signature to quote your company’s motto or tagline, it’s worth noting that even companies like Nike and McDonald’s (brands with some of the most recognizable taglines in the world) don’t use them as quotes to sign off their marketing emails.
For salespeople and marketers, the risks of including a quote in your email signature will usually outweigh any potential rewards. Rather than spending hours looking up the best quotes for email signatures, there are far better ways salespeople and brands can add a personal touch to their emails.
For example, instead of including a quote about the importance of hard work and going the extra mile for the customer, the whole email should demonstrate that customer satisfaction is a priority. A funny quote might reflect your quirky brand, but that won’t matter if your tone of voice and messaging throughout your communication don’t embody your brand story.
If you’re looking for ways to increase engagement, focus on following email marketing best practices. For example:
Personalization and segmentation help you send emails that are highly relevant to your audience
By researching your audience and showing empathy, you can send emails that they’re actually interested in reading
Including a clear CTA in your email is more likely to convince your readers to take action
Using your email signature to close sales and build your brand
If you’re not going to include a quote, then what should go in your email signature? Remember, the signature is just one small part of the equation and shouldn’t override other key components that go into formatting an email.
Email signatures in marketing emails
For marketing emails sent to a warm list, you might not need to use a signature at all. For example, Pipedrive’s weekly newsletter closes up with a CTA to sign up for a free trial. People who’ve signed up for the emails already know who Pipedrive is, so there’s no need to add any further information in a signature.
On the other hand, if you’re the face of your brand, a signature can help maintain that personal connection. Along with a mini-CTA encouraging you to forward this email to other marketers who might find it interesting, CXL’s Peep Laja finishes his weekly update with a small signature that includes a photo and an invitation to connect on LinkedIn.
If you choose to include a photo, it should be professional and reflect your brand. Generally, you’ll want to use a clear headshot of you smiling without any background distractions.
There are exceptions, though. In the above example from CXL, Peep Laja uses an unsmiling black and white image as his profile picture. While this could come across as intense and off-putting, with Peep, this fits in with his brand and complements the other photos on the CXL site.
Email signatures in sales emails
If you’re sending a sales email (especially if it’s a cold email to someone who’s not familiar with you or your company), a signature can help build trust and credibility.
Readers can skim through your signature and get a clear idea of who is emailing them in a few short lines. By having this information in the signature, you also save taking up too much of your introduction explaining who you are, allowing you to focus on your main message.
Along with your name and job title, consider including your contact details on different channels. Giving prospects a variety of different ways to contact you – whether that’s a phone call, a LinkedIn message or a postal address – means that they can continue the conversation in their preferred channel.
Similarly, including a calendar link to book a call at a time that’s convenient to them gives them control and can increase your response rate. Including a variety of options for getting in touch also contributes to trust; when your email recipient knows that they can look you up on LinkedIn or pick up the phone and talk to you directly, this reinforces that you’re a real person and not a scammer.
A photo in your sales email signature puts a face to the name, increasing your credibility and laying the foundation for a strong customer relationship. People like to communicate with other people, and adding a personal photo makes you more memorable while reinforcing that you’re an actual person and not another spam bot.
Even if the person you’re emailing already knows you and your contact information, it’s worth remembering that your email might be forwarded to other people in the company. For example, a colleague may want to learn more, or a supervisor may need to approve a purchase. Having a signature with your key details ensures everyone can see at a glance who you are and contact you directly if necessary.
It’s easy to see how, in the case of sales emails, even the most inspirational quotes for email signatures can be distracting.
Including additional links in your email signature
Some choose to include a link to a recent or popular blog post in their email signature template or use the space to promote new products and offers. This can be a smart way of nurturing leads and highlighting new products but should be done with caution. Every link you add is a mini-CTA and risks distracting readers from the main objective of your email.
If you do want to include additional links in your signature, make sure your main CTA is clear and stands out from the rest. You should also carefully consider what content or products you’ll promote. Put yourself in the recipient’s position and ask what would be most helpful to them right now. Instead of using the same links for all of your emails, it would make more sense to tailor these to your customer and their specific needs.
Buyer personas can help you clarify what information is most helpful to the different markets you serve. You should also take into account where they are in the sales funnel. For example, helpful how-to content is great for prospects at the top of the funnel, while those in the consideration and decision stages are more likely to find case studies and detailed product comparisons useful.
Adding quotes to your email signature is a popular way of including a spark of personality to your personal emails, but that doesn’t mean you should use it professionally.
In sales and marketing emails, including a quote in your signature can divide readers and distract them from the purpose of your message.
Rather than searching for the best signature quotes for email, optimize your signature to increase engagement. By including just a few key details such as your name, job title and contact details (along with a professional photo), you can build credibility and increase response rates.