In our line of work, first interactions with our clients are usually made by e-mail. According to a Harvard study of communications, the first impression is made in the first 7 seconds when two people meet each other. Only 7% of that is based on what we say, 38% depends on the tone and volume of our voice, while the majority, 55%, depends on the visual impression we make.
When it comes to e-mail, there is less input from both parties so the impression is made even faster. The average time spent per one e-mail is approximately two seconds. Since it is not easy to recognize the tone and the volume of the message, we form our first impression based on what is written and how the e-mail looks like. The visual impression consists of paragraphs, bold text, colors used and, last but not least, the signature.
A general known issue is that all recipients don’t see our e-mail signature as they should. The display of the signature depends on the device, settings and the e-mail service provider. For example, the default settings in Outlook are set in such a way that the images are not downloaded automatically for security reasons. Consequently, our e-mail signature looked “broken”.
In order to solve the problem, we decided to remove all images from our e-mail signature. This includes the profile photo, the logo image and the social media icons. We decided for this step despite the fact that we are really trying to develop a very personal relationship with our clients. This was easier with a profile photo in our signature, because a client could immediately establish a closer connection with the sender of the e-mail. The good thing is that Gmail already shows the photo of the sender in the form of an icon. Since the number of people who are using Gmail for business purposes is growing, most people will be able to see the photo of the sender. This turns out to be a win-win situation: the recipients can see the sender’s photo while the signature remains unbroken.
As we all know how important branding is, removing the Optiweb logo image was a difficult decision to make. But the logo was then replaced with a link to our website in the primary brand color and all caps.
Furthermore, the separation line and the icons with links to Optiweb’s social media were cut out of the signature. This way, the signature became even simpler and more logical.
The fonts used are Helvetica and Arial. The former is pre-installed on Mac OS and the latter on devices run by Windows. The reason for choosing these two fonts lies in the fact that they are quite similar. By using letters in bold for the sender’s name and company’s website and a lighter color in smaller font for the title and phone number, we show the hierarchy of information and let the recipients know what are the more important parts.
Our design team handed the new signature design to our development team. A simple e-mail signature configurator was developed with which every employee can simply create their own signature.
Soon, all the e-mails from Optiweb will contain a new signature. If your company also needs help in creating or updating your company signature or if you’re also interested in having your very own signature configurator, you know where you find us. :)