How To Create The Ideal Email Signature For Cold Email Outreach

Here are the 7 elements required for a professional and effective signature for cold email outreach and prospecting.

  1. Professionalism
  2. Create Trust
  3. Legal Requirements
  4. Direct Further Research
  5. Booking Calendar
  6. Direct Prospect To A Trusted Link
  7. No Images

This Is About Strategy

Before we get started, let me just say that this article is about the strategy of creating an effective email signature and not the technicalities of how to actually implement it.

If you would just like to know how to create this signature technically, then here’s a link to Google where you will find that information.

1. Professionalism

The main purpose of an email signature when using cold email for prospecting is to establish professionalism with the prospect.

An email signature immediately adds an element of authority and legitimacy to an email, particularly when the recipient of that email does not know who you are or why you contacted them.

Virtually all spam email does not have a signature or any identifying information contained within the email.

So if your email does not contain a professional signature, then it can be immediately identified as spam by most recipients and simply discarded or even worse, marked as spam.

2. Create Trust

The main purpose of the email signature from a marketing perspective is to create trust within the prospect who has received the email.

 The email needs to appear smart, organised, professional and efficient.

The intended outcome of the signature is when a prospect scans the email, they immediately feel as though the email is coming from a real person in a legitimate business.

3. Legal Requirements

The next aspect of an email signature is that it meets the legal requirements of sending cold email to prospects.

In most countries, accurate and real contact details of the sender need to be included within the email to remain can-spam compliant.

By adding the legitimate contact details to the email, this not only meets the legal requirements of sending cold email, but also adds to the previous task of creating trust.

4. Direct Further Research

The main goal of a cold email is to create curiosity within the prospect and encourage them to take the relationship to the next step.

A great way to do this is including a link to social media profiles.

Although it is generally not a good idea to include links in an email, social media links are generally trusted and prospects feel secure in following the link to the social media platform.

For business purposes LinkedIn is my favourite social media platform to Direct people to.

We will cover this more in just a few moments.

5. Booking Calendar

Asking a prospect to sign up for a meeting via a booking calendar in a cold email is generally not a good idea as it's not effective and rarely works.

People generally don't like being told what to do, but if they can arrive at a decision by themselves then they are much more likely to take that action.

By casually adding a booking calendar link to the email signature you're offering the prospect the opportunity of an appointment without directly asking them for it.

This is by far the most effective strategy for booking appointments via a booking calendar in the initial email outreach.

6. Direct Prospect To A Trusted Link

It is best practice to not include links in initial cold email outreach and this includes the signature.

The only exceptions to this are trusted links such as LinkedIn which may be whitelisted on many anti-virus softwares and are also trusted by the recipient of the email.

As you can see in the email signature example I've suggested that the prospect connect with me on LinkedIn.

Link In Email Signature

This also provides an excellent opportunity for a much harder sell actually on LinkedIn and not in the email.

Seeing as the prospect has voluntarily decided to view my LinkedIn profile, it is completely acceptable to have much more aggressive sales messages on LinkedIn.

By including a call to action such as “connect with me on LinkedIn” within an email signature, this allows the prospect to easily research you with very little effort through a link that they can recognise and trust.

7. No Images

Adding images to a cold email is a bad idea for a variety of reasons.

 Firstly, it will adversely affect email deliverability. 

Many anti-virus softwares will simply not allowed through an email that has an image in it.

Many corporate email addresses can also not receive emails with images and attachments as a security procedure.

Images may also render differently in different browsers depending on the email service that's being used meaning that your image may not look as professional as you thought that it was going to.

If it is not essential to include an image it is highly advisable to leave images out.

Putting It All Together

Email Signiture
Email Signature example

So here’s an example of the email signature that I use. 

As you can see on the top line, it contains my name, my position within the company and the 'get on my calendar' link which we talked about earlier.

Next we have a real address which helps to create trust and to meet legal requirements for reaching out to cold prospects that we don't know.

 I do have my contact details, telephone number, web address and email address.

As you can see the web address and email address are not hyperlinked as we're trying to minimise the number of live links within the email itself.

 Finally we have the 'connect with me' call to action at the bottom of the signature.

This again plays to the trust factor professionalism and reiterates that you are a real person working for a real business

One final aspect that can be included in a signature would be an unsubscribe link or unsubscribe information.

This is again a legal requirement if you are contacting people who don't know you.

I personally like to include an unsubscribe leg at the very bottom of the email as you see here.

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