For quite some time now, I’ve been recommending that authors use their email signatures as an indirect way to promote their work. Apparently a lot of you are taking my advice, because almost all the emails I get these days from authors mention their book(s) in their email signatures. Nice!
Unfortunately, however, many of the emails I receive from authors also go overboard on the self-promotion in the signature – which defeats the purpose. You want your email signature to get me to want to check out your writing, not to feel overwhelmed by all the hyperlinks – and underwhelmed by the content/professionalism.
Here are some quick dos and don’ts for email signatures:
- DO include a brief, compelling line about your work that shows the recipient it’s worth reading
- DO embed a crisp hyperlink to your website or Amazon author page
- DON’T tell the email recipient how wonderful/amazing/riveting/funny your work is
- DON’T list complete URLs – in other words, embed them to keep it clean
- DON’T include hyperlinks to every book you’ve ever written
- DON’T include links to ALL your social media accounts (these should be easily found on your website and/or Amazon author page)
If your email signature is crisp, engaging, and pretty to look at, you’ll have a much better chance of piquing a potential reader’s interest than if you conclude your messages with 10 inches of gobbledygook. (Yes, I’ve received emails with signatures that are that long, include multiple ugly hyperlinks, and are over the top with flattering book descriptions.)
If you think of your email signature as a virtual business card, that approach should steer you in the right direction. Its purpose should be to open doors to future relationships (i.e. readers and sales), not to close them.
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2015 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.