After seeing the title of one of my publicity books in my email signature, an executive at a Fortune 500 company hired me to teach the media relations staff how to write press releases that get used.
It was a lucrative opportunity for me, especially since I was later able to present the same training to another national organization’s media relations department.
I earned several thousand dollars in speaking fees simply by including my book title in my email signature.
Is it time for you to re-visit yours? You won’t have to do much to turn it into a book marketing machine.
Specifics to include in your email signature
With a few simple tweaks, you can turn a lackluster signature into one that helps sell books every time you send a message.
For starters, if you include your mailing address, delete that. In most case, it’s not relevant (if it is, you’ll know that and you’ll keep using it). Plus, it takes up valuable email real estate.
Replace it with a mix of the following nine elements to get a combination that works for you.
1. Your name
Not everybody does this automatically. In fact, many don’t use anything — no name, no signature, no nothing.
2. Author, your book title
Mine might read: Author, Get Your Book in the News: How to Write a Press Release That Announces Your Book.
Do you have several books? Don’t list all of the titles. It’s visually overwhelming and not necessary. Go with your most recent release.
3. Very short description of your book
You have probably mastered this already as an answer to “What’s your book about?” Keep it short — “A paranormal romance novel for young adults” or “A content marketing primer for small businesses.”
4. Book-related URL
Do you want to send people directly to your listing on a retail site, or do you want them to visit your website? If your goal is to sell books, use a sales page URL.
5. Call to action
Tell them what you want them to do: “Read the reviews on Amazon” or “Sign up for a free project management newsletter” or “Learn more about 101 Ways to Annoy Your Neighbor.” Include the link they need to take action.
6. Your book’s cover
7. Links to your social media profiles
You can go all in, displaying network icons as graphics linked to your account profile, or you can keep it simple with a link added to the social network name. If you have an active and popular YouTube channel, link to that, too.
8. Phone number
Don’t hide behind email. Make it easy for people to call you.
9. Your domain name email address
Use your website domain name — firstname.lastname@example.org — not your generic Gmail or internet service provider address. Your domain address is so much more professional.
Automate and update
Set up your email software to add your signature automatically to new messages and replies.
Pay attention to what others include in their signatures, too. What do you like? What doesn’t work for you? Update your new power signature accordingly.
Revisit yours periodically, too, to replace links or language, and to test new components.
What do you do with your signature that’s effective? Please tell us in a comment!
(Editor’s note: This article was first published in February 2013. It has been updated and expanded.)
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