How many emails do you send out every hour and every day? If you are involved with business resilience / continuity / safety / security / compliance or own a company, I will bet you send out a great deal of emails! Well, you can add significant
value to each email with no extra effort by fully leveraging your email signature (sig).
A sig is the signature at the end of your email. A sig typically includes a name, title, email address and phone contact numbers. You are most likely including that information already. Smart marketers (including business resilience marketers) go a step further and wring additional value from their sig. They turn it into a value-laden billboard!
There are many stories throughout the history of the Internet of companies that used their sig to make their message go ‘viral’. For example, Hotmail back-in-the-day had a sig that was instrumental in building their company into one of the hottest products on the Internet which eventually led to them being acquired by Microsoft for $500 million dollars.
In the business resilience world you can help employees by providing valuable information in your sig’.
Tip – Include a deep-link in your sig that directly links to cool articles on your business resilience internal blog and website. It is important that you deep-link to the content rather than linking to your home page. You will get a much higher click thru rate over a long period of time.
Tip – When describing the deep-link in your sig think like a marketer. Make it interesting and powerful. Use action words rather than passive words.
Tip – Track the click-thru’s. You may need an assist from IT on that but it is really easy in most cases. You can then analyze the click thru metrics and understand which descriptions and articles ‘pull’ the most. Build on that information.
Tip – The data can be used as lagging and leading indicators of trends and areas for focus. For example, if you send a link regarding evacuation exits and 90% of the people you email click the link, there is significant interest. You may have an opportunity to improve awareness in that critical area, which you already started doing with the deep-link to the article. You can also let your safety director know that some training may be needed. Again, you have provided value beyond core business continuity.
Tip – Mix in some deep-links to your personal emergency plan, such as how to develop a plan for your pets, In Case of Emergency (ICE), etc. Employees really appreciate that type of information and it improves resilience for your organization.
Tip – Include a little survey with each destination article. Ideally you will receive feedback from the reader which can lead to valuable insight.
Congrats! You have now entered the exciting world of content marketing! Tons of fun and sooooo valuable.
I like to apply ‘going beyond’ technology to a process, when it makes sense.
Here is what I did: I developed a program that automatically inserts a short business resilience related quote or a deep-link leading to valuable custom content through a link in my sig. I coded this solution over a long weekend. If you do not want to code the solution yourself I have identified a couple of good custom signature tools that will enable you to achieve what I built. Contact me if you need specific product capabilities and names.
Each day a new quote or deep-link is pulled dynamically from a database I built which contains the master list of content. Rotating through the content helps keep it fresh and brands our resilience team. Even beyond business resilience, these quotes motivate people in their business and personal lives and makes them more productive. Management loves it.
Finally, I improved the program over time from a simple rotation through the quotes and deep-links to specifying custom sub-groups to rotate through. For example, I have winter weather preparation messages, tornado tips, evacuation best practices… I simply added a group field to the database and make that active through a web form
I can access on my mobile device or laptop.
The next benefit I am adding is the ability to customize the messages to align with users geographic regions. For example, if I am emailing someone in California my message might have an earthquake preparation tip and if my next email is to someone in New York, it might include a hurricane preparation tip.
Here are a few of the resilience related quotes I use in my email sig, newsletters and during tabletops:
- “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin
- “I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”
― Abraham Lincoln
- “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
― Abraham Lincoln
- “The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.”
― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
- “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
― Benjamin Franklin
- “He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration.”
― Samuel Taylor Coleridge
- “Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”
― Robert H. Schuller
- “I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been lucky.”
― Oprah Winfrey
- “The key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.”
― Bobby Knight
- “Success depends upon previous preparation.”