Goldilocks and the Email Signature

28 May

Translators email signaturesRecently, I have noticed the increasing length of some email signatures in my correspondence with other translators and language services companies (although our industry is not the only culprit). The average length of email signatures at one of the companies that I used to work for totalled 20 lines! Why do people think that clients or colleagues want (or need) to read all of that information?

There are of course signatures which could and should provide more information. I have seen a fair few with less than the bare essentials: “XXX, translator”. please, at the very least, provide some contact details and the languages and direction you translate! If you have a website, put the link in your email signature – make it easy for prospective clients to find out more about you. If you want them to read your blog, put a link to it (although this is not always relevant).

I have done a wee bit of (entirely unscientific) research on translators’ email signatures and have come up with a few suggestions (and things to avoid) for an email signature fit for Goldilocks – “just right” in terms of the amount of information.

So, what should be included?

  • your contact details, including a telephone number – think of it as a virtual business card
  • your languages and direction of translation
  • a brief description of your title e.g. medical translator and interpreter
  • a link to your website

Optional extras:

  • your logo and tag line, if applicable
  • social media profiles (I’d guess Twitter would be the most popular option here)
  • a link to your blog

What really doesn’t need to be there:

  • your terms and conditions (they can be discussed further down the line)
  • your life history (that’s why you have an About page on your website, right?)

This is just a starting point. What else could be added to these lists?

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3 Responses to “Goldilocks and the Email Signature”

  1. catherinetranslates 11/06/2012 at 13:46 #

    Hi Megan,

    I finally added my phone number to my email signature, after two years of paranoia. Now I’m glad I did. It lessens the hassle for colleagues and clients who need to get in touch right away.

    I also chose to include just one social media account: my twitter handle. I’m more active on Twitter than on Facebook and LinkedIn.

    • Megan Onions 11/06/2012 at 13:54 #

      Hi Catherine,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I shared your nervousness about giving a telephone number, but I agree that it does pay off.

      At the moment, I haven’t actually got my Twitter handle on my signature, but I do love to experiment, so it may well appear there in the future! I currently have my name, my company name and tagline, my telephone number, my email address and my website url. I am always wary of overloading a reader, so that’s it for now.

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