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What Does An Email Signature Say About You?

In Interesting on August 17, 2007 at 1:34:14 pm

Mitch Wagner, at Information Week conducted a small, informal survey, to find out what your email signature says about you. Here are some of the results.

  1. Important people don’t bother with signaturesI don’t have a signature; does that mean I’m important? In all seriousness, I found myself deleting my signature every time I wrote an email, so I just got rid of it. We’re in correspondence, so you have my email and my name. If you want my phone number or another piece of information, email me back and ask for it! I close most emails with “-N”, partially because I’m a tad lazy, and partially because my real name is in the “From:” field.
  2. Ergo, the longer your email signature, the farther down the food chain you are – Oh ho ho. I know this one from experience. I get emails frequently enough that I know how long is too long for an email signature. For example, putting your full name (maybe some ancestery?), “Jr.” or “Sr.”, or “the 4th”, perhaps a job title, most certainly your full street address, including city, province/state, country, post/zip code, and mail stop, business, home and mobile phone numbers, email address (? – it’s in the “From:” field), and some inspirational quote of the day. That email signature pretty much puts you at “foliage” level on the food chain.
  3. Marketing people have slogans in their email signatures – Kind of obvious, this. Marketing people have an incurable desire to sell everything, right down to their email. And it could be something as simple as “call you tonight”, yet they seem to have an urge to sell exactly why they said what they did in their email signature.
  4. The longer the email correspondence, the shorter the sign-off will become – The correspondence could start with them signing off “With best wishes and regards”, and after 6 back-and-forth exchanges, end up becoming “Best,”. After that, it starts to disappear. And then you end up with a sign-off that resembles how I close most emails… “-N”. Yup. Unless I’m emailing someone of super high importance, you get an “-N”.
  5. Some people’s signatures are way too long – And I quote, from the survey:

    One of my colleagues — actually, one of my favorite people in this company, so I’ll avoid naming him here — has a twenty-one line e-mail signature, which includes:

    • his name
    • title
    • Street-mail address
    • Three instant message IDs
    • E-mail
    • URLs for two sites he edits
    • Second Life avatar name
    • Name of the location of his office in Second Life
    • And the office’s Second Life co-ordinates, or “SLURL.”
    • Contrary to my earlier observation, this person is actually not a flunky; he has an important position. Wish somebody could get him to slim down his 800-pound e-mail signature.

    I don’t know about you, but when I’m emailing an organization that I’m designing a website for, or just trying to write a letter to a magazine, I don’t think they need to know my IM addresses, or my (if I had one) Second Life office location. I keep that sort of information on my Facebook profile. If you’re my friend, you probably need to know those sorts of things. Otherwise, you don’t.

From Information Week

via LifeHacker.

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