Recently, 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
• 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?