The Value of a Signature

May 20, 2010

If you read this blog, you most likely use e-mail. The "signature" is all the stuff associated with your name at the close of an e-mail or other document.

If you read this blog, you most likely use e-mail. The "signature" is all the stuff associated with your name at the close of an e-mail or other document. Maybe you sign each email manually. Many don't. 

This is a copy of my signature at the end of my e-mail:

1.Randall V. Wong, M.D.
2.RetinaEyeDoctor.com
3.My Site for Diabetic Retinopathy and Macular Degeneration
4.Contact Me


5.Recent Post to: "A Retina Blog"Web Site is One Year Old!

It is my personal "statement." I've numbered the lines for ease of discussion. The number of items in one's signature is endless so I've included mine to limit the discussion.

My signature is created by WiseStamp.com. It is a free extension for some of the more popular browsers. You must have a Gmail, AOL, Yahoo or Hotmail account (all of which are free, too).

1. Name - Not much to it, right? Wrong. Most of us like to include our proper name with our degree. It's our culture. On one hand, you might feel compelled to include every degree you've earned. You are entitled. You could choose to use just your first name or nickname. On my blog, I use "Randy." It changes the whole tone of your signature.

2. URL link - This has two purposes. It guides you to my Web page. It also is a link for the search engines to connect back to my page. The links in a signature are most valuable when leaving a comment on another site, or, at the end of a post on someone else's blog (i.e. a guest post). I wouldn't put every Web site that you own. It will become a turn-off. Also, you may want to add some anchor text anywhere in the signature, especially if this were a comment or article. It will help your SEO.

3. Description - No real SEO purpose here. Just a quick reference to what the site is about. May spark some attention.

4. Social media profiles - These are my social media profiles. This was the biggest attraction for me to use Wisestamp.com. It adds the chiclets of any social media platform automatically.

5. Alert to my most recent post to my blog - A nice feature to have especially when communicating with your readers, customers or patients.

What Does This Mean?

My choice has been to set up a signature that has a strong Web 2.0 flavor. I'm more inclined to believe it is a quick advertisement of who you are and your personality. When you look at my signature, what else can you tell about me?

Most use the signature to leave contact information and their title position, but, as you can see, it can contain much more. For me, my brick and mortar contact information is on my Web page. You could also Google me.

This brings me to my last point. The length, or size, of your signature may just be inversely proportional to who you actually are.

I've never received an e-mail from Bill Gates. But, I bet it just says "Bill."