HTML Email Signatures. Look like a pro to everyone.

HTML Email Signatures. Look like a pro to everyone.

HTML Email Signatures. Look like a pro to everyone.

Mike McBride

The Cowbell Agency

Have you ever noticed how some company email signatures simply look better and more professional than others? That is no accident. Those are HTML email signatures that help companies stand above the rest in email communications.

 

What’s so great about HTML email signatures?

The biggest benefit is continuity of delivered design. Many people do the best they can crafting their email signature right in an email program such as Microsoft Outlook or Mail and Calendar, Apple Mail or one of the many web-based email apps. Their expectation is that everyone will see their beautiful email signature just as they see it. This is not always the case. Though an email is technically like an HTML webpage, it gets translated and displayed on an email “client” program as opposed to a far more forgiving web browser. Each email client’s ability to properly display emails is affected by a multitude of factors including software versions, settings, platforms or whether it is being viewed from a computer or smartphone. HTML email signatures bypass many of these issues.

 

How is an HTML email signature different from those built with images, rich text and links using an email client?

The content, styling and imagery with an HTML email are all coded for consistent delivery…fonts, text styling, tables, links, etc. are not contorted into a mess by email client defaults. Images of company logos, social logos, head shots and more are not delivered as attachments in an HTML email. The images are hosted and served. This allows emails to be smaller in delivered size and also less likely to be flagged as spam.

 

If HTML email signatures are so great, why isn’t every company using them?

Creating HTML can be tricky for non-coders or expensive for those using HTML email signature apps or generators. And even after an HTML email signature is developed, it has to be personalized and installed in the email clients of all employees. At Cowbell Agency, we strive to make the design and deployment process as simple as possible. So our clients can communicate as consistently and effectively as possible. Contact us to learn more.

Beginning a Social Media Program

Beginning a Social Media Program

Beginning a Social Media Program

Adam Latham
The Cowbell Agency

To some, getting a social media program off the ground seems like some sort of black magic. You have a Facebook page, but no likes or follows. You have a twitter handle, but no followers. So, you think, why even post. And if you did, what is the value?

You know you should, and you know that eventually it may be worthwhile, but getting started seems daunting. 

The first thing I like to do is forget about the woeful size of your audience right now and think about these channels or platforms from a purely strategic perspective. What is their purpose and how do they fit my needs?

Let’s start with your needs. Apart from just advertising your product or service, ask yourself what type of information do you want to deliver to your audience? What, from you, do they want to hear? 

The answer to these questions will vary widely based on what your organization does or produces.

To help you answer these questions, let’s create a few hypothetical organizations. Let’s say you were a government or NGO who has a vested interest in pushing out a lot of information to the public, as in activities and schedules of events. Every time you push out a press release, it costs money. So instead, you’ve decided to use Twitter as your distribution channel. You are not looking to get into a lot of discussions with your audience there, just a public channel to broadcast that something new is available. 

This channel is very effective at this because most of the media itself follows organizations they regularly report on. 

Let’s also assume your organization wants to also build a community with relationships and conversations. This will most likely take place on Facebook. 

But, if you want to reach the generation between 16 and 23, then you should also include Instagram.

Let’s say your leadership, C-level executive and management, wants to be seen as thought leaders. If so, you need to include LinkedIn as part of your strategy.

So, before I even concern myself with building audiences and managing the pages, I build a matrix that includes the types of information I want to disseminate, and I choose the platform on which I want to broadcast that information. 

Secondly, I then, knowing the culture of those different platforms, will know how many different topics and amount of posts I need to create. 

This is how you begin building a Social Media Strategy.

The next phase is all about tactics. Connecting and automating where you can, getting the resources to fill the pipes with content, measuring and building audiences. 

Notice I put building audiences last. There’s a reason for that.

Everyone usually likes to start there. They go to their platforms and don’t see any audience and they think what is the point. Well, the point is, if you don’t have a regular flow of information, nobody will ever follow or subscribe. It would be like trying to get subscribers to a streaming service without shows for anybody to watch. Unfortunately you DO have to show a value for others to value your content.

And trying to build an audience before you can show value, is like kicking yourself in the butt. Every time someone goes to your page and is disappointed, the least likely they are to come back. Remember, when someone shares some of your content, you want to build and convince others to get there first.

Once you have your channels ready… you know, a good amount of videos on YouTube, articles on LinkedIn, posts and events scheduled on Facebook, an active Twitter feed that is constantly sending out links to interesting articles… then you begin paying occasionally to boost your circulation on your best, most valuable content.

Lastly, be humble. Share other people’s information if it is of value. Now, this can get misunderstood. I’m talking about Ford sharing GM information. What I’m talking about is the reality that every industry has resources from other sources that their customers might find interesting. The more you look like a channel of non-stop advertising, the less relevant your channel will become. 

Lastly, don’t be afraid to have a personality. At the end of the day, beyond special offers and announcements, people want to be entertained. Never lose sight of that. The object is to get as much of your followers to want to share your info with THEIR followers and friends. It isn’t only about building your audience, but rather, inspiring your audience to spread the word for you.

Good luck and have fun.

This guy had me at slide…well, somewhere in the mid ’30s. But don’t worry, it goes quick

This guy had me at slide…well, somewhere in the mid ’30s. But don’t worry, it goes quick

This guy had me at slide…well, somewhere in the mid ’30s. But don’t worry, it goes quick

Adam Latham
The Cowbell Agency

The word “marketing” to some, leaves a bad taste in their mouth. On the honesty scale, our public perception is somewhere a little better than politicians and used car salesmen. 

I lived in both the B2B and B2C world. I came across this presentation and something spoke to me. 

If I’m going to be completely honest, I think I like the B2B world a tad better. Although all of marketing is about making an emotional connection with any customer, in the B2B world, those emotions are about ease of use, simple to use, or better functionality. It rarely diverts into that B2C weird world where wearing a certain type of underwear will of a sudden make you “cool.” 

Or about cringe-worthy moments where Kraft cheese uses a backdrop of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On” with third or fourth graders in their cafeteria. Let’s face it, you have to sell your soul to the devil sometimes in B2C. And we do it, because it is the right thing for our clients.

Here’s what I know about the company’s I’ve had the pleasure of working for in the B2B world. Their products make my life better. Period. Whether making my. phone smaller, or the battery last longer, or getting more power out of a solar panel, or, making sure my brakes are working on my car. And the type of marketing I do is about trying to figure out the exact value proposition that truly differentiates that improvement to the customer…who is making cars, phones, computers, etc.

In short, there is a higher level of honesty because the person doing the buying isn’t going to be fooled. They aren’t pimply faced, self-conscious teen agers trying to fit it. They are competent, confident buyers who just want to know the product will make their product better.

That isn’t exactly a purpose in life, but when the satellite places itself safely in orbit, and I know some of the products I’ve marketed helped it get there, I feel good about that. Is that wrong?

Anyway, hope you enjoy this slide deck.

 

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