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Marketing Through Signature Lines & Business Cards

Two of the most powerful low cost/free ad options are business cards and signature lines. A signature line is the online equivalent to a business card, and you should carry it everywhere!

Signature lines are simpler than business cards. You can set up your email program to automatically insert a signature line into any email you compose. It should be short, and concise, containing your name, business name, URL, and just a simple description. A signature line should use one or two keywords, but like any good advertising, it should not be full of hype, and it should deliver an effective message.

Your friends and family probably won’t buy from you, but they should have no doubt as to what it is that you do for a living. They won’t mind seeing it in print, and may even pass it on. The power of a signature line is more than what we think, because emails get forwarded, sometimes to lists of people. Occasionally that signature line goes too.

Like a business card, it validates your business. It is an expected thing in corresponding with potential clients or customers.

You can use a signature line in other ways. When you participate in online forums, or post to a group, just leave your signature line. If you post to a guestbook or other comment area, leave your URL if you have the chance. It will not only give you some direct exposure, it will also help you with link building since your URL will be archived in the pages that the search engines index.

Now, do NOT go around spamming guestbooks or forums! That is NOT what I am recommending! I am merely suggesting that you leave your URL or signature line wherever you normally go, doing what you normally do. Certainly those who come in contact with you should know what you do! And when you are really excited about your business, it becomes part of who you are, so there is no reason why you should not include it with your name. I had long underestimated the power of this, but when I stopped being afraid to leave my URL wherever I went, it was surprising how many clicks came in from that. Not only do I get clicks from it, but about half of my clients come from forums I am on, or because they were referred by someone who “knows” me from one of the forums. (You can see in your tracking that some clicks come through mail clients, or through forum URLs.)

Signature lines can be attached to articles that you write, and serve as a form of viral marketing. They can reach out beyond your normal sphere of influence and touch people you would not normally affect.

The purpose of signature lines and business cards is not to hard sell. They are a way of using normally established connections and relationships to build business connections from. People are more likely to do business with someone they feel they know. If they have met you, they’ll more likely check out your website if you make it convenient for them to do so. If they feel they know you, as many people do from online conversations, then they are more likely to feel they can trust you.

It is just a way of saying, “Oh, and by the way, in case you are interested, this is what I do.”

Business cards cost something to print, whether you purchase them or print them yourself, so they are not really a free marketing method. They are still far lower in cost than many other things though, and since you can print them on demand if you make them yourself, you can contain the cost so it does not require a bunch at once.

Sig lines are totally free. They are also very powerful both directly, and indirectly. For someone trying to promote a business on the cheap, there simply is no excuse for not using a signature line!

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