An email footer is the formatted section at the bottom of an email that functions similarly to an email signature of a personal email. A business email footer often includes contact information and other details about the sender.
Everyone has seen an email footer. Although few of us make it to the email footer when scrolling through the inbox. So if no one ever looks at it, why are we writing an article about it?
The fact is that email footers aren't sexy, but to the motivated email subscriber, it is a very important element. That motivated individual could be a subscriber for life who wants to follow your organization on social media or someone who wants to unsubscribe. In either case, you want it to be simple and easy for the subscriber to complete their task.
When sending emails from your organization there are elements that are nice to have in your footer and then there are must-haves.
This is a must-have! The email footer has become a convenient place to include information required by CANSPAM, GDPR, and CASL. You will need to familiarize yourself with one or all of these depending on the markets you operate in.
To satisfy these legal requirements you must include:
- Company Name
- Street Address, City, State
- Unsubscribe Link
The way your customer service team treats customers is part of your brand. Think about Zappos (who had so many positive customer service stories they wrote a book about it) or Chick-fil-a (who's “my pleasure” attitude has won them social media fame). And I'm sure you can name a few brands that you despise for their awful customer service.
This ability to differentiate through customer service is a great reason to include customer service contact information in every templated email sent by your organization. By placing your customer service contact information in every email you're making it hassle-free for your customers to reach your team.
Also, placing your customer service information in the same section as your unsubscribe link is a convenient last line of defense. Think of it as your digital goalie giving your team one last chance to win over a customer headed for the unsubscribe button.
Does social media play a large role in your marketing mix? Then promote your social media to your audience. We promise your social media team will thank you! Just because your email subscribers are on the same social media channels as your brand doesn’t mean they have connected with your organization.
Every social media manager has spoken with a fan of their organization who didn't think to search for the brand on Facebook. So give an engaged email subscriber a quick reminder that your brand is on their favorite social media channel.
In the image above Hulu's marketing team has included their social media links in their footer. Other brands often included a call to action like let's be friends or let's connect.
Content is king and your organization has invested in a podcast. Delivering content via audio has been on the rise (and continues to gain popularity). A study by Edison Research estimates that there will be 100 million US podcast listeners by 2024.
As all marketers know creating quality isn't cheap. Especially, in-house audio/visual content. And it doesn't promote itself. So use your owned properties to promote it to your regular readers.
Does your business's revenue rely on app downloads? Does your research show that you retain more customers when they use the mobile version of your software? Or are you adapting to the age of COVID-19 by pushing online sales? Then use this FREE real estate in your routine communications to remind subscribers to take advantage of your app.
Trello includes two download buttons in their footer linking to their app on two separate market places (Apple's App Store and Google's Google Play).
COVID-19 has changed the world and changed the way we do business. If your business is currently being affected by shutdowns, shortages, or outbreaks it might be beneficial to link to a page addresses your organization's COVID response.
In the image above you can see how Custom Ink included a link to their COVID news.
We suggest thinking about your organization's goals and weaknesses when deciding what to include in your email footer. If you're constantly providing customer support make this the focal point of your email footer. If you started a new podcast and want to increase downloads, use this owned property as a mini-billboard.
There's no perfect email footer. Some organizations include all the bells and whistles (almost to the point it's overwhelming). Others simply include their legal information. We strongly encourage your team to include more than the bare minimum but don't sacrifice your email's design/user experience by going overboard.