E-mail has become the most critical and frequently used business communication tool and most of us send and receive thousands of business related e-mails every week. Our e-mail signatures serve several important functions, letting recipients know about the sender, helping to promote brand awareness and ensuring that the sender is in compliance with local laws. (In many jurisdictions, the inclusion of particular company details within e-mail signatures is obligatory. Be sure to check what details are required in your area, and incorporate these into your e-mail signature at a minimum.)
Keep it simple
Usually signatures contain details such as name and job title, company name, and some alternative contact details e.g. work phone, mobile, website, Twitter account etc. It may be helpful to think of an e-mail signature as a business card appended to your e-mails. Your signature should be similarly brief, clear, and professional.
Employee non-compliance with corporate signatures is a common issue for many organizations. Some users won’t add the corporate e-mail signature to their e-mail client; some can’t resist changing a font, or adding an animated image or “funny quote”.
A great advantage of building e-mail signatures in CRM is that as they are stored on the CRM server, they can be centrally created, updated and managed by the CRM administrator. This means that signatures can be built to reference current campaigns, business events or upcoming holidays. These signatures can then be automatically propagated to all team members, so every outgoing e-mail is appended with a fully brand-compliant e-mail signature.
Implement an e-mail signature in Sage CRM
To show you how to implement an e-mail signature template in Sage CRM, I’m going to take creating the current Sage CRM staff e-mail signature as an example.
E-mail templates are created from within the administration section of the application. To access this area, you must have Administrator rights or be an Info Manager with E-mail and Template rights.
To begin creating the new e-mail signature template, click on Administration, then E-mail and Documents, then E-mail Templates and then click on New.
First name the template and decide what entities in Sage CRM the template will be available to. Templates can be available either solely within the context of a particular entity, or on every entity in the system. To make the e-mail template universally selectable, stick with the default: --All--. For this template keep the subject of the template blank, as this signature will be appended to many different e-mails sent from within CRM.
Using E-mail merge fields
As this template will be used by all employees, I will use the Sage CRM merge fields which will be replaced with each user’s individual data when the template is used. I select these fields from the “Choose Field to insert into the E-mail:” drop down.
For example to make “Aisling O’Brien” appear when I use the template I select #user_firstname# and #user_lastname# from the drop down.
Inserting a link
To insert a link, either type the url directly into the body of the template, or click on the linked chains icon.
This will pop the Link dialog; paste the relevant URL and click OK.
The link text can be edited to be shorter, e.g. Facebook. This will still link to the full URL specified for the link.
Using E-mail editor formatting
As you can see, I’ve continued adding signature content, and I’ve made use of some of the basic html formatting available through the e-mail template editor UI to control Bold, Font and Font Size.
Inserting an image
To insert images and graphics directly into your signature use the upload attachment web pickers.
Simply browse to the relevant file or image and select to upload inline, or as an attachment.
For reduced e-mail size and quicker e-mail processing, the lighter way to add an image is to insert an image which is hosted on the web. Browse to the location where the image is hosted, e.g. https://www.sagecrm.com/images/emails/partner_upgrade_sig.jpg, then right click the image and select copy. Back in CRM paste the image into your template. The image will appear successfully in the recipients email, provided they have access to the site hosting the image.
It’s a good idea not to use images which are large in dimension and size. A larger image may overpower and detract from contact details, and if the image is sizable it may take a long time to download to the recipient’s mail client.
To complete the finishing touches, click on the source button. This shows all of html behind the content created so far.
To update the colours for the text elements, simply insert a new span tag before the text element, and remember to close the span tag afterwards. E.g.
<span style="color: #76923c"> name colour</span>.
Or for example to remove paragraph spacing update the existing <p> tags to
<p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt">.
Once these font colour and paragraph margin changes have been made, click on Source again and then preview to view the results.
Once the template looks exactly as planned it’s time to test it out on an outgoing email.
Using the e-mail template
When the e-mail template is set up, it can be used when sending e-mail from within whichever entity it is associated. If the e-mail is sent from the context of a CRM record then the resulting communication is automatically added to the communication history for the CRM record. The E-mail signature template in this example is assigned to --All—so it is available globally within the CRM system.
Right click the New menu and select E-mail. Before beginning to compose the e-mail message select which signature e-mail template to include.
The e-mail signature will now appear in the body of the e-mail message.
Testing your e-mail signature template
Along with using the Preview button when designing the e-mail signature template, you should also send a test mail to different mail clients to check that you are satisfied with your template overall.