With Signature Files
by Nann Dunne
A simple, free,
and unobtrusive way to promote yourself, your works, and/or your
services is by adding a signature file to your emails.
What is a signature file?
A signature file—often called a sig file—is several lines of type
added below your email signature. Think of it as a mini-billboard,
offering information to everyone who reads your emails.
What should it contain?
Some people add a favorite quotation or a piece of philosophical
wisdom that strikes their fancy. But for promotional purposes, a sig
file can contain information such as your books, your achievements,
your expertise. You should include your URL(s), and other email
addresses you might wish to make available.
At whom should it be aimed?
You can choose the same sig file for all your emails, or the file
can be shaped for various audiences. For example:
You might use a more personal one for close friends and family:
Hug someone you love
One for emails and lists
related to writing could promote your published works and any
noteworthy credentials in your field:
Staying in the Game. Co-Author: True Colours;
Many Roads to
Travel (True Colours, Book Two)
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher:
Just About Write, an online
newsletter with writing tips at www.justaboutwrite.com
promote a service you might be offering:
editor and author with 27 years’ experience
can help prepare
your work for possible publication.
Services and rates are
do I add a sig file to my emails?
provide a way to do this.
procedure must be done for each new signature you want to make. (It
sounds more complicated than it is.)
At the top of the AOL screen, click on Mail. On the drop-down
menu, click on Signatures. A box appears, giving several options.
Click on Create, and another box appears that looks like your Write
email box. Where the Subject would go, give each signature an
appropriate and memorable name, such as Nann family, Nann author,
Nann editor, etc. Compose your signature in the text box.
AOL gives you the opportunity to put some fancy looks on your
emails, but I prefer plain backgrounds, especially since colors look
different on some browsers and can make the emails difficult to
When you’re finished composing your sig file(s), click on the one
you use the most then click on Default On/OFF to put a red check
mark next to the one chosen. Now, when you click on Write to send an
email, the default signature will automatically appear on your
email. If you want to use a different signature, you must first go
to Mail, Signatures, and change the Default to the sig you need.
When you then click on Write, the new sig will appear.
For Outlook Express or Netscape
I don’t use Outlook Express or
Netscape, but I’ve found a place that gives step-by-step directions.
Please try this site:
If your browser isn't one of the three above, or you have trouble
with these directions, you can always compose several signature
files on a page in your word processing program, save them, then
call up the file to cut and paste as needed.
Try to keep your signature files short, as some say longer ones
may not be read. Four or five lines or less are recommended, though
if you must use more, then do. Take a look at the various sigs used
here in the newsletter to get some ideas. Author, editor, reviewer
Lori Lake, for instance, uses one for her articles, one for her
reviews, and another one for personal emails.
If you are undecided about using a sig file, ask yourself if you
have something you would like to share with everyone who reads your
email. Many readers appreciate information on who you are and where
to reach you. Promoting and marketing yourself and your work will
never be any easier or less expensive!
© 2003, Nann