Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

email Signatures: Good Place to Advertise

(Although the premise of this note is still true wisestamp produces nicer results! Go have a look.)

Your email goes to many, many people. Why not use it as a medium for advertising links to your blog, to your LinkedIn profile and to your website?

For many people the stumbling block to having a signature with live links is creating a file that contains HTML (the web language). Let's assume for a moment that you have such a file, and that you use Outlook Express as your mailer, as I think most people do. Then open the Tools | Options dialogue and complete it more or less as shown here.

You will need to click on 'New' to add a signature, select the 'File' radio button, and then use Browse to identify the file that contains the HTML. If you use a different mailer then I would say check its help file for support information or use Google. I hope no-one minds if I mention here that I really like the Thunderbird mailer. One of its advantages is that it will use either a plain signature file or an HTML signature depending on whether the message in which the signature is to be included is plain or contains HTML.

But how do you create the HTML? Again, there is an enormous amount of advice available via Google. However, in my opinion applying a lot of it requires significant knowledge of HTML. This morning I decided to write something that would provide basic signatures yet require no knowledge of HTML. It's offered in the right column of this blog.

Here's how it looks and how it's meant to be used.

The rectangular boxes constitute a form and they are pre-filled to give you an idea of what goes into them. For example, unless your name is Phineas McFoggerty you would replace that entry with your own name. In the line that has 'B.A., B.D., ...' you can put your job title, your many degrees and diplomas or your business associations--anything you like. Whatever you put here will appear on a second line in the signature.

There are four pairs of items that will be turned into links. For example the last one will appear as Me on Twitter and will point to the link that appears in the righthand edit box. In each pair you should change the item on the left to something that is readable to a human being. It will become the visible label for a link. Change the item on the right to the corresponding, complete URL.

For example, in my case I might replace 'My blog' with "Blog: A Career Developer's Notes" and the URL to the right of this with

(that you see at the top of this page). If you don't need to have four links in your signature just blank out all of the lines (both items in each line) that you don't need.

Then press 'Show HTML'. Now copy the HTML that appears into a file using an editor. Notepad will do as the editor and save the file where you can find it. Now go back to the first part of this blog item where telling your mailer about using a signature file is discussed.

If something here is unclear please comment.


Bill Bell said...

Corrected a bug that resulted in blank lines being inserted for blank lines in the form. - Bill