A few years ago, we noticed something unusual in an email signature.
Below the name and contact info was a play button icon, linked to a specific YouTube video. Now an icon in a signature is nothing brand new, people have been doing it with YouTube and Twitter for years. But we noticed that in Gmail, you didn’t even have to click on the link to see a thumbnail of the video below- an in-screen preview was already visible at the bottom of every email this person sent.
Our minds were blown. We soon added our own explainer animation within our email signature, and have been encouraging our clients to do so (when it makes sense) ever since.
Want an example? Here’s our Next Day Animations email signature:
And here’s how an email from us shows up:
Why does this work?
- It’s automated. You don’t have to lift a finger to share your video, just reply or send emails as usual.
- It’s targeted. If you’re already emailing with your target audience- what better way to get your video in front of them to reinforce your main messages?
- It’s forwardable. Your video isn’t just seen by your recipient, but also by every person they include in a forward or reply.
- You already have the video. This works perfectly for organizations that have either developed an umbrella video introducing who they are OR for campaign/product-related videos that are going to change over time.
Curious if an explainer video in your email signature is right for you? Take the quiz to find out!
On average, how many people do you email with daily?
A. Three (on a busy day!)
B. A handful- but it’s the same people over and over
C. Enough to make up a professional sports team
Most of my emails are sent to…
A. Family and Daryl from HR
B. My highly-esteemed colleagues
C. People outside of my organization
What are your emails about?
A. Mostly “Hamilton the Musical”
B. Mostly on-going projects
C. Mostly potential future projects and investments
Do you currently have an email signature?
A. No- I’m a wild card and I cannot be pinned down
B. Yes, but honestly only because Daryl makes me
C. Of course! And it is looking good.
It seems like you’re mostly emailing people you already know. Rather than embedding a video into your signature, we suggest forwarding a video of kittens or a recent Taylor Swift acceptance speech.
Well… it’s not like a video in your signature is going to cause any harm. A video in your signature is a nice touch that’s going to make you look good- and who knows? It just might end up in the inbox of exactly who you want to watch it.
Based on how you’re using email, you may be missing out on major opportunities by not having an explainer animation embedded in your signature. You’re already sending these emails AND it’s important that your core points “stick” with your contacts. Consider embedding your video within your email signature (or better yet, organization-wide on everyone’s emails) ASAP.