Much has been said about the either overlooked or overdone email signature at the bottom of nearly every email you receive. For some, email signatures are an opportunity to project personal values. I’ve had friends link their Twitter with “Stalk Me”, or make some sort of personal statement by putting, “Before you print, think about the environment” in bold, green letters. But your school email signature should probably serve a different purpose.
By in large, most people simply put their name, email address, and maybe their website. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, but why not use that space to help yourself as an admissions director or enrollment officer guide your families through the admission process. You can give prospective students and parents information, direction, and maybe even show a little bit of school spirit.
What Should Your School Email Signature Highlight
I don’t doubt that you have some combination of the basics: your name, mailing and email addresses, phone and fax numbers — ignore what everyone says about the irrelevance of fax numbers. In the admissions world, it can be the most important number, so keep it. You can also fax things electronically. You might also have a link to your school’s website already but think about making that a link straight to the admissions homepage. That way, prospective parents and students have easy and direct access to more info should they need it. Also, if your school or admissions department has an active Twitter or Facebook, link that too.
If your school is like most others, you have a wide range of events — highlight them. This is especially useful if you’re going to have an open house or information session, but even if it’s just a yearly tradition that makes your school unique, chances are someone might be intrigued and take a look.
Lastly, a little (I repeat, a little) school spirit never hurt anyone. For example, most emails from Admissions Counselors at The University of Texas add “Hook ‘em” just before their name. Similarly, people at The University of Michigan add “Go Blue”. There’s no need to make the text in your email Burnt Orange or alternating Maize and Blue, but if your school has a quick slogan and it sounds natural, throw it in.
A Cautionary Tale
However, at the end of it all, remember everything in moderation. Your school email signature is definitely going to be a mess if you add everything I’ve mentioned in a list. Don’t add anything and everything or jam pack information just for information’s sake into your signature. Decide what’s important and organize it well. Include only the things you feel represent you and your school well. And at the same time, remember your goal is to be effective and deliver the information your families might not even know they need.
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