With the rapid progression and advancement of technology, it can sometimes seem like our marketing efforts are becoming less personal. But even though we have come to expect more out of our hand-held devices, we still want to feel like we are communicating with real humans. How do we bridge the gap between technology and the comfort of human interaction?
One great way to make your marketing messages more personal is to sign it! While you can’t actually grab your favorite pen and sign each email you send out, there are a few ways that you can emulate the same idea: use a font or use an image.
Use a Font
There are lots of handwriting-like fonts available these days. If you are typing a document and then printing it or sending it as a PDF, using a handwriting-type font is a good solution. Just type your name at the end of the document (like you would if you were actually signing it), and change the font to one of the many handwriting fonts available. If those available on your operating system aren’t appealing to you, try searching through the free fonts available through Font Squirrel and installing one of those.
Use an Image
For applications where you can’t pick the font, like email, using an image is a better solution. To get an image of your signature:
- Grab white paper (not lined or colored at all – stick with plain computer paper to be safe) and a pen. A thicker pen like a permanent marker or ball-point pen will work best.
- Write your name on the paper, leaving a border of blank paper around it. The bigger you write it, the better. You can always make an image smaller, but you can’t make it bigger, so it’s best to start out larger than you think you’ll need.
- Use either your smartphone or a scanner to digitize your signature. If taking a photo with your smartphone, hold the camera as perpendicular to the paper with your signature as possible. And try to keep the lighting bright so that the paper shows up as white (not yellowed by dim lighting). Email the photo to yourself so you have a copy on your computer.
- Open up the image in your favorite photo editor. No need for fancy software, just the program that comes pre-installed on your machine is fine. Crop the photo so that your signature is centered.
- Save the image and insert it where needed!
A Word of Caution
While adding your signature is a great personal touch, identity theft is a real and ever-present threat. Especially as an attorney, you want to exercise caution. Instead of using your full, “official” signature, use just your first name or use a hand-printed version of your name, instead of the loopy, cursive signature you use to sign checks or official documents. Besides, if your signature is anything like mine, your “real” signature is illegible! No point in signing your message if your readers can’t read the name of the sender!