It’s small. It’s old-school. It’s humble. Yet it’s a highly valuable piece of marketing real estate that’s usually underutilized and underappreciated.

I’m talking about the email signature. This small but mighty collection of pixels at the foot of every email could be the perfect tool to supercharge your content promotion plan, test a CTA, and much more.

On this week’s episode of the Marketing Cloudcast  —  the marketing podcast from Salesforce  — we learn how email signatures can be a smart marketer’s clever little secret. We talked with the master innovator of email signatures himself: Dan Hanrahan, Founder and CEO at Sigstr, a tool that gives marketers central control over a company’s email signatures.

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Subscribe for the full 30-minute episode. It’s perfect for checking out as you commute to work or hit the elliptical. Here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Dan.

The average employee sends 10,000 emails in a year.

Why email signatures? According to Dan, “it’s a perfect spot for the marketer to inject their most interesting content or call to action.” Plus, Dan says, “the average employee will send 10,000 emails in a single year.” That’s 10,000 chances to promote your best content, share the latest company news, and test CTA copy or imagery. Are you using your emails wisely?

Think of the email signature as part of your owned media mix.

“Employee email represents an incredible channel,” says Dan. That little space at the bottom of each email can wield high impact when used properly. “It’s just untapped potential, and just like any other owned media channel, it can be leveraged in a way that’s really impactful for the business.”

Why not use every nook and cranny of your and your employees’ communications to drum up business and build your brand?

Every department can use the signature differently.

“The content doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all when it comes to the campaign,” says Dan, meaning that different departments can tailor the signature to their needs. For example, an HR employee might want to promote company culture and new job openings, while a customer service rep may want to share a new support mobile app.

“Whatever the function of the employee is, the content can be relevant in the email signature to what they do for the business.”

Employee advocacy is a major marketing trend for 2016.

Dan explains, “Employee advocacy becomes powerful when employees see that the content that marketing is putting in their signature is actually helping them and the business.”

As a marketer, you’re probably working around the clock to create content, emails, social campaigns, and events that drive business. Employees are at the front lines of that business. They’re the ones interacting directly with customers and prospects.

In turn, employees can be your best brand ambassadors. Give them compelling content — and make it as easy as possible for them to share it. That’s the beauty of an email signature: the marketing team can design it, make sure everything’s on brand and on message, and update whenever new offers launch.

Employees are your brand, like it or not.

According to Dan, it’s important to remember that as marketers, “our job is to create the stories and the most helpful content possible. Employees are most often our primary touchpoint with the customer. They are our brand.” If employees are the brand, it only makes sense to equip them with the best direct-to-consumer communications, all the way down to the email signature.

Email signatures don’t add to message fatigue.

“The beauty of it is that we’re not sending another message. We all get so many emails today and we’re bombarded with content from so many different areas. Theses are messages that are already being sent and we’re just adding the most relevant content to that message,” Dan says.

Every marketer knows that our digital space has become noisier and breaking through is harder. It’s daunting, but far from hopeless. As Dan explains, another perk to leveraging email signatures is that you’re creating opportunity in an existing communication, not sending more email for the sake of it. It’s the same message you were sending before — only now, it also has an intriguing CTA at the bottom. Sounds like a marketing win.

And that’s just scratching the surface of our conversation with Dan Hanrahan of Sigstr. Get the complete scoop on utilizing your email communications from the king of email marketing strategy in this episode of the Marketing Cloudcast.

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