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Gmail Like a Professional- How to Add an HTML Signature to Mail

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Gmail Firefox Addon

gmailIf you use Gmail but you’re concerned that it doesn’t come across professionally since you have a boring signature, don’t fret, there is a way to gmail like a professional! If you are using Firefox, visit the Mozilla Add-Ons page and simply click “Add to Firefox” and you’ll be able to add a new HTML signature.

Below is my AG signature and it is pretty simple, some people prefer more flash or more icons, but this works for me (click to enlarge):

gmail like a professional

This addon automatically inserts HTML signatures into all of your Gmail messages based on which address you are sending from. I have multiple signatures set up that I can use based on the occasion, and I can select from a drop down menu which is to be used on the email I am sending and it allows me up to four signature per address. Unlike other addons, this one is supported in the reply/forward function as well, so you won’t have to go copy and paste from other parts of the email.

We suggest your logo and basic contact information, and perhaps a disclaimer or privacy note. This is a great place to highlight your social networks (or perhaps a single aggregate site like flavors.me) and include any brokerage or license information you’re required to.

So in the last week, you’ve learned how to undo a gmail message and now you know how to have a permanent, professional signature that you have complete control over and you’re steps closer to gaining your independence from Outlook!

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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35 Comments

35 Comments

  1. Loren Nason

    February 1, 2010 at 3:00 am

    Cool add-on.

    But, I love plain text signatures with maybe a couple of links to your SocMed profiles.

    But then again I’m old-skool like that and sometimes love a cmd line over a GUI interface.

    For those that do use this add-on I would suggest to not have too many links in your signature because that can also flag your email as spam.

    • Lani Rosales

      February 1, 2010 at 10:24 am

      I agree, simple is better, but I’ve learned that a disclaimer is crucial for what I do every day AND not using a logo is a simple branding opportunity missed.

      That said, you’re right about the tons of links, so as mentioned above an aggregator might be best (my fave is https://flavors.me, you?). Thanks for weighing in, Loren- that’s a great point about getting flagged!

  2. Susie Blackmon

    February 1, 2010 at 4:16 am

    Dang, I’m in love with Wise Stamp! Appreciate Loren’s comments too.
    P.S. I LOVE being away from Outlook.

    • Lani Rosales

      February 1, 2010 at 10:25 am

      Isn’t freedom great, Susie!?! 🙂

  3. MIssy Caulk

    February 1, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Great find Lani.

    That was one of the reasons I didn’t change to gmail exclusively.

    I was told this by someone else this week, Lorens comment about links. I have 3 in mine, blog, search site and google profile. I need to figure out a new one.

    • Lani Rosales

      February 1, 2010 at 10:34 am

      Glad you enjoy it, @MissyCaulk! 🙂 Regarding email links, three is about as many as you should have, but you *could* create one page on your website that has all of those links on it and use THAT as your signature link?

      So, it would be a page that said something like:
      “Glad you clicked on the link in my email signature, aren’t you clever? Here is everything you should know about me… I hate french cuff links, I’ve been an agent since I was 18, I have an affinity for historic homes and I’m a dedicated blogger.

      Here are some things you can do while you’re here:
      Search All Ann Arbor Homes (with one click and you aren’t even required to register!)
      Read my Real Estate Blog (about architecture, market stats and real estate news)
      Check out my Google Profile (to see what social networks I’m available on)”

      … something like that. Is that workable for you? 🙂

  4. Michael Patton

    February 1, 2010 at 9:39 am

    I’m not the “sharpest tool in the shed” on TECH stuff…. so first off thanks for what you share with us.

    In the “past” I’ve had some issues using other browsers (non MS/IE)… can anyone tell me if Mozilla/Firefox add on’s have solved those problems OR is there a way to use the html sig with Explorer?

    • Lani Rosales

      February 1, 2010 at 10:37 am

      Firefox is a superior web browser to Internet Explorer (which thousands of people are lobbying to get rid of, by the way), and Google Chrome and Apple’s Opera browser are superior to Firefox.

      If you must use IE, here is a hack for creating an HTML signature for Gmail.

  5. Ken Montville

    February 1, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Woooo Hoooo!! I [heart] HTML signatures. Does it convert to text if the recipients e-mail client doesn’t accept HTML which is common in the US Government (my area’s largest employer)?

    Next Gmail question – is there a way to divert incoming e-mail into the Labels they’re assigned to as soon as they come in? (sort of like an Outlook “rule”). I got the part where the labels get attached to incoming mail but they still sit in my Inbox until I move them.

    • Michael Patton

      February 1, 2010 at 10:13 am

      Applying the labels and auto moving emails into their own folders is accomplished (on my gmail, anyways) by clicking the drop down on the right hand side called “more actions”… there you’ll find “FILTER messages like these”… which is like RULES.

      • Ken Montville

        February 1, 2010 at 10:19 am

        I got that far….there is a choice to “Archive it” is that the same as moving it automatically to the designated folder/label? Thanks for the help.

        • Michael Patton

          February 1, 2010 at 10:24 am

          I’ve got a few moments if you want to call me (702-883-2131) I’m prepping for a couple of listing appts this morning… but it won’t take long to walk you through it.

          NOTE: I’m not seeing “archive” when I create a filter… so don’t know where you’re at on the GMail page.

          More NOTE: I use the GMail PARTNER page… have my domain directed to them… maybe my screen is different than yours?

          • Lani Rosales

            February 1, 2010 at 10:38 am

            If y’all don’t get it worked out, let me know, I’m happy to provide answers 🙂

          • Ken Montville

            February 1, 2010 at 4:50 pm

            Hey, Michael – Missed your comment since I didn’t subscribe to notifications at the bottom. I left my number on your voice mail. Thanks!!

          • Ken Montville

            February 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm

            Hey, Michael

            One of my incoming e-mails just dropped into a folder/label bypassing my Inbox so it looks like I got it figured out. Many thanks!!!

  6. Ken Montville

    February 1, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Hmmmm. Just tried to install it into my Firefox 3.6 and it didn’t go. Maybe it needs an update to be compatible?

  7. Andy Morris

    February 1, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I use wisestamp for firefox and just recently found out they have the same extension for chrome which is one reason i haven’t switched. i love it.

  8. Greg Fleischaker

    February 5, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Great points, I’ve been guilty of loading up way too many links in my email signature, and have really pared it back. Late apologies to anyone that I might have sent one of my old emails to!

  9. Lori Luza

    February 12, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Lani, thank you so much for this. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. Now, I know how and have made the time to start setting it up!

  10. Ken Montville

    April 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    I just tried the Blank Canvass product and it wouldn’t install. Bummer. No support other than a forum. Double bummer. Any other suggestions.

    • Lani Rosales

      April 2, 2010 at 7:44 pm

      I’ve never used this, but other commenters recommend it: https://www.wisestamp.com/

      Let me know if that works for ya! 🙂

      • Ken Montville

        April 2, 2010 at 9:26 pm

        Thanks! I actually saw that on a Google signature forum (who woulda known there was such a thing!?). It downloaded perfectly and works pretty good. I haven’t played around with the logo insertion yet but I like the ability to add hypelinks and the social media icons. The only down side is the ad for itself that it embeds at the bottom. It’s free, though, so I guess they’re entitled.

        On another Gmail topic, I downloaded MailBrowser, too and that seems to work perfectly. I noticed it has a check box to not allow the automatic downloading of attachments which I checked thinking viruses love attachments. I’m guess (though, I’m not sure) that If I voluntarily download an attachment it’ll do all the wonderful MailBrowser stuff.

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Business Marketing

Tired of “link in bio”? Here is a solution for Instagram linking

(MARKETING) The days of only one link in your Instagram bio are over. Alls.Link not only lets you link more, it gives you options for marketing and analytics too.

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Woman checking Instagram on phone

If you’re like me, you’ve probably swapped out the link in your Instagram bio 100 times. Do I share my website? A link to a product? A recent publication? Well, now you don’t have to choose!

Alls.Link is a subscription-based program that allows you to, among other things, have multiple links in your bio. I’m obsessed with the Instagram add-ons that are helping business owners to expand the platform to further engage their audiences – and this is NEEDED one.

With the basic membership ($8/month), you get up to 10 customizable Biolink Pages with shortened links (and you’ll be able to choose your own backend). You also get access to Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel for your pages. With the basic membership, you will have Alls.Link advertising on your Biolink Page. Plus, you’ll be allotted a total of 10 projects, and Biolink Pages with 20 customizable domains.

With the premium membership ($15/month), you get link scheduling for product drops and article releases, SEO and UTM parameters, and you’ll have the ability to link more socials on the Biolink Page. With this membership, you’re allotted 20 projects and Biolink Pages with 60 customizable domains.

If you’re unsure about whether or not Alls.Link is worth it (or which membership is best for you), there is a free trial option in which you’ll be granted all the premium membership capabilities.

Overall – premium membership or not – I have to say, the background colors and font choices are really fun and will take your Biolink Page to the next level. Alls.Link is definitely a program to consider if your business has a substantial Insta following and you have a lot of external material you want to share with your followers.

The day-by-day statistics are a great tool for knowing what your audience is interested in and what links are getting the most clicks. Also, the ability to incorporate Google Analytics into the mix is a big plus, especially if you’re serious about metrics.

If you have a big team (or manage multiple pages), I would suggest going premium just for the sheer quantity of domains you can customize and link, though there are various other reasons I’d also suggest to do so. Take a look and see what works for you!

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Business Marketing

Use the ‘Blemish Effect’ to skyrocket your sales

(MARKETING) The Blemish Effect dictates that small, adjacent flaws in a product can make it that much more interesting—is perfection out?

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blemish effect

Presenting a product or service in its most immaculate, polished state has been the strategy for virtually all organizations, and overselling items with known flaws is a practice as old as time. According to marketing researchers, however, this approach may not be the only way to achieve optimal results due to something known as the “Blemish Effect.”

The Blemish Effect isn’t quite the inverse of the perfectionist product pitch; rather, it builds on the theory that small problems with a product or service can actually throw into relief its good qualities. For example, a small scratch on the back of an otherwise pristine iPhone might draw one’s eye to the glossy finish, while an objectively perfect housing might not be appreciated in the same way.

The same goes for mildly bad press or a customer’s pros and cons list. If someone has absolutely no complaints or desires for whatever you’re marketing, the end result can look flat and lacking in nuance. Having the slightest bit of longing associated with an aspect (or lack thereof) of your business means that you have room to grow, which can be tantalizing for the eager consumer.

A Stanford study indicates that small doses of mildly negative information may actually strengthen a consumer’s positive impression of a product or service. Interesting.

Another beneficial aspect of the Blemish Effect is that it helps consumers focus their negativity. “Too good to be true” often means exactly that, and we’re eager to criticize where possible. If your product or service has a noticeable flaw which doesn’t harm the item’s use, your audience might settle for lamenting the minor flaw and favoring the rest of the product rather than looking for problems which don’t exist.

This concept also applies to expectation management. Absent an obvious blemish, it can be all to easy for consumers to envision your product or service on an unattainable level.

When they’re invariably disappointed that their unrealistic expectations weren’t fulfilled, your reputation might take a hit, or consumers might lose interest after the initial wave.

The takeaway is that consumers trust transparency, so in describing your offering, tossing in a negative boosts the perception that you’re being honest and transparent, so a graphic artist could note that while their skills are superior and their pricing reasonable, they take their time with intricate projects. The time expectation is a potentially negative aspect of their service, but expressing anything negative improves sales as it builds trust.

It should be noted that the Blemish Effect applies to minor impairments in cosmetic or adjacent qualities, not in the product or service itself. Delivering an item which is inherently flawed won’t make anyone happy.

In an age where less truly is more, the Blemish Effect stands to dictate a new wave of honesty in marketing.

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Business Marketing

Google Chrome will no longer allow premium extensions

(MARKETING) In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue on Chrome.

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Google Chrome open on a laptop on a organized desk.

Google has cracked down on various practices over the past couple of years, but their most recent target—the Google Chrome extensions store—has a few folks scratching their heads.
Over the span of the next few months, Google will phase out paid extensions completely, thus ending a bizarre and relatively negligible corner of internet economy.

This decision comes on the heels of a “temporary” ban on the publication of new premium extensions back in March. According to Engadget, all aspects of paid extension use—including free trials and in-app purchases—will be gone come February 2021.

To be clear, Google’s decision won’t prohibit extension developers from charging customers to use their products; instead, extension developers will be required to find alternative methods of requesting payment. We’ve seen this model work on a donation basis with extensions like AdBlock. But shifting to something similar on a comprehensive scale will be something else entirely.

Interestingly, Google’s angle appears to be in increasing user safety. The Verge reports that their initial suspension of paid extensions was put into place as a response to products that included “fraudulent transactions”, and Google’s subsequent responses since then have comprised more user-facing actions such as removing extensions published by different parties that accomplish replica tasks.

Review manipulation, use of hefty notifications as a part of an extension’s operation, and generally spammy techniques were also eyeballed by Google as problem points in their ongoing suspension leading up to the ban.

In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue. The extension store was a relatively free market in a sense—something that, given the number of parameters being enforced as of now, is less true for the time being.

Similarly, one can only wonder about which avenues vendors will choose when seeking payment for their services in the future. It’s entirely possible that, after Google Chrome shuts down payments in February, the paid section of the extension market will crumble into oblivion, the side effects of which we can’t necessarily picture.

For now, it’s probably best to hold off on buying any premium extensions; after all, there’s at least a fighting chance that they’ll all be free come February—if we make it that far.

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