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Sig optimization is a great topic. I go low key with just the url, or sometimes let the email address itself do the work. I think most sigs are vastly overblown.
1 line - modern sheik, or rebel without a clue (you make the call)
2 lines - acceptable. Right on track.
3 lines - ok, ok, I get the drift already.
4 lines - just a touch pushy, but as long as it's not ad copy, I can stomach it.
5 lines - my my my, just really full of ourselves aren't we?
6 lines - well, my trashcan was lonely.
7 lines - welcome to my twit list, have a nice day.
Just don't use a smiley face when e'ing RC, and make sure to use atleast 2 spell checkers and a syntax checker when e'ing Oldtimer. Anyone's toes I forgot? lol
Ultimately, I think a sig should attempt to cause an action. What do you think?
Edited by: sagerock
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A sig is not a place not to make 'click here to enter' call to action, but rather a reflection of the poster. A modern day business card.
Users are getting net savvy, don't insult them with 'pitches'. Just drop the url for contact purposes. If they like what they read above, they will click.
Actually, I was thinking about the sig op idea. I must kindly disagree, I'm afraid. There are many times when someone has come across you via a resource other than your web site - an article they have read, word of mouth or something along those lines. In those circumstances having a sig that causes action might be your one and only chance to get them involved within your marketing circle. By offering a chance to sign up for a newsletter, receive a free ebook or sign up for a chance to win a prize within your sig you are initiating the push and pull marketing that the internet is so ideal for creating.
Then there is the fact the sometimes people need to see an offer time after time before it registers that it may indeed be something that interests them. There have been occasions that a web site promotes the same banner on each and every page of their site, and it isn't until going to the site multiple times that I finally say, "Hey, maybe this is something I should check out." I apply this philosophy to having a well 'optimized' sig.
Becoming a success online is tricky business. You want to utilize every chance of success that you possibly can.
You sig depends on if you view something as simple as a url as a call to action or not. To me, the phrase call to action equal a sales pitch. People are getting rather immune. I think a good sig is just bare contact information.