# Sig

Merlin conducted a brief email tutorial yesterday on Twitter.

Lesson 1:

If your message is shorter than your email signature—my thanks for the first part and a secret wish that you get a cold sore for the second.
— Merlin Mann (@hotdogsladies) Mon Jul 9 2012 12:24 PM CDT

Lesson 2:

Might also be handy to remind me that you sent your email via email.

— Merlin Mann (@hotdogsladies) Mon Jul 9 2012 12:27 PM CDT

The lecture series soon switched to Twitter (with excellent class participation), but I want to stick with email.

Here’s the thing: Everyone has their own ideas about what a good email signature is. Sophisticated users—and yes, we are at a stage of civilization where having a blog and being an early adopter of Twitter makes you a sophisticate—like short signatures because long signatures are so 1997. Unsophisticated users, which is to say well over 99% of users, think long signatures are cute or clever or—in company email—professional.

When emailing as Dr. Drang, my signature is typically

Regards,
Dr. Drang

It’s a TextExpander snippet tied to the abbreviation ;rdd. People who correspond with Dr. Drang are “internet people” and would think I’m a douche if I had some clever saying under it.

My IRL signature used to be short, too, an indication of how refined and elegant I am. It was just my name and the URL of my vCard, which is stored on my company’s web host. This went over like a lead balloon. Clients started emailing me for my address, phone number, and–wait for it—fax number. This was frustrating because it was a waste of my time, but I soon suspected that was the least of my worries.

I’m pretty sure these clients, who didn’t realize that my all my contact info could be in their Blackberry with just a couple of clicks, thought I was the dumb one. “What a rube,” I imagined them saying to themselves, “Doesn’t even put his address and phone number in his email signature.”

So I adopted the protective coloration. My signature is now six fucking lines long:

Name