With 700M emails analyzed, WriteThat.Name exposes the “Anatomy of an Email Signature”

With 700M emails analyzed, WriteThat.Name exposes the “Anatomy of an Email Signature”
Digital sovereignty

WriteThatName has released an infographic based on the half a billion emails they have analyzed with their smart contact organizer in the two years since they’ve launched. The infographic examines the “Anatomy of an Email Signature,” including the most common details included in an Email Signature and the best practices for labelling an email signature as such.

For those unfamiliar, WriteThat.Name is the service that keeps my (and anyone else’s) contact list up to date based solely on the people I interact with by email. It has filled my Gmail Contacts with the contact information (i.e: the information found in the email signature) of anyone who has interacted with my personal or professional email addresses, all in one address book. I bet you don’t know a lot of people with 1000+ contacts in their address book, with name, job title, company, alternative emails, phone numbers, and much more included inside?

When I first started using the service, I also grabbed their Flashback package, which scanned the last year’s emails and pulled out contacts into my address book. The company’s biggest problem today is that they are so useful and so quiet, that you would forget they even existed, if it weren’t for their email reminders about new contacts added to your address book (so you can validate or delete).

One of the more interesting pieces of information in the infographic involves the lack of integration of social networks into email signatures: only 7% of email signatures contained a link to the emailer’s Twitter account, and only 3% of signatures include a Facebook account.


4 Responses

  1. Pierre Chapuis

    Note that what they say about “–” leaves out the most important point: it is *not* “–“, it is “– ” (with a trailing space), otherwise most email clients will not recognize it as a signature marker…

    • Brad Patterson

      Nice eye, Pierre!

      Indeed, that is a typo, and it’s funny that you bring it up as within our algorithms we of course start from “dash dash space” but if there are human errors i.e. “dash dash return” we account for that and other anomalies as well.

      WriteThat.name Community Manager

  2. Fred Ducrot

    Liam and the Writethat.Name team,

    Thank you so much for this great study. It is so refreshing to read an article that pinpoints something I (we probably all) have been ranting about for years. I guess that the study is global and it would have been much worse if it had been done only for France.

    You see, the French have another national sport that they enjoy (alongside complaining every day about the weather, the taxes, the government, their neighbours, their family, the Chinese and of course “les zamricains”….) ): It is to have – on purpose – virtually no email signature. The number of times that I need to go on Linkedin or Viadeo to find the phone number of a customer or a business partner that sent me emails in the past drives me nuts.

    So come on folks, at least follow this great infographic recommendations and make yourself contactable. Unless you’re a top boss (or Claude Gueant….) you can pick up the phone yourself and talk to another human being….

    PS: Oh and stop scanning your business card and sticking the resulting low quality image at the bottom of your email. It’s not a signature, it’s a waste of time for you and for us.

  3. André

    Sounds like a nice concept, but why do they require that all emails get sent over to them for analysis? Scanning signatures shouldn’t be that complicated – why can’t this be done on-premise (e.g. without the email ever leaving the user’s computer)? I would never trust any third party with full insight in my emails.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.