7 Questions IT managers ask about Rocketseed email signatures for Office 365

You’re in IT. You’re responsible for managing your company’s Office 365 email signatures. And you’re fed up. Fed up with the limitations of Office 365 and Exchange online. Fed up with the hassle of trying to keep employees from tampering with their signatures.  Whatever happened to the idea that managing email signatures should be simple?

Thankfully, with Rocketseed it is. We understand the challenges that Office 365 email signatures cause IT managers. Why? Because we get just as many enquiries from IT managers like you as we do from marketers.

So here are the 7 questions we get asked most by IT managers – an IT FAQ if you like of Rocketseed email signatures for Office 365 – and we’ll start with the big one…

1. How does it work?

Rocketseed Office 365 email signature manager is an SMTP relay with a secure, access-controlled, web-based user interface. Connectors within Office 365 route your mails to the Rocketseed server, which applies the signature and any banner campaign required, and the branded mail is then securely resubmitted to Office 365 via a closed SMTP loop. This means that even though your email is being branded by Rocketseed, it doesn’t leave the secure Azure cloud environment before final delivery to the recipient. So the ‘mail flow’ looks like this:

2. How easy is it to set up, and how long does it take?

Using an SMTP relay centralises the whole process, making Rocketseed for Office 365 very easy to set up. Unlike plug-in solutions, there’s no need for every user to download software to set up their signature. As for setup time, you can get started with Rocketseed in just days. Rocketseed can be enabled for individual senders or groups during testing and then easily extended to the entire organisation.

3. How secure is it?

It’s super secure! The user interface has role-based access levels using secure (https) connections and all email conversations are TLS encrypted between Office 365 and Rocketseed. Once installed in your Azure cloud it should be emphasised that at no point can we at Rocketseed view any of your email content.

You can rest assured that the Rocketseed Azure-hosted branding appliances are kept up to the most recent patch levels, and the software is security audited and penetration tested regularly. Throughout the installation and maintenance process we will only undertake work with approval from your information security team.

4. Who’s in control?

That’s up to you. IT? Marketing? Multiple administrators? Whoever it is, on-brand email signature consistency across your company requires full control. Rocketseed Office 365 email signature manager gives administrators central control via our browser-based interface (no installations or downloads required).

Admins can update employee signatures at the click of a button, whether it’s one, a hundred, or ten thousand, ensuring individual employees can’t ‘creatively personalise’ their own off-brand signature. It’s easy to assign signature variants to different departments and individuals when required. By synching with Azure Active Directory, any changes to employee details are automatically updated in their email signatures signatures.

5. Does it work on mobile devices?

Of course. Rocketseed email signatures perform perfectly when email is sent or received on any device. Our signature templates use responsive HTML mark-up, so signatures are sized automatically, ensuring easy readability and consistent design when viewed on PC, tablet or smartphone. Rocketseed Office 365 email signature manager can embed all branding images so there’s no danger of them being blocked, appearing as corner red-crosses. What’s more, we continually test to ensure that email signatures render correctly on the broadest range of email clients and on the most popular mobile devices.

6. Will it keep the marketing department happy and off my back?

Oh yes. For two main reasons…

Firstly, by giving them an ‘administrator’ role with central control of your Office 365 signature management, they can be effective ‘brand guardians’ again, ensuring all email signatures are professionally on-brand, consistent and compliant company-wide.

Secondly, by choosing Rocketseed you’re giving your marketing colleagues the new ‘hero’ marketing channel. After all, it’s a noisy world out there and effectively-branded one-to-one employee emails cut through the noise – achieving real engagement, with click-through rates that bulkmailers can only dream of!

7. Once it’s set up, am I on my own?

Not at all. Something that really sets Rocketseed apart is that we take our support service (and we mean real ‘human’ support) very seriously. We give you full training on the Rocketseed interface so that you can get the most from the tool and there’s 24-hour technical support with a real expert to speak to. What’s more you’ll get a dedicated account manager (Here’s 7 reasons why they come in handy) who can take care of your design, updates and campaign management. So whether it’s IT or marketing, you’ve got the Office 365 email signature support you need.

So there you are. An Office 365 email signature management solution that’s simple to deploy, super-secure, saves you time and effort and gives you complete control and great-looking results. Your marketing department will thank you for it (and stay off your back).

Want to get started? Let’s talk. Simply contact me to arrange a demo and see exactly what Rocketseed signature management for Office 365 can do for you.

Oliver Howe | IT Director

Connect with Oliver on LinkedIn

Want a snapshot of your email signature success?

The new Rocketseed reporting dash has arrived!

Learn what this means for you…

We’ve kept things simple with the new Rocketseed reporting dashboard – the easiest way to see the email signature marketing performance data you need to make the right decisions.

It’s a single-screen snapshot of your campaign success featuring all the metrics that really matter, giving you clear actionable insights to achieve even better results.

Every email analysed

Our market leading email marketing analytics gather data on every ‘branded’ (with signature and/or banner campaign) one-to-one email your business sends and every recipient interaction with it, so you can see which senders, recipients and campaigns are driving success.

So what are the key metrics on the dash? Let’s take it from the top…

Top line figures

Once you’ve selected your desired campaign date range, the top line shows you the total number of active email users, the total number of emails sent and, most importantly, how many of these were branded. You’ll be notified of any ‘unbranded’ emails – each one’s a missed marketing opportunity!

What a performance

How are your top 10 campaigns performing? This is important when you consider the variety of campaign themes, creatives and calls-to- action your banners can carry (See our 7 Essential banners to boost your business). Top Banner Performance clearly shows the all-important Click through rate – the higher the CTR, the stronger the banner’s engagement.

Hey big sender

Who are your business’s Top Email Senders? There’s a good chance they’re in your sales team, sending emails to prospects and existing customers all day. But are they getting the highest engagement rate? It’s essential that your top email senders are running the key banner campaigns to actively engage their target audiences. So when you’re prioritising your banner campaign designs, you know who to think of first.

On the receiving end

Top Receiver Domains tells you who receives most of your emails, so it’s important to prioritise them with targeted email banner campaigns that meet their specific needs.

Don’t be surprised if your own company domain ranks high – think of all those internal emails that get sent every day. You can find our tips for ‘7 Internal Marketing Ideas to Improve Employee Experiences’ here.

A picture of health

Click on the Account Health button and you can see what sort of shape your Rocketseed account is in.

Banners looking a bit dated? We show you your active banners that are over 3 months old which we’d recommend updating.

Not on track? Our dash alerts you to any active banners that aren’t being tracked. Without tracking you’ll never know their engagement.

No branding? The email health check flags up any email that’s being sent without any branding applied. There might be a good reason for this but make sure you’re not missing marketing opportunities!

Upgrade today

The new Rocketseed reporting dash makes it easier than ever for you to get the most from your Rocketseed email signatures and banner campaigns.

If you’re already using Rocketseed then you can upgrade for FREE here, and if you’re thinking of signing up, it will be yours from the word go. If you’re not yet using Rocketseed, our reporting dash is just one more reason why you should!

Tracey Adams | Managing Director

Connect with Tracey on LinkedIn

The Parrot has landed!

From 1 October Rocketseed’s Australasian business is re-branding as Parrot Digital and remains the exclusive reseller of Rocketseed email signature solutions in Australia and New Zealand.

Why the change? Not only will Parrot Digital meet the specific needs of the regional market but also market research showed that a more Australasian look and feel to the brand and marketing would reflect the unique ‘down under’ culture! And, of course, parrots are great communicators, intelligent, social and smart – just like Rocketseed email signature software.

The team remains the same, headed up by Robyn Woods-Child and, as the sales, customer service and tech staff have all ‘grown up’ with Rocketseed software,  their experience and expertise gives you the best solution for:

  • Email signatures for Office 365 and GSuite
  • Email banner campaigns for both external and internal marketing
  • Email legal disclaimers for complete compliance
  • A wide range of email integrations, including CRM
  • 24/7 technical support

So if you’re based in Australia or New Zealand and want to take centralised control of your company’s email signatures or transform your employee emails into a marketing channel that really engages in a noisy world, it’s time to talk to Parrot Digital.

Damian Hamp-Adams | CEO

Connect with Damian on LinkedIn

Don’t risk the temptation to tamper. Email signature security

Some signature providers make a big selling point of the fact that employees can see their signature on every email before they press send. But beware. By adding signatures ‘pre-send’ you risk not seeing the bigger picture – email signature security.

If you’re searching for an email signature solution, you’ll notice that no two providers are quite the same. And these differences can throw some dilemmas into your decision making, for example…

Pre-send vs post-send: technically speaking

Some solutions work by inserting your signature when you compose a new email. The signature is the first thing added, and it can be edited the same way as any other text. You can remove or alter it as you see fit. This requires the signature solution be installed individually on every device – each user’s PC, tablet and mobile phone must have the software installed to get consistent branding.

Rocketseed works differently. Signatures, legal disclaimers and banners are all added once you’ve pressed send. Rocketseed is situated between your mail provider and your email recipients, so all branding applied to emails from your company can be controlled centrally.

Who cares?

We do, and you should too. Because when you consider that the right email signature software will not only give you consistent branding but can drive thousands of visitors to your website and social channels for very little investment, you need to know the risks of  visible (and therefore editable) email signatures.

Ironically, most employees don’t seem to care. It’s not an attitude problem, it’s because they’re busy people each sending up to 1,000 emails a month who see email signatures as a hassle. “Email signatures? Someone in marketing deals with all that” – and that suits them just fine. They don’t need to see their signature on every email before they press send, so why take the email signature security risk?

So what is the ‘pre-send’ visible email signature risk?

That’s simple. Because when it comes to employees and email signatures…

Don’t risk your brand

Your people and your brand are your biggest assets. So take the worry of email signatures away from your employees to let them get on with what they do best, and give it to the “brand guardians” in your marketing department. This control of centrally applied email signatures gives you company-wide consistency. It’s Branding 101.

If employees can alter their signatures before sending then consistency is immediately compromised. With ‘post-send’ centralised control you can update employee signatures at the click of a button, whether it’s one, a hundred, or ten thousand, secure in the knowledge that your brand is consistent company-wide.  If you are making a company wide change, such a a re-brand or office move, you don’t need the additional hassle of relying on all employees making correct and timely amends. Rocketseed manages this for you.

Don’t risk the temptation to tamper

While ‘email signature security’ is the big issue, we like the phrase ‘tamper-proof’. It’s more evocative of the small but significant changes that individual employees might be tempted to make, which your business and brand can’t afford: everything from genuine mistakes to the mildly mischievous and, in some cases, the downright malicious.

Can you afford to have individual employees adding one of their favourite ‘motivational quotes’ to their signature? Giving themselves a phoney promotion with a jumped-up job title? Replacing the company’s social media links with their own personal ones? Or meddling with the email legal disclaimer?

Applying signatures ‘post-send’ takes tamper temptation out of the equation. Changes can only be made centrally. You’re in complete company-wide control.

Don’t risk your investment

Professional email signatures are the result of time and money invested. This covers everything from the creation of your brand’s logo, selection of  fonts and colours, through the layout of your email signature (you can see our email design guidelines here) and the legal expertise that drew up your disclaimer. Your investment needs to be secure. Just like a ‘post-send’ email signature.

Don’t risk your marketing channel

Adding an interactive banner to your email signature transforms it into a marketing channel that can deliver real engagement. But it needs to be smart.  Rocketseed brands each receiver’s email individually. Our smart segmentation and targeting rules let your marketers apply the right banners to the right emails at the right time to drive recipient click-through and conversion.

‘Pre-send’ signatures limit this targeting and engagement. For example, if an email is addressed to multiple receivers, a banner applied ‘pre-send’ will be the same for each recipient. With  Rocketseed ‘post-send’ applied banners, each recipient will be sent the banner most suited to them, based on the advanced segmenting and targeting rules. Therefore to run a really compelling campaign, it’s got to be ‘post-send’ every time.

Don’t risk your results reporting

You’ve created a compellingly-clickable signature for your company with a clear call-to-action (you’ll find plenty of top CTA tips here). You need to know how recipients are engaging with your employees’ email signatures so you can measure performance and gain actionable insights. You’re going to want to know who clicked what, and when. You need precise click reporting and real time engagement alerts. By applying signatures ‘post-send’, Rocketseed can report on exactly who clicked on which link. That’s not possible in tools that apply branding before the Send button’s pressed.

Want to see your signature?

No problem. Just because your signature is applied ‘post-send’ with Rocketseed, doesn’t mean you can’t check up on it whenever you want. Any individual user can see exactly how their signature appears to recipients at any time. Just send a mail to our test address, and check your inbox .You’ll receive an email back that will show your signature, just as it appears on every email you send.

Big brands in safe hands

Doubtless the ‘pre-send’/’post-send’ email signature debate will continue. Now a blog isn’t the place to big-up our own brand but the reasons above are exactly why companies such as Dell, the DMA, the Ritz and British Red Cross choose Rocketseed. You’ll find plenty of client success stories and testimonials on our website. Mehul Boricha from Tech Arrival says “Email signatures are not only used to solidify the brand of the entire company but it can also be used to create brand recognition” – we couldn’t agree more!

Email signatures are not only used to solidify the brand of the entire company but it can also be used to create brand recognition

If you’ve got any questions about email signature security, contact us today!

Mitchell Talisman  | VP Engineering

GDPR – a process in its infancy with growing pains – or a big bulge?

Rocketseed as GDPR-compliant Processors have tackled some of the complex issues regarding indemnity and thus, through our experience in shark-infested waters, let us help you to find your way to safe shores… in time for the BBQ.

Once upon a time there was GDPR…

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was like a roaring ocean of regulations and novel definitions, under which horrible shark-like predators called “major fin(e)s” were swimming and threatening to swallow companies. Bobbing along this ocean and trying to make sense of it, I spoke to an expert who said the whole issue is like a “balloon”; you press one side to solve a problem and another bulges out. What has bulged out in the wake of GDPR is a heated discussion between Controllers and Processors in the context of contractual negotiations. In other words, law in theory versus law in practice, and avoiding to fall under the gavel whilst hammering out a legal bulge called “Indemnity” between the two bearing legs of a contract and leaving negotiations rather limp.

Before I jump into this zesty discussion on things to consider in contractual negotiations between Controllers and Processors, allow me to define a few concepts.

  1. Controller: Individual or company controlling and/or is responsible for the keeping and use of personal information; i.e. determining the purposes and means of processing personal data
  2. Processor: Individual or company responsible for processing personal data on behalf of a controller

Why should I read this?

Because you’re curious about hammering out this bulge!

Well, the first hiccup in the wake of the GDPR, has been the demand by Controllers for uncapped, open-ended indemnity clauses in contracts to cover for costs incurred if it is the fault of the Processor. But how realistic is this in practice?

Data protection liabilities, pre GDPR, have on average been capped at 2x-5x the value of a contract, but Controllers consider those caps insignificant in comparison to the [threat of] 4% of annual worldwide turnover, if found accountable by no fault of their own. The issue arises since GDPR sets out obligations from the perspective of a Controller (Art 5(2)) and includes accountability for failing Processors, and subsequently may also have to compensate individuals for damages suffered. But this is not entirely the case, although some lawyers do like scaremongering to spark lengthy, hard-to-resolve-discussions where the hourly payments quickly ramp up.

Processors can be held directly liable by Data Subjects for breach if they have either been non-compliant to GDPR or acted outside of the scope of a contract (Art.82(1)-(2)). Additionally, if Processors act outside of the scope of a contract, they are treated as Controllers in respect of that processing activity and are directly liable for any issues arising thereof (Art.28(10)). Also, if they transfer data outside of the EU, they are directly responsible to having appropriate transfer protocols in place (Art.44). Other obligations are set out further below.

A few things worth taking into consideration when negotiating

1. How to pacify the sharks… Have a conversation!

GDPR and Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) really have no solid answers to provide, since the legislation and surrounding issues are much too recent. Thus, one must proceed with sensible risk management and honest discussions between Controller and Processor. Curb the fear and smell the coffee over some Danish and engage in constructive negotiations.

2. More sharks or just bigger sharks?

One has to ask; is the perceived risk of being fined justified, or has it inflated along with concern? Although GDPR will require more than a few months of implementation to give a statistical value on the topic, it would not seem likely as many companies have exercised caution and will necessarily have to be more vigilant going forward. Everyone fears to be made an example of, but one would appreciate DPAs have more tasks on their agenda than scouting for a prospect to annihilate. If you’re reading this as a Controller, what is your take on it? Feel free to respond and let’s exchange knowledge.

3. Are the sharks really that big and do they always attack full force?

DPAs have a number of tools, and suite of sanctions, to help organisations comply before unleashing Jaws, and these include; i) warnings, ii) reprimands, iii) corrective orders, and lastly vi) fines. It will not go straight to pocket, but knowing Jaws is out there, may be uncomfortable enough to make businesses comply.

The recent maximum penalty of 500k GBP has been given to Facebook for major trust and data breach. But since Facebook makes about 400k USD every five minutes, some might say they got off easily. Overall, the ICO has been reasonable with regards to fines; below are a few, recent examples of shark-bitten organisations.

  • Medical centre in the UK fined ~£40,000 after it left highly sensitive medical information about patients (personal medical records) unsecured for nearly two years.
  • Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) fined £200,000 for revealing identities of abuse victims in mass email by not using BCC.
  • Lastly, Yahoo! was fined 250k for its security breach in November 2014 that affected 500 million users, but wasn’t reported until 2016. Yahoo! had been the subject of a very sophisticated attack, which led to Russian IP addresses.

As depicted above, there is a perspective to the fines; they depend on the type of data (personal, sensitive, or highly-sensitive), as well as the number of people affected or at risk.

4. What goes around comes around?

There are many other pertinent considerations to take into account during negotiations, such as i) the life of the contract, ii) the value of it and iii) the degree of exchange within it. Otherwise, there is the chance that the Processor may insist on unlimited liability from the Controller – counter-indemnity.

Exceeding the value of a contract and resorting to excessive figures may lead to the Processor simply filing for bankruptcy, leaving the Controller shouldering problems on its own. Hence, in some cases it may be worth bringing up the topic of Cyber Security Insurances and the scope it covers. If budget allows and specific conditions are needed, perhaps consider ringfencing contract for a particular client with included Cyber Security Insurance. These insurances are quite costly and need to be put into perspective of the contract value and risk of breach. Additionally, some Processing services also offer depersonalisation of data that may be an option for Controllers.

5. What triggers the shark?

Apart from previously mentioned examples of direct liability, Processors need to inform and ask for permission when appointing sub-processors (Art.28(2), (4)) and make sure these have proper procedures in place to be compliant with GDPR before appointing them. Processors also need to ensure that Controller requests/instructions comply with EU law (Art.28(3)(h)), strictly process data for purposes set out by Controller, and implement appropriate technical and organisational security measures to protect personal data against accidental or unlawful destruction or loss alteration, unauthorised disclosure or access (Principle 7 in the Data Protection Act or Principle f in GDPR, Art.28(1), (3)(e), (4), and Art.32).

Following GDPR, the pattern of breaches have not changed, but awareness has. According to the ICO data security incident trends are still dominated by breaches to Principle 7 and include the following:

  • Data posted, faxed or emailed to incorrect recipient
  • Loss or theft of paper work
  • Failure to redact data
  • Failure to BCC

6. “Please sir, I want some more…”

One of the most frustrating statements to be faced with, in any setting, is; “It needs to be reasonable.” This is often dealt with in processes involving property issues when trying to make sense out of fees, contracts or lease extension [trust me]. No one really knows what is reasonable at the moment just by looking at businesses with similar products or services, because it depends on so many various factors; size of business, type of data, instructions for processing, possible transfer outside the EU, value of contract, risk of breach etc. The best way to set the new rules is by creating them through honest discussions between Processors and Controllers. Bottom line is, it’s a two-way street and if Controllers like your service they are willing to work with you.

7. Be complaint as it’s your lifeboat!

A useful Lifeboat, which Rocketseed has utilised, for GDPR and future upcoming legislations, is GDPR365. This platform provides the necessary steps with guidance to become GDPR ready. Additionally, it also collects the data making it easy in case of audits to present your company profile. Register now!

We are all in the same boat, even if some Controllers may be in a large cruiser and Processors bobbing behind in a small dinghy. The bottom line is, We Can All Sink, so let’s try to help each other to stay afloat in this big ocean called GDPR.

Let’s go to the shores and throw a shrimp on the BBQ.

Don’t get clicked out of the market

Ever suspected a competitor is trying to ‘click you out of the market’? We have. And here’s what we think about it…

Clicks and ‘Clicks’

We’re no strangers to clicks at Rocketseed. Everything we do is geared to generating click-through engagement for our clients in the noisy worlds in which they operate. By transforming all their one-to-one emails into an engaging marketing channel, our success is measured by our clients’ emails getting clicked by their customers. You could say clicks are our business.

But as we’ve recently discovered there’s a big difference between engaged customer clicks and more sinister competitor ‘clicks’…

As a business where inbound is key, much of our demand gen is through the obvious channels – search, social, scraping, calling-we’re on it. As our partnerships grow so does our experience with them  and the understanding of what our partners are really after and what they need from us in order to make the relations both attractive and financially rewarding.

And It was one of these valued partners that alerted us to the fact that someone has been trying to ‘click us out of the market’ by intentionally and repeatedly (very repeatedly) clicking on our paid search terms.

‘Business is business’

Yes, we get that, so perhaps all’s fair in love, war and online marketing. But is it really as simple as that?

Part and parcel of normal search strategy is competitor bidding. It’s a relatively standard practice, with the key being what happens when you capture the attention of the audience who was actually searching on a competitor’s organic terms or brand. Evan Cummins from WordStream has written about it extensively, take a peak here if you want to see it.

Name and shame?

Do we know who’s been doing it? Yes, although here’s not the place for naming names, because although they’re significantly bigger than us, we like to think we’re ‘bigger’ than them.

Are we surprised? Well yes, we are really. After all, they’re a technology company selling primarily into the IT space who consider themselves to be the dominant market leader. So why focus so much on us and our marketing activities?

As someone closely associated mentioned to me ‘ Surely you’re just a blip on their radar’. Well, it doesn’t feel like that. It feels like their radar is tracking our marketing activity very closely. Perhaps we should be flattered (although it’s fair to say this kind of flattery will get them nowhere).

So what’s our issue? Well, of course there’s the cost. But it’s more than that. It’s the fact that their approach is just so ‘negative’ and, well, desperate. It just feels like they lack any original creativity or any desire to positively build their own brand, products and customer experience (and, in the process, help push the whole industry forward).

Perhaps, they need to ask themselves what their principal investors might say if they were to find out that (a) they’re paying someone a UK salary to spend time maliciously clicking a competitor’s paid search, and (b) if they had a better product would they need to be resorting to this?

I guess they just expect us to sit here and shut down our campaign because they’ve driven our search costs off the scale. Sure, they may be a big budget-wielding Goliath to our David…but we all know how that confrontation finished.

What are we doing about it?

As well as going public about it we’ve provided Google with a detailed IP range locator report which has precisely located the UK office of who’s been doing this. Google are currently investigating and we sense they’ll do the right thing (in fact they’ve already refunded us).  You can learn more on Invalid Clicks from Google here.

A lesson learned

Sure, it’s a lesson learned. But one more about competitive ethics than marketing techniques. We simply don’t have time to be so negative. We’re too busy making our product stronger and sharper, with more creativity and data-driving capability than our competitors, as well as delivering truly-stand-out client service. And looking to the future, we’ve got an incredible product pipeline.

Perhaps that’s what our click-happy competitor should be doing?

We’d be interested to hear your views on malicious clicks. Is it acceptable? Is it ethical? Is it actually effective? Or bound to backfire?

One thing’s for sure. No-one’s going to click Rocketseed out of the market.

Your essential ’10 Cs’ checklist for choosing email signature software

Looking to introduce email signature software across your business? (and if you’re not, you should be!). It can be a complex and confusing decision (and whose decision is it – Marketing? IT? HR? CEO?). When you consider the average employee sends 1,000 emails a month, it’s easy to appreciate that’s a huge engagement opportunity you can’t afford to miss. It’s a decision you need to get right.

So to help you cut through the confusion of competitor comparisons, here’s my 10-point checklist of the key qualities (and some specific special features) that make the best email signature software – and amazingly they all begin with ‘C’!

Contact Details – a signature’s more than a sign-off

I know this is obvious but if your email signature solution doesn’t make inputting, formatting and updating your employee contact details easy then it isn’t fit for purpose. Make sure it integrates with Active Directory so that any changes to employee details will update in your signatures automatically. By including social media icons, you’ll make it easy for recipients to engage with you in conversation! (Discover ‘The signature link to social success’ here).

CHECK – Does your email signature software remove unused fields for a cleaner layout?

Creativity – better by design

The best email signatures make an immediate impact and leave a lasting impression, so design matters (it’s no surprise that our Email Design Guidelines are our most popular download). It’s a balancing act – you’ve got big design ideas but only a small space. Don’t let a template constrain your creativity – a specialist signature designer can make your signatures really stand out.

CHECK – Can you get the exact bespoke design you want or are you tied to a template?

Clarity display as desired

They’re designed, but do they display? What if your signatures display on a desktop but get twisted on tablets or mangled on mobiles? 60% of emails are opened on smartphones so choose email signature software that automatically configures to different screen sizes and a provider who continually tests on all devices. And make sure your images appear as intended. Embedded images display as soon as the email is opened. Referenced images must be downloaded separately. Easy choice, huh? (embedded vs. referenced blog)

CHECK – Are signature images automatically embedded so they display immediately?

Control – take charge for complete consistency

Who’s going to be in control of your signatures? IT? Marketing? HR? Whoever it is, what really matters is your email signature software puts them in complete central control. If you want on-brand consistency across your company you need control. And with centralised control you can update employee signatures at the click of a button, whether it’s one, a hundred, or ten thousand, secure in the knowledge that individual employees can’t ‘creatively’ add their own off-brand signature ‘personalisation’.

CHECK – Are signatures employee tamper-proof? Can only central administrators update them?

Compatibility easy to integrate

One for the IT crowd. If you can’t trust your email signature tech then you’re in trouble. Complete compatibility with your mail server (cloud-based, on-premise or hybrid) and email platform (Office 365, G Suite, Exchange etc.) is essential. And you’ve also got to consider integrations. Does it sync with Active Directory, CRM platforms and the wide range of apps available through integration with Zapier?

CHECK – Can you integrate easily to create all the marketing, admin and other workflows you need?  

Compliance be covered, be confident

I’ve had a lot of email signature compliance enquiries lately. Why? Because thanks to GDPR and recent high-profile data scandals, compliance is big news. And nothing says compliance like an on-brand email signature disclaimer, sitting under your signature and protecting your brand. From confidentiality and copyright to contracts and codes of conduct, a few clear lines can keep you covered and confident (check out our special 10-point checklist just for email disclaimers here).

CHECK – Does your email signature solution automatically move your disclaimer neatly to the bottom of any email chain? 

Campaignability maximise signature marketing

The big one for marketers as it transforms your signature into so much more. Suddenly every email’s a marketing channel (we like to think of it as the ‘hero channel’!) and, unlike bulkmail, this is one-to-one with all the open-rate (99%) and engagement benefits that brings. Add compelling, clickable calls-to-action to signature marketing banners (what makes us click?) to engage recipients. And to maximise this marketing potential, you’ll need smart segmentation and targeting rules so the right signature banner message reaches the right recipient(s) at the right time. Basically, you need to start thinking of signatures as a vital part of your marketing plan.

CHECK – Can you automate your signature campaign schedule so pre-planned banners run right on time? 

Click Data insights to act on

Data is your most powerful marketing asset. You need to know how recipients are engaging with your email signature so you can measure performance and gain actionable insights. Your key performance metrics are therefore recipient click-through and email marketing conversion rates and you need to be able to attribute these to specific senders, recipients and campaign formats. Make sure you sure you choose email signature software that reports all this data quickly, clearly and concisely.

CHECK – Do you receive real-time click alerts, so your sales team can react to every click?  

Cost-Effective real ROI results

Not to be confused with‘cheap’, although I fully appreciate cost is always going to be a factor. The best email signatures bring businesses closer to their customers, encourage interaction, engage leads and help move customers along their buyer journey. So a marketing-savvy email signature can create more customers, clicking their way to more purchases. There’s your ROI right there.

CHECK – Which signature solution will give you the biggest ROI (not simply the cheapest cost)? 

Client Service on-hand to help

I’m not talking about a bit of trouble-shooting tech support here (although obviously that’s important). I’m talking about the kind of client service that’s like having another expert on your team – an expert who knows what works and what doesn’t, who’ll take away your tech headaches, who’ll make your email signature campaign ultra-engaging (and really cares about the results you achieve) and has an eye for constant improvement.

CHECK – Do you get a dedicated email signature account manager? Here’s 7 reasons why you need one

So there you have it – the 10C’s checklist for choosing email signature software. Sure, some will be more important to you than others, but I hope it will help you cut through some of the confusion, direct your decision-making or help you review your current email signature provider (how many C’s do they tick?).

Remember, the right email signature software can drive hundreds of thousands, even millions of visitors to your website, landing pages and social accounts for very little investment.

If you’d like to know more about any aspect then email me at or call 020 7706 9520. I’m always happy to talk email signatures!

Want more Rocketseed tips? 

Email disclaimers. Are you protected?

We’ve had a big surprise – the number of recent Rocketseed website visitors searching for email disclaimers!

It seems that suddenly the short (and sometimes not so short) small-print statements lurking at the bottom of your business emails are making a bid for stardom.

Why this sudden surge in email disclaimer demand?

Because compliance is big news. And nothing says compliance like an on-brand email legal disclaimer. GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation) and recent high-profile data misuse scandals have put compliance centre-stage and the world has woken up to the fact that brand protection is just as important as brand promotion.

And when you think that your employees are each sending up to 1,000 emails a month there’s plenty of opportunity for brand damage, from the accidental and unauthorised through to the mischievous and (criminally) malicious.

You (literally) can’t afford this damage. You need some proactive protection. From contracts and confidentiality to codes of conduct and copyright, the best email disclaimers cut through the compliance confusion.

So while it might be difficult to get excited about disclaimers for email (and if you do get excited by them you are going to love our website) it’s a good time to review yours with our 10-point email disclaimer checklist.

1.Does your business need one?

Wherever you are in the world, check the legal email disclaimer requirements. At the very least, it’s likely your business email is required to show your company name, registration number and place of registration.

2. Is it enforceable?

Do you really want to risk it? Whilst we can’t promise that your email disclaimer would be a watertight defence in court, it’s safe to say that it would help your case and is certainly enough to dissuade any litigation-minded recipient from any action.

3. Don’t over complicate or let it dominate

Keep your email disclaimer simple whilst keeping your business covered. And keep it easy to understand too – go easy on the legalese!

4. Need to keep it confidential?

If your email is for a certain recipient’s eyes only it makes sense to include a confidentiality statement. And if your email is sent to the wrong person by mistake, this statement should tell them to contact you (the sender), delete the message and not to copy, forward or store it.

5. Are you copyright-covered?

Is it clear that the rights to your email content are yours? Make it crystal clear with a copyright clause.

6. Are you creating contractual confusion?

Could your email content be read as a legally binding contract? An email disclaimer can make clear if it is or isn’t and avoid any costly confusion.

7. Reminder – run a virus check

Even though you’re taking every precaution to ensure there’s no malicious software in your message (especially attachments), your email disclaimer should recommend that the recipient runs their own virus check.

8. Don’t start a chain distraction

Don’t clog up your email chain with a disclaimer on every reply. Make sure your email signature software drops your disclaimer to the bottom of any email chain.

9. Do you need different disclaimers?

Accounts need confidentiality. Legals need codes of conduct. Sales need contracts.  Basically, different departments may need different disclaimers. So make sure your email signature software can deliver this while keeping you in central control.

10. Don’t forget Internal emails

Whilst everyone in your business is on the same side (in theory!) make sure you’ve got disclaimers on all internal email too and an email policy to back them up, eliminating any inappropriate and offensive inter-staff email.

So, what makes a Rocketseed disclaimer different?

Well, with Rocketseed it’s personal. As well as helping you solve all the issues covered above, Rocketseed lets you automatically insert the email addresses of the sender and recipient into every disclaimer, as well as timestamping them as proof of sending and allowing you to make any company-wide disclaimer changes centrally and instantly. In other words, we add a whole extra level of cover, confidence and control.

And Rocketseed disclaimers display perfectly on all email platforms, so whether you require email disclaimer Office 365 or email disclaimer GSuite, Rocketseed is right for you.

Watch how a Rocketseed email disclaimer works in our new video here.

We can help review your existing email disclaimer, advise on a new one and put everything in place to ensure your disclaimer is delivered on every employee email and displays perfectly on every device.

For the perfect email disclaimer you know who you need. Contact us today to protect your brand…

Jennifer Bassett |  Account Manager

Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn

Rocketseed to the rescue – how we saved Easter from Drupalgeddon2!

It seems to happen this way – Easter weekend (or any other long weekend break) – some of us plan activities, some plan to move home and some…well, you know, relax?? But any of these were the last things on our minds all thanks to a dangerous bug aptly named on social media, DRUPALGEDDON2. In Drupal’s own words “This potentially allows attackers to exploit multiple attack vectors on a Drupal site, which could result in the site being completely compromised,” the group noted in a blog post.

The bug’s official identifier is CVE-2018-7600 and it is one of the biggest patch releases from the organisation since 2014. Having a web interface that is Drupal-based meant that we picked up on this and started preparing for the release from Thursday 29th of March to Friday when the patch was issued. We have 100’s of servers around the world (some dedicated) and thousands of customers. To pull this together was going to take some organisation.

If you are a Rocketseed customer you will know that there are two things we hold critical:

  1. The integrity of your data and its security
  2. Unbeatable customer service and support

And being a company with a global presence that reaches from Australia through EMEA and onto the USA, there are multiple time zones to coordinate and manage and it takes time to prepare for the level of patching that had to be done. To say all hands on deck, would be somewhat of an understatement.

And just in case you’re thinking to yourself ‘SIMPLE contact the IT admins or heads and let them know that patches were being applied’ – Whoa there pony! You forget some crucial elements…

First and foremost, timing. We found out the severity first thing Thursday morning. Yes, we were aware that there ‘may’ be a patch coming but not at this scale. To ready hundreds of servers and apply patch of this magnitude was going to take a lot of work for an engineering team, support, comms and account management. Believe it or not, these amazing Rocketseeders have families and plan holidays, bolt-on days before or after breaks etc!

Secondly, there are logistics – getting the VPN access and the Change Control coordination requirements, setting up support teams (this is email technology, things can and do go wrong), getting the infrastructure right and finally making sure that the teams worldwide were able to access elements of the servers globally while customers could be away or otherwise engaged over the break. Ultimately, keeping it as smooth as possible.

Thirdly, communication. How do we update on this? (We are and remain completely transparent with our customers), how do we get a front foot on this without creating panic? Is the vulnerability as severe as they are saying? Thankfully we’re able to ensure communications with touch points globally using centralised distribution lists.

Finally, execution – test the patch, apply the patch, monitor the patch and ensure mail delivery.

…NOT SO SIMPLE.

Did things go absolutely perfectly? No. Could we have done better? Yes. But the fact is that perfection is a rarity, particularly where humans are involved! That being said, plans and protocol will help you get there.

Ultimately Rocketseed as a business was tested to the absolute max this last weekend and from it lessons have been learned…tweak this, tighten that, we could have done that better, why didn’t ansible work as it should etc. As our chairman said, ‘When you’re close to the fire, you don’t see the positives that emerge down the line’. As it turns out he was right. Customer feedback so far has centred around gratefulness;  grateful that Rocketseeders pulled together to protect their customers’ interests and security.

Email signatures and branding involve very nuanced technology that requires a big stack to make them work. That being said, what really makes it work is the people behind it – developers, engineers, sys ads, client services, account management and support. As the CEO of this business, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I learnt from this experience. Why? I simply couldn’t be more proud of the way that teams from across the globe pulled together (over the break), put in place protocol and delivered for thousands of customers out there. Not one complaint, simply absolute focus on keeping the integrity of customers’ security intact before DrupalGeddon2 could run arbitrary code on the CMS core component.

Ultimately, we took a front foot approach and chose transparency with our customers and we believe that is always the right approach to take. Thanks to all of the customers who came back to us. We value your feedback and apply it constructively in every instance. A huge thank you to the Rocketseed staff around the globe who pulled together without fail, it was exemplary and epitomises what makes Rocketseed the company it is today.

Damian Hamp-Adams |  CEO

Connect with Damian on LinkedIn here

3 things we learned about POPI & email marketing

Rocketseed South Africa recently hosted POPI & Email Marketing: a match made in a database at the Indaba Hotel in Fourways. The seminar featured experts from the legal, risk and marketing sectors. The objective was to educate delegates on the effects of the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act, with a direct focus around the world of Email Marketing.

So, what did we learn?

POPI is lurking around the corner

“Why the rush to become POPI compliant now, it’s not compulsory as yet’? That seems to be a common question.

Despite the fact that no official deadline has been set for POPI to take effect, the commencement date might be closer than you think.

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) commencing on 25 May 2018 in the European Union (EU), pressure may very well fall onto South Africa to follow suit and enforce the POPI Act.

Various reports have indicated that the commencement could come into effect towards the latter part of 2018 or early 2019. Once a deadline has been set, you will only be given a one-year grace period in which to become POPI compliant.

This may be a strict timeline for organisations which are infringing the Act.

“Non-compliance with the POPI Act could result in reputational damage,
hefty fines up to R10 million or 10 years in jail.”

Warren Cornelius, Rocketseed SA

POPI is not the enemy

This might come as a surprise to you, but POPI is actually going to benefit the Email Marketing industry. Especially if you are already in possession of an explicitly opted-in marketing list.

What about consumers?

Well, they will be at the forefront when the Act is implemented. We are all consumers in our own personal capacity at the end of the day. No longer will your inbox be flooded with unwelcome email from establishments you haven’t given consent to.

In fact, POPI is a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Marketers will see an improvement in their engagement rate, as they will only be communicating with consumers who are genuinely interested in their product or service.

Buying email lists is a big no-no!

So, if you bought that data, it’s time to clean up that list and ensure you have adequate proof of each and every opt-in or face the dire consequences of the law later on.

“No, POPI is not the end of direct marketing. Just operate within
the confinements of the law

Adv Jan Augustyn

Don’t fear the POPI act

At first glance, POPI may seem very daunting and difficult.

However, there are many simple practices and procedures that can be implemented by organisations now, to resolve any teething issues before POPI commences.

Updating contracts with clients, policies or terms and conditions to align with POPI’s values, is a good start.

Some positive feedback…

“Just a thank you for a fun and informative session. The whole event was organised
in a professional manner, very informative and 
provided
clear guidelines on how we should equip ourselves to comply to the POPIA.”

Lilla Campbell – CCS Mining & Industrial (Pty) Ltd

“I thoroughly enjoyed the POPI Conference, it was entertaining as
well as very insightful.

Meghan Kelly – Norcros SA

“The seminar was very insightful – you think you know all there
is to know, but there is so much more.

Lisa Flanders – ADCORP

I most certainly enjoyed the Rocketseed Team and the interactiveness of the attendees.
Looking forward to the next one.

Marina Short – Consumer Profile Bureau

The seminar was extremely well-received by both the speakers and delegates, where the mutual agreement was that everyone enjoyed the vast interaction. Seminars based around law can be quite tedious and uninteresting, where most questions remain hidden in everyone’s minds. The extensive interaction helped everyone understand the law in a realistic and real-life, day to day manner.

The above sentiment was based on a quick survey we ran after the event, which included an average rating of 4.4 out of 5.

We look forward to seeing you at our next event!

Leonie van Aswegen |  Marketing Coordinator

Connect with Leonie on LinkedIn here