Branding is something that all marketers understand. However, very few companies know how to embed their branding efforts into their email marketing strategy.
As your business evolves, your brand is what makes you stand out. It’s how you avoid becoming another vending machine, churning out products and transactions. With branding, you develop a true relationship with your customers, so that they can fall in love with your business.
While there’s plenty of advice out there on how to strengthen brand awareness and reputation, few companies consider the impact of email on the evolution of a brand. Despite this, there are three times more email accounts in the world than Twitter or Facebook accounts. What’s more, email also has the highest ROI of any marketing channel available.
We should all be looking more closely at email marketing for brand reputation purposes.
Why Use Email Marketing for Better Branding?
Your brand is the embodiment of everything your business stands for. It lives and evolves in the hearts and minds of customers, creating an identity that’s crucial to the business future.
A company’s brand is what leaves a lasting impact on your target audience and determines whether or not you’ll acquire one-off-purchases or long-term clients. Without a brand, it’s impossible to build the kind of relationships with your target market that are necessary for long-lasting company advocates and fans.
So, why is email such a vital part of the branding experience?
In simple terms, your email marketing strategy has reach. Branding is the thing that creates trust and builds real value for your business. The more you can share your brand with the world, the easier it is to develop a revenue-boosting reputation for your organization. Since email is almost 40 times more effective than Twitter and Facebook at helping you to acquire more customers, it makes sense to start your brand awareness efforts within the inbox.
Not sure how to use email marketing for branding?
We’re here to help.
1. Get Permission Before Sending an Email
The right email marketing strategy can make a massive difference to the kind of reputation you build for your brand. You don’t want people to think of you as a company that sends countless annoying messages, whether they want you to or not. With that in mind, it’s essential to make sure that you’re only connecting with people who want to hear from you.
Go above and beyond to show your customers that you care about their experience by using double opt-in as part of your email marketing for branding purposes. Double opt-in requires your customers to click on a link to confirm they want to hear from you after signing up. This can mean that you lose some people on your list who aren’t 100% interested in your organization. However, on the plus side, everyone you do send a message to will be genuinely interested in what you have to say. This increases the value of your brand reputation and sets the foundations for a strong relationship with customers.
Here’s an example of what double opt-in looks like from Search Engine Land:
2. Use Welcome Emails to Introduce Yourself
First impressions are crucial in today’s marketing landscape. Have the wrong impact on your target customer, and you could end up in their email “junk” folder. That’s not where you want to be.
The best way to improve brand awareness and delight your customers at the same time is to introduce your subscribers to the company they’re going to be hearing from. A welcome email is a great way to do this. Around 47% of marketers are now using multi-step welcome emails to attract new subscribers.
Introducing your brand to the people who subscribe to your list is a great way to ensure that they feel comfortable joining your community. Remember, when a customer agrees to join your list, they’re welcoming you into the coveted environment of their inbox – that’s something they carry with them everywhere they go. Let them know they’ve made the right decision.
This email from Shinola is an excellent example of how to use a welcome email for brand awareness and reputation.
3. Embed your Brand Image into your Messages
The way your emails look can have massive impact on the way that customers feel about them. Over the years, clients develop relationships with their favorite companies based on numerous things, including not just a brand’s tone of voice and products, but the colors and graphics they use too. The logo or name of your brand needs to be the first thing your audience sees when they open an email.
The more your followers are exposed to these defining aspects of your brand identity, the more familiar they’ll start to feel with your company. That familiarity gradually leads to loyalty and brand affinity. Check out this example from Blue Apron, for instance:
Importantly, the visual components of your brand can go beyond a selection of specific colors and a logo. You’ll also need to think about the fonts that you use, and even the images or illustrations that break up your copy.
For instance, you’re more likely to see hand-drawn images from a company like Dropbox than you would from a business banking company. Using the right visuals with your emails will help your customers to get a feel for the personality behind your brand.
4. Get the Text and Tone Right
The visual impact of your email marketing strategy is crucial. It’s how your audience will begin to associate your organization with a particular style or selection of colors. However, there’s more to your brand reputation than how your business presents itself visually.
If you’ve been investing in marketing solutions for some time now, then you’ll know that words carry a lot of value. As a promotional expert, you should know that the right copy can make or break the way you interact with your audience. Investing in the right copywriting means finding a tone of voice that helps to define your brand and gives your customers something to connect with.
For instance, do you want to come across as sophisticated and reputable, or are you looking for a tone of voice that conveys your playful and friendly side? Think about the kind of voice you use in your blogs and website copy. How does it make people feel about your brand?
For instance, the Barkbox tone is always fun and playful, complete with illustrations that are sure to warm your heart:
5. Always Take a Customer Centric Approach
There are many things about your email marketing strategy that will be unique according to the nature of your brand. For instance, your tone of voice, the kind of image you put across with your colors, visuals, and formatting, and even the copy you cover will be customized to your organization. However, when it comes to developing a good brand reputation, one thing remains true for all companies – you need to take a customer centric approach.
All customers expect a bespoke experience via email today. The more personal you get with your email marketing, the better your brand looks. Every company wants its audience to associate them with customised and tailor-made experiences.
One way to upgrade your email marketing for branding purposes using personalization is to ask your audience some useful questions when they sign up. For instance, you can ask about their location, gender, age, and more.
On the other hand, some businesses will also use tracking tools to send emails that correspond with the products and services customers have looked at in the past. For instance, ASICs sends different promotional emails to each customer based on what they’ve viewed and purchased before.
The great news is that there are plenty of great ways to make your messages more personal today. Whether you simply use a customer’s name in the subject line or use behavioral triggers to send more focused emails is up to you. 77% of companies are already using personalization to outshine the competition.
6. Make the Experience Special with Unique Content
We already mentioned copy when talking about the “tone” of your marketing messages. However, it’s important to note that when you’re creating a great brand reputation, you can’t just get the word choice right, you also need to let your audience know you’re always going to be delivering value.
Think carefully about what kind of content you’re going to share with your target audience. You might already have a host of transactional emails in mind that you can send to convince customers to buy new products and services. However, you don’t want to be pursuing a sale 24/7. It’s also essential to develop your brand reputation as a thought leader by linking your audience to insightful copy.
Post blog posts about your industry that answer critical questions for your customers. Share videos that show them how to make the most out of the products they buy. Offer insights into your customer experiences with case studies and reviews. Think about what your customers need to get the most out of their purchases with you.
For instance, look at this example from InVision:
It shows people what’s been going on throughout the week with the company, and offers an in-depth look at some of the latest content created by the team.
The more you deliver valuable, tailor-made content, the more your audience will begin to see you as an authority in your industry. This could even convince them to refer other new customers to you in the future too.
7. Use Compelling CTA Links
Don’t forget to keep building on the experiences your audience has with your company too. You don’t want them to make a single purchase and then forget all about your brand. Instead, you want to convince them to keep coming back to your website and finding out what’s going on with your brand. With that in mind, make sure that every email you use for brand awareness comes with a CTA.
Whenever you use a CTA in your email, you should be making it clear what your users will get when they continue interacting with you. This will keep the subscriber from losing interest. For instance, Grammarly lets its customers know exactly what to expect when they click on a CTA to discover the benefits of a new app extension.
You can always A/B test your call-to-action buttons to make sure that you’re getting the best results from them. Also, remember that you don’t always have to be pulling people back to your website. Being present on a range of social media channels can build your brand reputation too.
Adding CTAs to your emails that drive customers towards your social pages will help your subscribers to learn more about you on additional platforms.
8. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Consistency
Read any great article on branding, and you’ll learn that consistency is often the key to success.
For a brand reputation to be effective, you need to ensure that your email marketing strategy is helping your customers to feel more familiar with your company. People want to know that they can expect the same fantastic experience every time they open a message from you.
Think about how you can provide a more consistent offering by deciding which themes you’re going to cover in your emails, what kind of language and tone you’ll be using, and how your emails will look and feel. Even your delivery schedule needs to be as consistent as possible.
Although you will have to conduct some A/B testing from time to time to ensure that you’re delivering the best experience for your audience, try not to change too much at once. Roll out any updates to your email marketing strategy slowly, so you’re not risking the familiarity your customers have with your company.
Using Email Marketing for Branding
Email marketing is a valuable tool for many reasons.
It’s not just an incredible way to increase sales and nurture customers; it’s also a fantastic way to develop your brand reputation and awareness. By embedding branding essentials into your emails, you can show your customers what to expect when they interact with your business.
What’s more, you can begin to build the foundations of a meaningful and lucrative relationship with your target audience. Over time, this could mean accessing more fans and advocates for your organization.
Are you ready to embed branding into your email marketing strategy?
- Transactional vs. Marketing Emails: What’s the Difference? - June 18, 2020
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- 6 Amazing Ways to Improve Customer Relationships with Email - May 19, 2020