When your customers need solutions to their problems, they turn to the brands they can trust.
Your business isn’t just a huge vending machine churning out products. The best companies have an identity that their customers can resonate. Just look at how Apple inspires millions with the desire to “Think Different”, or how Tesla appeals to those with their eye on the future.
While it’s true that your brand can only succeed if you have excellent products to offer, it’s important to build on the identity that you have outside of those products.
With the right branded emails, you can remind your customers of what it is that makes your company special. Brand emails strengthen your reputation, create familiarity, and boost credibility for your customers.
So, where do you get started?
Understanding the Value of Brand Identity in Emails
We know that email marketing is one of the most valuable tools in today’s promotional world. It’s the ultimate way to ensure that you can connect with your customers, wherever they are.
However, if you’re lucky enough to earn a place in your audience’s inbox, then you’ll need to ensure that you make the most of that position. Creating branded emails that look good, sound good, and define your company leads to numerous benefits, such as:
- Differentiation: Branded emails help you to stand out from your competition and remind your customers why they should be buying from you.
- Recognition: Branded content strengthens your image and makes it easier for your customers to pluck your business from a crowd
- Consistency: Customers need to know they can trust you. This means that you’ll have to create a consistent image that they can rely on. The more you stick to the same brand identity, the more credible you become.
According to some studies, consistent brand representation in emails can increase revenue by around 23% – that’s something companies can’t ignore. So, how do you brand your emails?
1. Always Use Your Logo
Let’s start simple, your logo is one of the brand assets that your customers will recognize before anything else. Think of some of your favorite companies now, and an image of their logo is likely to pop to mind. With the right email software, you should be able to easily upload your logo and store it in your email templates.
Make sure to position this logo at the top of your email design so that your audience sees it as soon as they click on your message. Using your logo means that your customer knows they’re instantly dealing with your company. This generates greater trust:
Make sure that your logo can appear just as well if your customer opens the message on a desktop computer, or on a smartphone.
2. Choose and Use a Color Palette
After your logo, your brand colors are some of the most recognizable elements of your company. According to Forbes, color improves brand recognition by a massive 80%
The good news is that it’s relatively easy to keep your colors the same on virtually every email you send. You can build a template on your email marketing software and copy that across your campaigns. With the right codes to guide you, there’s no risk of straying from your brand image.
Here’s a great example from Dunelm, which uses the same green from the logo in the email icon, and in the lines that separate email sections:
Your color palette can be as obvious or subtle as you choose. The most important thing is to ensure that everything stays the same.
3. Stick with a Memorable Tone of Voice
Branding your emails isn’t just something you do from a design perspective – it’s also something you need to address with copy and content too. With some A/B testing and analytics, you should gain a decent idea of what kind of language appeals most to your target audience.
Using these guidelines, make sure that the copywriting in your email sounds the same as the content you publish elsewhere. Everything from your social media posts to your blog content should have the same unique tone.
Great brand messaging will add to the consistent image you’re trying to build. It also boosts your chances of developing a deeper emotional connection with your audience. For instance, Firebox has a playful and informal voice, complete with emojis in its subject line:
4. Use Consistent Fonts
Fonts are another important visual asset to consider when you’re designing branded emails. Some customers will come to recognize the use of certain typography as a characteristic of your brand. However, it’s important to ensure that you don’t go over the top with type.
One or two different fonts can help to make components of your email stand out. Too many font choices will make your emails look unprofessional and messy.
With a little luck, you’ll already be using consistent fonts on your website and blog posts so that you can carry those over into your email. Make sure that your choices are easy to read, and great for conveying the personality of your brand. For instance, sans-serif fonts are generally more friendly and informal than serif options.
Here’s a great example of how the Handy app uses a playful font that blends well with its logo to create a familiar, friendly image on its emails.
5. Pick the Right Images
Images are essential for a good email marketing campaign.
Few companies can attract a customer and maintain their interest with a pure-text email. However, it’s always worth giving your clients the option to switch to “text only” in their email client. This can help to make some messages more accessible for certain customers.
To build strong relationships with your consumers, the visuals in your emails should match the kind of images that customers would expect for your brand.
If you’re the kind of company that regularly uses illustrations instead of photos, then stick with that in your email campaigns. If you like to use bright and colorful images, do that in your email too – like Photobox does here:
Whatever you do, avoid using stock images that your customers have already seen a million times. While you can re-use old photos from other emails and marketing campaigns, they need to be unique pictures that you’ve created yourself.
Highlighting images from your social media feeds, or user generated content could be a great way to make your emails more eye-catching too.
6. Make the Most of Email Templates
There are a lot of reasons why companies use email marketing software for their email campaigns. The right software can boost your deliverability, make it easier to track the outcome of your promotions, and even strengthen your visual presence.
Email marketing software also allows businesses to create templates that they can re-use to enhance their brand appearance. Choose templates that you can stick with for specific kinds of email. You might have different templates for your blog news letter than you have for transactional emails, for instance.
Although it’s possible to have a handful of templates in your campaign, you should stick to the same options for as long as possible. This helps your audience to get used to a certain visual impact from your brand, whenever they open your email.
This email from Starbucks uses clean segments in a consistent template that’s easy for users to read. There are links to the website, a logo at the top of the page, and plenty of headlines and easy-to-read fonts. Whatever you do, make sure your templates work on every device too!
7. Include Links to Back Up your Brand
Finally, remember that adding extra pieces of “social proof” to your emails can also be an excellent way to highlight your brand and demonstrate your credibility. Adding links to your social media pages shows your customers where they can go to find extra information about you and what your business stands for.
Social media links are usually pretty easy to add in the form of buttons to your email templates, and they’re a great way to encourage action from people who follow your newsletter too. Remember, your links and icons should blend perfectly with the rest of your email and your brand image.
SkinnyDip London ensures that all of its social links look excellent on each email, following the same color patterns and style as the rest of the message. They’ve even included hashtags and @tags for their customers to look up:
Creating the Best Branded Emails
Email is still one of the most valuable tools in a marketer’s kit. However, it’s essential to ensure that once you’ve gained your position in your customer’s inbox, you’re making the most of it. A great email needs to include plenty of insights into your brand identity.
With properly branded emails that showcase your tone of voice, logo, brand colors, and other essential assets, you develop better familiarity with your customers, and stronger connections. Fail to get the branding right, and you might lose your customer’s trust.
Good luck making the most of your branded emails.