It's no secret that adopting a successful branding strategy is one of the key cornerstones of running a successful business. This is because boosting the awareness and public perception of your brand can help develop stronger relationships with customers, enhance trust, and assist your company in forging a unique identity within its sector, separating itself from competitors.
However, most business owners and brand managers focus on branding elements such as logos, typography, voice, values, and color schemes, with little emphasis given to their email efforts. That is a mistake.
Email is one of the most frequently utilized communication methods in the business world, with the average office worker sending over 40 business emails every day. As a result, email branding is a vital tool that start-ups should utilize to help their emails appear more professional while perpetuating a consistent message.
What is email branding?
Email branding is the practice of creating a consistent and unique design/content structure in your emails that customers can clearly recognize. The idea is to make them stand out amongst the rest of the noise in the receiver's inbox, so you can increase the effectiveness of your campaigns, boost email marketing ROI, and drive more revenue through the business. In fact, email branding has been reported to increase revenue by up to 23%, which is certainly nothing to scoff at.
Furthermore, your email must be utilized as an extension of the rest of your company's branding efforts. This means writing in the same style and voice as you do in other parts of your business communications, such as blogs and social media copy. As such, the tone of voice and copy you employ when crafting emails must always be guided by your brand's core values and underlying company mission.
On that note, here are a few quick pointers on how to make your business appear more professional with email branding.
Start with the subject
According to Statista, the open rate for marketing emails stands at a meager 18%. That makes grim reading if your startup plans to rely on outbound emails to generate revenue. In light of this, you need to do everything you can to establish credibility and authority right from the get-go.
When you send an email, the subject line is the first thing the receiver is going to see. Therefore, the quality of your subject will likely make or break the success of that particular email campaign. In general, you want to strike a balance between enticing customers to open your email with a catchy (clickbait) title and maintaining a professional stance. Try to opt for something simple yet creative, and if you can think of some sort of theme that you can use throughout your future email efforts, even better.
In addition, pay careful attention to the first few lines of the body text within each email. Depending on the email provider and device the receiver uses, they may be able to view the first lines of text before opening. This gives you further opportunity to grab their attention and convince them to read your email with well-crafted copy.
Determine your audience and choose your voice accordingly
Finding your voice is one of the more difficult yet rewarding aspects of branding. Think about it, developing an innovative new product or finding a way to add more value to consumers is an often time-consuming and resource-intensive process. However, if you can develop a unique voice that resonates with your audience, you can set yourself apart from the competition with ease.
In order to do this effectively, you should start by researching your audience (target readership), so you can find out what writing style bets well with them. For example, Harley Davidson uses a rough, rugged, confident, and borderline aggressive voice when interacting with its customer base. This only works because the company understands its buyers are predominantly males aged 55 and above. Try to establish something similar with your voice to quickly establish a uniqueness amongst your rivals that consumers can connect with.
The visual component of your email branding is just as important as the copy that you use. After all, the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, so you should be using visual elements to your advantage within your email branding strategy. Here are some tips to follow:
- Choose a color palette - The colors in your emails should reflect the colors that are already present in your website, products, or logo.
- Add your logo - Your logo should be one of the first things that people see when they open your email, as it makes your company easily recognizable.
- Use consistent fonts - Keep things simple by using the same fonts. Not only will this make your emails appear more familiar, but a consistent font scheme looks more professional.
- Use images wisely - A tasteful image can pull the reader in and add value to your email. Try to choose photos that represent your brand and the message you want to deliver. If you can afford it, you could even hire a graphic designer to create unique images perfectly tailored to your brand.
Don't forget the signature
Your email signature is likely the last thing the reader will see, so you need to make sure it's up to scratch. Moreover, your email signature gives you a great opportunity to establish authority since you can include important information that you may have missed otherwise, such as:
- Trust badges
- Company links (website, blogs, social media pages, and press releases)
- Contact details
- Industry disclaimers and legal information
Oh, and don't forget to include your logo in your email signature for good measure.
Remember, consistency is key
Finally, keep in mind that email is not an isolated component of your business operations. Your email should work in tandem with the rest of your branding plan to create a cohesive, consistent, and easily recognized brand that will help you develop a reputation that clients will trust. As a result, aim to integrate the unique features of your email (voice, colors, fonts) with the rest of your branding efforts to build a consistent and harmonized brand across all of your channels.