Email as a Branding Tool
Take the next five seconds to think of an incredible brand.
Whether you thought of Apple, Coca-Cola, or the many other incredible companies commanding consumer attention today, these great brands have something in common. It’s not that they have identifiable logos, slogans, or packaging, although these elements inarguably contribute to their brand. The common thread across notable brands relies not on these tangible elements; great brands are fostered by the gut feeling customers have about a product, service, or company. Brands take on an emotional symbolism in customer’s minds, and these emotionally invested customers are 3 times more likely to repeat their purchase with your company. So why aren’t more marketers emphasizing branding in their email campaigns? We have no idea.
Email is still the most widely used method of business communication, and its use is increasing year after year. It is by far the most under-utilized branding device in the marketing arsenal, not to mention a cheap and easy way to spread your brand’s message with an audience that has already displayed interest in your company. It’s a no brainer, right? We’ve outlined two ways you can effectively utilize email as part of your branding strategy.
Grow Your Tribe
Today’s customers don’t just want to buy brands; they want to join them. Use your emails as a way to bring customers into the “tribe” by providing them with exclusive information and content. Customers want to join tribes that provide mutual value, and if your brand is able to enable greatness for them, positive results are sure to follow.
Nourish the growth of your tribe through email by employing the 70/20/10 rule in your campaign. 70% of your emails should focus on sharing information that is valuable to your customer. This could include tips, product demos, and other content that will inspire those on your mailing list. The next 20% of your emails should center on content from thought leaders, creating a feeling across your list that your brand is giving them exclusive access to content. The last 10% of your emailing efforts should be product-focused, with the goal of selling your product. The 70/20/10 rule will work to establish a relationship with your tribe in which they feel like valued insiders.
Red Bull does a great job of bringing their tribe into the fold through email. The email below keeps their mailing list informed on the results of two Red Bull sponsored athletes in a recent race. Notice how it features exclusive interviews from the two athletes and does not push for a sale? This email is definitely part of the 90% of non-selling emails that are key to email branding.
Build Trust through Consistency
Strong branding relies on trust, and that is accomplished through consistency. Voice, message, core values, and design are all elements that should be utilized to create consistency across platforms. Customers should be able to transition from your email campaign, to a targeted landing page, to your company Facebook page without batting an eye.
Today’s customers are savvy and can sniff out inauthenticity from a mile away. Make your mission transparent across all platforms, and employ email as a tool for establishing this level of trust. Here’s a few guidelines to build brand trust through your email campaign:
- Focus on your brand’s core values and mission in every email you send to avoid seeming disjointed.
- Use design templates to take the busy work out of matching fonts, colors, and layouts and create a seamless look across your campaigns.
- Test your email so that your campaigns best represent your brand in every inbox on your list.
- Practice consistency in timing so that your audience eagerly awaits your emails.
Charity: Water is one of the best examples of brands that are building trust through their email efforts. Every three months, contributors to the charity receive a detailed progress report on the results of their specific donation. This report echoes the charity’s mission of providing clean drinking water to communities around the world, and is transparent about exactly where the contributor’s donation is going. The email’s clean design echoes that of Charity: Water’s website, establishing consistency across platforms.
Email branding is more than adding a logo or detailed signature. It engages the audience with impactful and targeted messages that relate to the brand’s overarching missions as well as the more specific topic being addressed. Utilizing email as a branding tool will undoubtedly have a strong impact on your growing tribe and establish your position as a brand to be trusted. Ensure that your branded emails look incredible across your email list by trying Email on Acid’s free 7-day trial.
Author: Alex Ilhan
Hailing all the way from England, Alex brings his email development expertise along with an endless stream of cups of tea and British cynicism. Follow him on Twitter: @omgitsonlyalex.