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By On October 29 2019 Email Marketing With 0 Comments Permalink

Email Branding Tips To Make Your Newsletters Stand Out

At any time, the average person has 200 unopened emails in their inbox[1]. If you read that and think, “only 200 emails? must be nice to have such an organised inbox!”, you’re certainly not alone. It’s easy for unopened emails to pile up, as the average person also receives 120 new emails per day[1]

For email marketers, finding ways to stand out, build loyalty, and increase open rates among this never-ending flood of emails is crucial. This need to stand-out makes email branding extremely important. 

That’s why we’ve compiled these email branding tips to make your newsletters stand out in the inbox! Our guide delves into why email branding matters, the importance of consistency, plus brand guideline tips to help create emails that are visually and tonally engaging. 

Why Email Branding Matters

There are many reasons why email branding matters: branding makes your emails recognisable, builds awareness of your business or product, helps you stand out among a competitive crowd, sets readers’ expectations, and can increase customer retention and loyalty. For a subscriber, a well-branded email can feel like the difference between opening an email from a trusted friend or a complete stranger. 

Put simply, brand guidelines make emails more successful. In fact, marketing professionals who describe their email programs as ‘successful’ are 27% more likely to have email brand guidelines[2].

Why? Firstly, well-branded emails make you immediately recognisable in your subscribers’ inbox. Whether you use their products or not, brands such as McDonalds, Coca Cola, or Starbucks are immediately recognisable. You instantly know what to expect from McDonalds, which isn’t necessarily true of less recognisable fast food brands. 

Email branding follows the same logic. If a subscriber recognises your brand, it creates an expectation for the type of content your emails will contain. If (hopefully!) that content is of value to the subscriber, then they are more likely to continue engaging with your emails.

Clear branding can also help your emails stand out. Differentiation is a fundamental branding tactic. By emphasising what makes your product unique, your emails will be differentiated from other emails in your subscribers’ crowded inbox, meaning you’re more likely to get that coveted click. 

Further, well-branded emails are crucial to promoting brand awareness and recall. Having a customer open your email is great, but it’s not much use if a day later they decide they want to buy your product, but can’t remember who the email was from. Consistently branded emails can increase brand recall. In fact, 65% of consumers can recall a brand they saw advertised on mobile in the last week[3]. Obviously, the more people who are aware of your brand, the better. 

Consistency is Key 

Despite these benefits, more than one third (38%) of businesses don’t follow specific email brand guidelines. Yet, even simple brand attributes, such as a ‘signature colour’, can increase brand recognition by a massive 80%[4]

Consistency is key to successful branding, which is why establishing email brand guidelines is essential. To continue the McDonalds metaphor, it’s unlikely their brand would be as successful or recognisable if their logo was golden arches one day, blue arches the next, and amber arches whenever they feel like it. Rather, consistency helps set customer expectations and build lasting relationships. 

Studies have found that consistent branding across all channels can increase revenue by 23%[5], brand perception by 68%, and purchasing intent by 90%[6]. Further, 77% of marketing professionals believe a strong brand is essential to their growth plans[5]. Creating consistent, visually engaging, and well-branded emails is a key step in this process.

Brand Guidelines

If you’re aiming for consistency, email brand guidelines are a key resource. For the 38% of brands who don’t currently follow email brand guidelines, developing clear, consistent, and engaging email guidelines should be a top priority. If your brand already follows email guidelines, it’s still important to ensure these guidelines are reviewed and updated regularly. 

Email brand guidelines should include rules for both visual and copywriting elements. For example, brand guidelines should detail how your brand uses visual aspects such as colour palette, logos, fonts, layout, and use of images and gifs, as well as copy guidelines for things like tone, style, tag lines or key phrases, subject lines, and even use of emojis. 

Individually these may seem like small details, but it’s difficult to build a lasting brand image if you’re using different fonts from email to email, changing colour palettes regularly, or moving from a conversational tone one email to a more formal tone the next. 

While tonal shifts may be appropriate depending on the type of email you are sending, developing an overall brand ‘voice’ is important. This is particularly true when it comes to subject lines. Ideally, your subject lines should make a good first impression and reflect a clear brand voice. 

To make sure your brand guidelines are consistently implemented, email templates are a useful tool. Following set email templates helps to standardise visual elements such as colour and layout, allowing consistency from email to email. 

Of course, your emails should still demonstrate your brand’s unique personality and style, which is why it’s important to remember brand guidelines are exactly that – guidelines, not strict rules. 

Ideally, developing brand guidelines should be a collaborative process. By ensuring everyone involved in the email creation process is onboard with your brand guidelines, you will be sending consistent, recognisable, and visually engaging emails. 

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