E-mail branding can be an extremely effective tool for marketing a company, strengthening brand loyalty, growing the client base and enhancing reputation but, there are a few tricks for getting it right.
“Even with the sophisticated e-mail branding technologies available today, companies are still getting it wrong,” says Dries Morris, operations director at Securicom, a specialist IT company that has recently launched an e-mail branding solution, eBranding, which enables companies to create, manage, optimise and measure dynamic and purposeful e-mail branding campaigns.
“Branding encompasses all the elements that make up a company’s identity such its logo, the slogan or pay-off line, and the colours, fonts and images that are used in advertising, on business cards and letterheads and on the website. It’s also the messages, language and tone that a company uses when addressing its audiences.
“Consistency at all levels and across all marketing efforts is key for brand building. So, for e-mail to be effective in entrenching a brand, it should also reflect the brand and be consistent. When a recipient opens the e-mail, they should instantly recognise that it is from someone within your organisation,” says Morris.
He offers this advice:
- Choose a template that fits the message you want to convey (or the content). Securicom eBranding offers a range of preformatted templates to choose from. You can also design your own. Make sure that the layout is uncluttered and simple.
- Don’t forget the logo. It embodies your brand and is probably the primary identifier of your business so should appear everywhere, including e-mails. Make sure that it is clearly visible so that it is one of the first items the recipient sees when the mail is opened.
- Try to tie-in the look and feel of your e-mail branding with your website so that when the recipient clicks on a link to be transported from the e-mail to your website, it’s a seamless experience. They should not feel like they have left their e-mail inbox.
- Use graphics and photos but use them wisely. Over-use of graphics and colours can make your branding seem a little unprofessional and even juvenile. The photos and graphics you choose should also reflect your company’s personality and the message you want to convey.
- Keep it simple. Don’t over-do it on fonts and colours. Choose one font for headlines and another for body text and use the same colours that are used on your website.
- Make it relevant and purposeful. With solutions like Securicom eBranding, it is possible to tailor outgoing e-mails from different departments to market promotions and campaigns they are running or to convey a particular message to their clients. Recipients are more likely to read further or click through to the company website if the e-mail is relevant to them.
- Make it dynamic. While it is important for each and every e-mail communication to be consistent with the company’s brand and image, it is also crucial that e-mail branding is dynamic. Varying templates and making subtle design changes (while in-keeping with the same colour scheme and carrying the company logo) will alert recipients that they are receiving something new, and that it’s not the same message they got last week.
- Make sure that the tone of your e-mail branding is consistent with that of your website and other communications.
Securicom’s e-mail branding solution, eBranding, is offered as a service to which customers subscribe so there is no software purchase or installation required. The service, hosted upstream by Securicom at an ISP, is web based and includes access to Securicom’s round-the-clock support infrastructure. It also boasts top notch security and compliance features to ensure that outgoing mails are safe, virus-free and, compliant with corporate e-mail usage rules. Companies subscribing to the service have access to a user-friendly, online console from where administrators can use existing templates, or design their own, to configure and brand all outgoing company e-mail. Perhaps the biggest advantage of Securicom’s eBranding is that it provides the ability to monitor e-mail marketing campaigns and measure results via the interactive, easy-to-use online management platform.
“Obviously, the choice of solution is going to largely determine what you are able to do. Some do not offer much functionality from a design perspective and only allow for the attachment of logos, signatures and stagnant banners, and most do not allow for one-on-one branded e-mail communication. Securicom eBranding takes e-mail branding and marketing to a whole new level because it provides the opportunity to turn each and every outgoing e-mail, even run-of-the-mill, day-to-day communications, into a purposeful interaction with existing and potential clients.
“The solution makes it possible for companies to fully-leverage the power of e-mail for brand building, enhancing the company’s image, driving traffic to the company website and delivering updates on products and services that are relevant to recipients. eBranding gives companies a meaningful opportunity to get e-mail branding right,” concludes Morris.