Q: Does e-branding really make a difference?

tablet and email

A: Yes and it can save you money in the short and long run!

At 6P Marketing, we believe that a strong, consistent brand helps your customers and prospects believe that they are in the right place – not the wrong place. Importantly, the branding process only starts with a logo and colour scheme; great branding is comprised of everything you do and say, from your e-marketing, website and social marketing to your customer service practices.

Today, everyone wants everything fast and cheap. This is why many e-marketing service providers take ‘branding short-cuts,’ using generic e-mail templates to do work fast and cheap.   

These ‘cheap and cheerful’ e-mail marketing programs feature low front-end costs but result in low open and click-through rates. These low results force many organizations to send out more and more of these cheap, good e-mails, rather than a few great e-mails to get the activity they anticipated.

The result is that e-mail lists shrink as people unsubscribe while both the open and click-through rates drop because your e-mail is judged to bet irrelevant. Think Spam. 

So how do you combat this? Do what we do at 6P: craft relevant, interesting emails that build on our clients’ brands to create value for their readers.

Ways to leverage branding to impact your e-marketing bottom line:

1. On-brand subject lines can double* your open rates.

  • Established brands have a distinct tone of voice. Readers expect to hear that voice when the brand ‘speaks’ – regardless of the medium.
  • Use the brand tone of voice to compose brand relevant subject lines and reject off-brand or off-strategy ideas.

2. On-brand visuals and articles can more than double* click-through rates.

  • Again, established brands have a distinct look and feel. Even when they go out on a limb, it’s a predictable limb to the brand’s constituency.
  • Make sure the colours, images, headlines and body copy tone and voice are consistent with your customers’ expectations.
  • Use SHORT surveys or split-tests (split your emails into two grouping to test effectiveness) to help zero in on the most relevant subject matter, because poor brand alignment will decrease click-through rates, lead to opt outs, and affect brand loyalty in the long-run.

3. Link-tests quickly identify best brand practices vs. best industry or media practices.

  • For example, a “latest product news” link may be great for Nokia’s newsletter because they are going after young, affluent early adopters, but it’s probably not as relevant for the Gideon Society newsletter. Don’t rely on industry best practices: Find what works for your  brand.
  • Test, test and test some more to determine what the audience would like to learn about, then give them the goods. Think relevance.

4. Use custom landing pages to learn more about reader behaviour.

  • E-marketing metrics don’t tell you what happens AFTER readers click on the e-mail link, but a custom website landing page will.  A Content Management System (CMS) based website enables you to easily run split-tests on landing pages to constantly improve the user’s overall experience.
  • Web analytic tools can tell you how your latest newsletter affected web-use and, in turn, demand for products or services.

*If you have any questions about the research and metrics that powered my observations above, send me an email to frank@6pmarketing.com and I’d be happy to review them with you.

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