Email marketing is a personal communication channel with your customer. That’s why you want your email newsletters to look professional, reliable and attractive to reflect your business.
If the newsletter is a crucial part of your business operations, it should be strongly visually related with the rest of your brand identity so that your customers can easily identify you in their inboxes.
Follow these tips to make your email newsletter an inherent part of your brand identity.
Tip #1. Use the same business concept
Every business has its own concept in how it approaches its customers. Don’t forget yours while building your emails. The best way to display a concept is by using the same style of graphics and the proper tone of voice.
Whatever images you use, firstly, they have to be all the same size and the same style. Secondly, they have to be of good quality, because in online shopping they are the main motivator for customers to buy. Want your email to be effective? Use good quality images.
Some additional hints to make them look more attractive:
- Try to pare down secondary images and color in the surrounding design to make the main image the central focus.
- Start your newsletter from a “hero” image at the beginning of the email. Include the key message there. This way you will definitely grab the reader’s initial attention. The email example above proves that.
- If your photos look very different, try to use color filters to make them more similar. Tools like BeFunky, Canva, Adobe Photoshop, etc. can help you do that.
- If you take photos of your products by yourself, consider acquiring a portable mini studio for professional looking photos with your camera or even smartphone.
- If you do not have great photos, consider creating images using nice typography. They can replace “hero” images very well. Check out Monabello example.
- Leave empty spaces in the email. Do not put your elements too close together. Spacing matters.
The proper tone of voice
Even though ecommerce email newsletters are not the place for writing long stories, a few short lines are always welcome.
There are certain sensitive fields in which you can’t be anything other than serious and formal. I am referring to health, religion, politics as well as finance. But, if you are selling casual ecommerce products like accessories, books or apparel, you may consider talking in a professional, respectful, but non-formal and friendly tone of voice. Unless, of course, you use a totally different one in the rest of your communication channels.
Tip #2. Use your brand book
Using the same fonts, colors, and design elements in your communication helps you stay consistent in terms of brand appearance. Professional design agencies usually document the color codes, fonts, and different variations of company logos in one file and call it the “brand book”. If you do not have one, don’t worry. You can always create your own version of visual guide and use it whenever you need it.
When building an email campaign you should stick with your brand colors, design elements and your own style. This is very important in personal email communication: customers want to know exactly who is approaching them and only trust emails that look familiar.
As an example, look at Monabello’s consistent brand style in its email newsletter, on social media and on its online store:
Tip #3. Use the same style in all your emails
Though this article is about promotional emails, don’t forget the rest of your email communication. There are a lot of different occasions for sending emails in ecommerce. In addition to promotional newsletters, companies send a bunch of transactional ones – to inform customers about successful purchases, shipment updates, automated welcome and cart recovery emails, etc. There is a long list of these. All these emails should have the same style, colors and logo, of course. Don’t forget to customize them so they look like a part of your business.
For those merchants who use the Shopify ecommerce platform, Soundest email marketers have created free of charge, easy customizable transactional email templates with tutorial how to do that.
Tip #4. Don’t forget to use your logo
It may seem obvious to some of you, but from my experience, I can tell you that a lot of small businesses do not include their flags in emails. Your brand logo should ALWAYS be included at the top of the email so the reader can see them right away.
Your company logo is one of the most important things related to your business. So it should be of great quality and on a transparent background and not be blurred or distorted. This shows how professional you are and how you feel about your business.
Tip #5. Take into account HTML email technology
One important thing not to forget about email newsletters is the email technology itself. Though web technologies are getting better and better every day, HTML email technology is not keeping pace. In some cases, emails look modest in comparison to the web because different email clients do not support the design elements equally. To avoid email preview issues, email marketers often do not use fancy elements in HTML emails. They stick with email-safe fonts, certain background solutions, mobile friendly email templates, etc. For more detailed tips, read my recent article about HTML email design.
The bottom line
Building a strong brand identity is neither an easy nor quick task for entrepreneurs. Visual consistency and integrity among all communication channels might help your customers to start identifying and trust you faster. Follow the tips above and soon you will yield positive results.
About the Author:
Karolina Petraškienė is a content marketer and email enthusiast at Soundest | Email Marketing for Ecommerce. Check out the recent Soundest infographic on ecommerce email marketing stats. Follow them on Twitter @Soundest.