Ruha Ratnam

The Designist Studio

How does email marketing fit into your brand strategy?

Optimize your email marketing to develop brand loyalty, grow your audience, and book more clients.

Subscribers are giving you their consent to email them regularly. You have the opportunity to make the most of this relationship to build your brand and business.

Apply your brand to your email marketing strategy to strengthen your brand presence, offer valuable insights into your expertise and process, and extend a delightful client experience to the people who are not yet buying from you.

Why is branding important in email marketing?

Email is one of the best ways to nurture relationships directly with people in your email community by speaking specifically to the topics they are most interested in, and that they believe you have expertise or a unique perspective on. 

When I plan email content, I think about what I’m excited to talk to my community about. For me, I’m most excited to discuss the core questions that frame my unique perspective on building an online brand. 

Aesthetically, I’ve always kept my emails simple. I want it to feel like any other email I’d send you. In fact, for all that we worry about email design, have you ever noticed that most of the emails you receive are quite plain?

The beautifully designed emails – the colourful ones with funky fonts and loud graphics and photos – are usually selling physical or digital products. 

Us coaches and consultants…we’re selling our ability to solve a problem, often in real time. We’re selling our smarts. So it makes sense to keep it simple and focus on talking about the problem we’re great at solving. 

Having said that, as of the time of writing this in early 2023, I am experimenting with a little design goodness. I share client work very selectively, so making my emails look good feels like a good way to show people my visual style and build a stronger visual brand identity.

Use email marketing to build trust

Make it easy for everyone to read your emails.

Make sure your emails are accessible and that everyone can read them. Readers should be able to click on any links and calls to action easily, no matter what device they’re using and regardless of visual capabilities.

Sell responsibly. 

Tell people what you are offering so that they have the option to choose to work with you, but don’t pressure or coerce them because it’s “expected” or that’s what you were taught.

Make it easy to unsubscribe. 

Nothing makes for a more unpleasant experience than a frustrating unsubscribe process. 

People should be able to easily find your unsubscribe option. Unsubscribing should be painless. 

And please don’t try to guilt-trip people into sticking around. You’ll kill any chance of them ever coming back.

Brand your emails.

Have a strong brand presence throughout your email marketing process, including your landing page, opt-in forms, and actual emails.

5 ways to use branding in your email marketing strategy

Make it personal. 

This is a good platform to get personal with people. Email marketing can feel a little more intimate, unlike social media. 

When I say get personal, I don’t necessarily mean sharing the details of your personal life that you’d prefer to keep private. It does mean sharing how you think about the areas that impact you and your clients, and the things that connect you. 

It also means making them feel like you’re talking directly to them, not some random cloud in the universe of your own brain.

Bring your personality.

Your brand personality matters in email marketing. If you’re funny, lean into that. Mama bear for your community? Let them hear your protectiveness through your words. 

Keep your brand personality and voice cohesive across all your platforms so that the voice people “hear” when they read your emails is the same one they see on your website, socials, paid ads, etc.

Play party host.

Send a personalised email to new subscribers welcoming them to your email community and letting them know what to expect. 

Then, keep that welcoming tone consistent across all future emails so people know you appreciate their attention and want them there.

Keep your visual branding cohesive.

Use the same template for all emails, or keep it similar if you need more than one layout for different purposes.

Already have colours, fonts, and a logo that you use elsewhere? Stick to the same ones to solidify your visual identity.

Just as you’d use photos or graphics of the same style across your website, use similar image styles in your email marketing.

Think about how you can use emojis, images, or gifs to break up all that text and add visual interest.

* Got a landing page specifically to promote your email newsletter and get new subscribers? Make sure the branding is cohesive!

Consider the details.

Small details help solidify your brand presence from the moment they see your email in their inbox to the point when they finish reading and close it. 

Think about how your brand voice shows up in the email subject line. 

Have a signature sign off (pun very intended here) so they are thinking about you even after they close the email.

P.s. looking for an email signature generator? Here’s a free one from Mention.

Get my (free, no opt-in required) interactive PDF checklist to refer to as you integrate your own branding into your marketing emails for a branded email marketing strategy that builds recognition and loyalty.

One simple, actionable tip to improve your email marketing branding now

Pay attention to the emails that you’re subscribed to and look forward to receiving. How do they present information? How do they use emojis? What about their emails get you interested and excited? 

Take notes, think about how you can make it your own, and test those ideas as you write to your email audience so you can build your brand voice via email.

Which email marketing service provider should you use in your business?

Ready to up your email marketing and looking for a platform to use? There are many options out there and these are just the ones I normally suggest to my clients:

  1. My #1 recommendation is ConvertKit (FYI that’s an affiliate link). They’re user-friendly, have an awesome support team AND community, offer built-in features to sell products and/or get paid to email. Use the free version for simple mailing, or upgrade to get access to the juicy features like automated sequences (where the magic lies). 
  2. Want to ease into email marketing and not ready to pay for an email platform? MailerLite is a good alternative that gives you those automation features as you grow your audience.
  3. Need bigger features for a more complex CRM ecosystem? ActiveCampaign is my recommendation.

Level up your marketing emails using this checklist with all the ways you can use your branding to create a cohesive email marketing strategy.

Did these tips help? Reach out if you want to talk more about how to align your email marketing efforts with your overall brand and business strategy.