In all aspects of your business marketing, it’s vital than you maintain a single, coherent brand identity.
Whether it’s your social media platforms or your paid ads, creating a brand identity is crucial to building customer rapport and trust. This is particularly important when it comes to your email marketing.
Email is an essential part of your marketing strategy, and it’s important that it matches your website branding, both visually and in your copy. You need to send out emails that leave a positive trail behind them, not ones that get trapped in spam filters and impact your email subscriber list. That is not a good look for your brand.
Read on for top tips on how to brand your emails in line with your website quickly, easily and professionally.
Recommended reading: 5 Effective Email Marketing Tips to Grow Your Business
Always include a visible working logo
First and foremost, you need to ensure your logo is clearly visible.
As a unique identifier of your business, your logo is perhaps the most important aspect of your brand. As such, it needs to be placed at the top of your email, making it the first thing your customers see when they open it.
But it’s not just about placement. Take care beforehand to ensure your logo works in your email template. Remember that design interfaces for your print, web, and other marketing channels will vary. Email templates tend to use HTML, so it’s possible you can import it in the same format as you use on your website.
You might also want to consider using your logo as a text overlay on your images too. This can help claim images for your own, tying them into your brand and creating a visual synchronicity across all of your content.
Keep to a consistent color theme in all of your emails
Along with your logo, color might be one of the most important components of your branding.
A combination of certain colors can evoke a brand without ever mentioning their name. If you saw the famous Golden Arches of McDonalds in blue and green instead of red and yellow, it would naturally take you a moment to realise what you’re looking at!
To that end, select and stick to a consistent color scheme throughout your branding. If you’re struggling to find the exact color that matches your website, there are ways to find it. Use a digital color matching tool such as Color Cop (for PCs) or Digital Color Meter (for Macs) and find the exact same shade to keep your color scheme consistent throughout your emails.
And your emails don’t need to be that colorful — they just need to be in keeping with the color harmony of your brand. Consider the palette that you want to use and that would best serve your brand. Will bright, vivid colours suit your product or service? Or perhaps darker, understated tones would look better instead?
Once you’ve identified your palette, stick to it and ensure that the rest of your company does too. Create a set list of acceptable colour combinations and make it publicly accessible to your team, with strict guidelines.
Maintaining a degree of visual synchronicity between your emails and website is important, and this rule applies to your call-to-actions and link buttons as well. Sticking to the same color or style for each creates a seamless brand experience for your customer.
Check out the similarities between Uber’s email and web buttons below:
The font, shape, and arrow icon all tie in to the Uber brand, linking the emails in with the brand nicely. And while the color changes, it is still recognisably Uber.
Depending on how you’re building your website, you might be able to import your web buttons straight into your emails using their HTML code. This will help maintain visual coherence without you having to spend time and effort digitally creating a new CTA button.
Pick a font or two and commit to them
Your font is like the wallpaper in your house: you see it everyday, but only really notice it if it changes.
A change of font can be jarring for your customers, and they’ll definitely notice it. As with most aspects of your email branding, keeping it consistent is vital. Stick to a branded font that your audience will immediately associate with your business, and use no more than two fonts throughout your marketing.
To keep yours consistent, use an online font foundry to find a typeface that works with the rest of your branding.
Your choice should reflect your brand’s ethos as well. Are you a sleek, modern business at the forefront of your industry, or a traditional, family-run business that embodies true family values? Find a typeface that embodies your brand and then stick to it.
Ideally, you would choose two different fonts for you brand: one for your headers, and one for your subheaders and body text. Your header font should be the most striking, bold and expressive to catch your reader’s’ attention.
The body typeface needs to be easily readable, and it’s generally accepted that the best type of font for online is a sans serif. This means there are no extra embellishments on the tips of each letter, like Arial. Bear this in mind when you’re choosing a typeface to use across your web and email channels.
Remember that layout is just as important
The layout of your email forms the foundation upon which everything else is built. It needs to maintain an overarching consistency throughout your campaign, speaking the same visual language in each one.
However, this still lets you differentiate each email whilst maintaining your branding. An example can be seen in the below email from Nike:
You can see straight away that Nike employ the same visual language in their emails: a monochromatic header bar with link buttons to their store, and their iconic tick logo front and center.
They also include a large central image, featuring a new product image each time. By sticking to the same general layout and colour scheme, Nike creates a recognisable visual language.
We can see it also reflects the layout of their online store too:
From the color scheme to the header layout, Nike retains brand coherence throughout. This creates a seamless experience as their customers click through from their emails to their site.
The way you build your website will inform the way you design your emails. Ensure the hard features like headers and side bars remain consistent, and stick to the same color scheme for each. Use a good newsletter template that everyone in your business can easily access and create coherent guidelines for using it.
This will help your team stick to a consistent email layout throughout your campaigns, sticking to your business’s brand voice in each.
Think thematically with your images
Consistency is the name of the game in branding, but it gets a little more complex when it comes to images. Naturally, your images will differ throughout your email marketing campaigns, as you can’t use the same picture more than once.
Consequently, you need to focus on a wide range of features that gives your images the idea of consistency. This includes lighting, content, framing, and so on.
Check out the examples below from Delta Air Lines:
Both feature wide-framed, professional shots of luxurious airplanes and satisfied passengers. Their layout in relation to other photos is also similar, and it creates a visual likeness that reinforces Delta’s branding.
This one is particularly important but tricky to get right. Your customers are perceptive, and they will notice if your image style deviates from what they expect from you. Create a checklist for the criteria that your images should meet, focusing on qualities such as:
- Content: write up a set list of acceptable image subjects that relate to your business. This will ensure your images cover the same or similar content throughout
- Colors: your photos should follow the same color styles throughout. For example, you might stick to light pastel colors alone, or muted, darker colors — but never both
- Angles: you might find your product lends itself to flatlay photography, so they will feature heavily in your images. It’s fine to deviate from this occasionally of course, but using a consistent angle will also go towards maintaining brand uniformity across your website and emails
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll easily be able to brand images in your emails to match your site.
Create conversational and candid copy
Rather than looking at your brand’s email campaigns as mere missives or formal statements, look at them instead as conversations with your customers.
Consumers know when they’re being talked at instead of talked to, so write your copy in a voice that is informal and direct. You don’t need to deviate from the brand voice you use on your website — simply write conversationally and candidly.
This is where your brand really comes alive, so speak with sincerity and integrity. Your emails are where you can be most honest with your customers, from your privileged position in their inbox.
Always check to ensure that your email copy matches that of your website before sending.
Imagine talking to a friend casually one day, only to find the next time that they spoke with a completely different accent and vocabulary. The same principle applies to your web and email copy.
As noted earlier, your customers are very perceptive, and will detect a change in brand voice across channels. They’ll find it jarring, and it’ll detract from your brand image. Always double-check, and get a second pair of eyes wherever possible.
Matching your email branding with that of your website is vital for creating a coherent and unified brand across your channels.
But it doesn’t need to be a hassle. It’s quick and easy to match your emails to your website, simply by remaining consistent throughout. Follow our practical advice for quick branding fixes.