How to use email marketing to build brand awareness
Building brand awareness is one of the biggest challenges new businesses face when getting started. Without a recognizable image, logo, and name, your brand will be lost in the crowded sphere of online marketing.
But when you don’t have millions of established customers waiting in the wings, how can you help your business stand out, build a relationship with your customers and clients, and take your brand to the next level within a limited budget and limited skills? The answer is simple - Email Marketing.
While social media and digital ads are undeniably a considerable force in brand awareness, we’ve found far too many businesses focusing solely on this marketing style and neglecting an old favorite: the email.
According to Review42 , almost 76% of US adults use email, and the number of email users is expected to increase by approximately 6 million per year in America alone!
What’s more, email marketing can bring in an average ROI of 122%.
With people using email daily, this method of communication becomes the perfect opportunity to speak to your clients/customers/potentials in a way that suits them.In other words, email isn’t dead.
Anyone can send dozens of generic, uninspiring emails that don’t offer any substance. It is much more valuable to cultivate an email marketing campaign that leaves your recipients with a favorable opinion of your brand and a clear understanding of who you are. To achieve that, following our top tips for cultivating an impressive email marketing strategy that adds value to your customers’ lives and, more importantly, encourages click-through .
Before we get onto our top tips for creating an effective email marketing strategy that builds brand awareness, it’s important to get clients to verify their email address . It’s easy to make a minor mistake when inputting your email address, particularly when using a smartphone! But these tiny errors could have a dramatic impact on your Sender Score.
The Sender Score might not seem relevant to email marketing for brand awareness; however, it directly impacts your deliverability rate and the percentage of your emails that make it through to the customer rather than ending up in spam folders.
There’s not much point in putting time and effort into your email campaign, only for your marketing emails to end up in someone’s junk folder. Adding an email verification step can dramatically reduce the number of ‘undeliverable’ emails, allowing you to get your message through more effectively and reliably every time.
Pro Tip: In addition to email verification, the best email marketers will scrub email lists to remove unengaged subscribers, further increasing your deliverability score.
1. Use a recognizable, branded email address
Think about your own email inbox. Chances are, you’re bombarded daily with hundreds of emails that you won’t even bother opening before marking as spam and throwing into your junk folder, never to be thought of before.
The average open rate for emails in 2020 was just 21.3%, so it’s essential to create a recognizable brand before your email is ever opened. Using an immediately recognizable email address will help ensure clients can identify when your business is contacting them and reassure them that you’re a ‘safe’ sender.
Pro Tip: Try sending your marketing emails from a catch-all email address, allowing customers to reply directly to the email and saving them from having to search your website for contact details.
2. Pay attention to the layout, colors, and logo placement
Humans love patterns and routines. You can take advantage of this in your email marketing by utilizing templates to create an instantly recognizable email layout your subscribers will be able to rely on.
Not only does a template make it easier for a subscriber to identify when an email comes from your business, but it also helps enhance your brand awareness and saves you time and effort in creating each email campaign.
Specifically, consider the following:
Use of color: Does the color scheme for your email match your website and other marketing material?
Layout: Is the structure clear? Is it easy to navigate visually? Is your branding evident throughout the email?
Images: Are you using color photographs, cartoons, or black and white pictures? Is this consistent throughout your emails and website?
Logo: Is your logo clearly placed at strategic points throughout the email template? Are there any formatting issues?
Signatures: Does the email include a personal signature or the company name? Does it include all the information your subscriber might need to follow-through?
When designing your email templates, it’s a good idea to consider the layout and design elements that went into your brand website or online store. Keeping a similar layout with the same font, colors, and even text size will improve your brand awareness and build trust.
Be sure to send yourself a test email first so you can check the configurations are right and avoid some of the biggest email marketing mistakes even the pros make.
Pro Tip: Place your company logo throughout the email, with the first instance in the top left-hand corner (like in the above example from HelloFresh). Countries that read left to right will find their eyes are automatically drawn to this location first.
3. Include one call-to-action in the subject line
Besides creating a recognizable branded email address and an engaging layout, the best email marketing campaigns further entice their subscribers to open the email by including a call-to-action in the subject line.
Here are some calls to action sitting in my email inbox currently:
“Verify your account.”
“Share your opinions.”
“Check out these/this…”
These phrases tell the recipient what they can expect and entice them to open your email and “learn more.”
Pro Tip: Repeat your call to action in several places throughout the email, but amend it with different colors, placements, and text size, so the email doesn’t feel overloaded or spammy. Check out our article on how to create effective email CTAs for more pro tips on this one!
4. Don’t forget a welcome email
Your Welcome Email is probably the most critical piece of mail you’ll ever send. This email is the first chance you have to directly engage with a customer or client and is a chance to tell them a bit more about who you are. Think of it like reaching out to shake someone’s hand.
This email sets the tone for future email correspondence and is your chance to introduce the recipient to who you really are. It’s also a valuable chance to enable customization and personalization for future correspondence.
Consider including one or more of the following to create a welcome email that stands out:
A note or message from the CEO
A chance to customize the frequency they want to hear from you (weekly, monthly, etc.)
Links to your website: preferably targeted sites based on how and where they subscribed (social media offers, similar products to their previous purchases, next steps, etc.)
Pro Tip: Check links work before sending out emails - nothing ruins brand perception more than offers that don’t exist or a frustrating website template.
5. Keep it consistent
Humans love consistency and routine almost as much as we love patterns! Establishing consistency in your email marketing is a fantastic way to increase brand awareness and improve brand perception effortlessly.
Nobody wants to be bombarded with loads of emails they’re never going to open. Pick a frequency for your emails and stick to it.
If you state you’ll send a weekly newsletter every Monday, for example, be sure to do this consistently. Don’t suddenly start emailing once a day or reducing it to once a month. Consistency is king.
Even if your email marketing covers a range of different things – for example, special offers, newsletters, etc. – then pick a specific day/frequency for each email. Customers will learn to expect particular correspondence at the frequency you set and will start to look forward to your emails.
Pro Tip: Invest in email automation software to make sticking to your chosen frequency and templates even more manageable. Most of these will even include monitoring tools so you can easily see your click-through rates and other vital stats to help you improve your marketing campaign with every email.
6. Make it personal
In this data-driven age, customers are craving authenticity and personalization like never before. Email marketing is a great way to trigger those happy feels and demonstrate that your brand genuinely cares about its customers.
Obviously, you should be greeting your subscribers by name, but personalizing your email marketing can go way beyond this.
Not only will establishing a more personal touch to your email marketing allow your customers to feel valued, but it will also improve your brand image and make you more memorable... If you remember them, they’ll remember you.
You could provide different levels of advice to beginners, intermediates, and experts, or base your email marketing on previous purchases your subscribers have made. Alternatively, take inspiration from TicketMaster and provide recommendations based on your customers’ shopping history. This personal touch can make a huge difference.
By providing tailored emails to your customers, you’ll minimize unopened email rates, dramatically decrease subscriber drop-off rates, and allow your customers to believe you understand what they truly need.
Pro Tip: Chatbots are a great way to gather information and help you create a personalized email marketing campaign. These automated tools are fantastic to help you generate and qualify leads, as well as establish what your customers actually want from your emails.
7. Share something
Another tried and tested way to enhance your brand awareness and image is to offer your subscribers something valuable in return for subscribing and opening your emails.
Consider including the following:
Behind-the-scenes gossip or information
Special offers and/or upcoming sales
Notifications for new blogs/podcasts/YouTube episodes
Everyone loves a freebie. And although nobody expects a company to succeed if it’s giving away all the stock or services for free in every email address, discount codes and notifications about upcoming sales are always well received.
Referral programs are also excellent for improving your brand awareness via email. They encourage the customers you already have to share your business with their friends and family.
Remember, word of mouth endures as the most reliable marketing strategy. Encouraging people to bring those they love onboard is a fantastic opportunity to get your brand in front of more people.
Pro Tip: Remember to include links to easily shareable content of your emails.
Although email can be nearly 40x more effective than Twitter and Facebook combined when building brand awareness, using social media and email marketing together is the best way to engage with your clients and develop your persona.
8. What makes you unique?
The bottom line to building brand awareness via an email campaign or any other marketing strategy is to showcase what makes you unique.
Let your customers, clients, and readers know who you are, what you offer, and how you can benefit them will help you stand out from the crowd and build a loyal customer base who will come back to your store time and time again.