brandingEmail has become one of the undisputed champions of corporate communication. Most competitive companies incorporate email signatures in their emails for legal, operational or creative purposes. The question lies in whether or not these emails are being utilised to their full potential.

Crank it up a notch

Back in the days of snail mail, an official company letterhead was used for all external – and even internal – communication. Correspondence was typed on branded paper and most likely placed in a branded envelope along with a business card sporting the company logo. Projecting brand integrity and leaving a lasting impression was a no-brainer. Any communication on non-branded material was simply verboten.

Back to the future, and 87% of a company’s communication takes place via email. Do you see where I’m going with this? How much does your company spend on marketing strategies surrounding development of your company brand, logo, proprietary fonts, and so on and so forth? Now read the first sentence of this paragraph again. I’ll wait.

Ignoring the potential behind branding your email correctly is the equivalent of doing the unthinkable – sending out communication on plain white paper.

What exactly is this thing called ‘Email Branding’?

Email branding – informative, functional email branding – should consist of utilising technology that makes your everyday email interactive, has very little impact on your bandwidth, gets through firewalls and is centrally controlled. Should your email be forwarded, this email branding will automatically be forwarded right along with it.

I know what you’re thinking… why pay for such a service when you could set up an email signature yourself at no cost? Yes, absolutely, all you nay-sayers out there, you could set up your own run-of-the-mill email signature.

The majority of corporate email signatures are usually comprised of some basic text and a pre-designed image which is copy and pasted on to the tail-end of the actual email message. Are you nodding your head? Does this sound familiar?

This type of email signature generally creates no consistency across departments, a Compliance Footer should be showcased to avoid any possible legal implications and there is no way to track any clicks or drive clicks to your website. Images may also be blocked by firewalls or other security measures. Consider also what your email signature says about you. Is it respectful, descriptive or bland beyond words?

Remember, people are busy, and having a memorable branding element in an email enables its message to stand out in a crowded inbox.

Here are some benefits and advantages of email branding:

Richer graphics
Multiple active links
Strengthened brand awareness and identity
Looks more professional than unbranded email
Easy access to extra information
Click-through alerts
Traffic is driven to your website
Small file – a basic template adds less than 1k to messages
Cost effective

Technical benefits:

o Templates are integrated into your email system e.g. MS Outlook
o Different templates can be applied for different situations
o Access to templates is controlled
o Utilise the centralized storage of a web server to store resources instead of sending them along with each email
o Unlimited email accounts – cost incurred per account
o Minimal bandwidth usage per email sent
o Daily back up of emails sent on server

Business Benefits:

Reinforce your brand every time an employee sends an email
Your company maintains a consistent professional profile
Increase efficiency by linking your branding to relevant pages on your website
Unlimited email campaigns
Per month and per user usage graphs
Automatically embed legal notice to each email
Unified look and feel to your entire company
Personalised email footer per email

It boils down to email branding vs. email signatures. While email signatures are more the norm and can get the job done, in an increasingly competitive market it would be unwise to completely dismiss the rewards that can be reaped from branding your email professionally.

Submitted by Candice Turnbull




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