Featured: The 2020 Email Creation Maturity Model

Overlooked: 5 Email Branding Opportunities You’re Missing Out On

Sometimes the little things make all the difference.

When you’re sending automated emails – whether they’re welcoming new clients, updating tracking information, or confirming a password change – it’s easy to leave your branding on the back burner.

We think that’s a mistake.

Automated emails are the perfect opportunity to highlight your brand and further your customer relationships.

Don’t let great opportunities slip through your fingers. Check out the five email branding opportunities you can’t afford to overlook, and make the little things work for you.

Overlooked #1: The Email Signature

Your email signature is a highly visible, low-cost branding opportunity. Don’t let it be boring!

It’s the perfect place to establish consistent branding throughout your entire organization, so use your signatures to get brand messaging across at a glance. Our own email signatures used to be fairly plain, but we used Knak Builder to create a signature builder app so everyone at Knak – not just the marketing department – has a consistent, professional signature.

They’re easy to build, and they took our signatures from this:

To this

Note: If you’d like to see how we did it, check out the blog post.

Overlooked #2: The Transactional Email

We’ve got some great news here: Transactional emails – order, shipping, and delivery confirmations, along with back order and refund notifications – have open rates 8x higher than that of marketing emails, along with much longer average read times. It’s the captive audience marketers dream about, but unfortunately, marketers aren’t usually the ones sending these emails.

They’re usually auto-generated and built by the IT department, and they’re frequently plain text with little to no branding in sight.

Example:

This email couldn’t be less compelling, right? Here’s how to optimize transactional emails and take advantage of a wide-open branding opportunity:

  • Keep it on-brand – Use the great-looking headers, footers, and images that you use in your marketing emails. Unified branding is key, and it shouldn’t be limited to the marketing department.
  • Make it useful – Tell them how to use it, care for it, exchange it, style it, whatever. Establish your company as the authority on the product, and give them a reason to keep going back to your site.
  • Get their feedback – Include buttons so they can leave a review. Include links to your social sites and ask them to join the brand conversation. Invite them into your community and foster brand loyalty.
  • Introduce what’s next – Use these emails to tell your clients about relevant products, blog posts, offers, etc. If you keep the email forward-focused and not simply informational, you can capitalize on your captive audience. But keep it simple: this isn’t the time to introduce your entire product catalog. Pick one relevant idea and use CTAs to drive readers to it.

The main idea is to view your transactional emails as an extension of your marketing emails. Don’t let them get cluttered, but do utilize the space you have to build loyalty and develop repeat customers.

Note: Be aware of spam best practices here. The primary content should be related to the transaction itself, so make sure your branding is on point and your marketing efforts are streamlined and concise.

Overlooked #3: The Thank You Email

When a customer completes a non-purchase related action – downloads a white paper, fills out a form, posts a review, etc – you probably offer some sort of confirmation.

We’d suggest sending a thank you email, and using it as an opportunity to take your relationship a step further.
Add in a discount code, a special promotion, or a piece of relevant content, and give them a reason to click thru your email.

We created this thank you email to accompany a recent template download:

It’s well-branded, includes relevant CTAs, and gives our subscribers another touchpoint with Knak.

Plus, a study by Get Response found that single message, auto-responder email sequences like this have an open rate of nearly 90%, so not sending them is a huge missed opportunity.

Overlooked #4: The Password Reset Email

Password reset emails are common since most of us forget passwords on a fairly regular basis, but because they’re automated, it’s easy for them to become an unbranded afterthought. We know these aren’t a prime revenue driver, but they are a way to make life easier for your customers while still keeping your brand front and center.

Do what you can to help move them from a frustrating situation – being locked out of their account – to what they really want – getting back to your amazing product.

Some best practices here:

  • Keep it simple – Use large CTAs, keep the copy to a minimum, and resist the temptation to get clever with the subject line. Make it easy to get back on track quickly.
  • Brand effectively – Make it clear that the email is coming from your organization. Use a header and colours that reflect your brand, and inject your brand personality into the email. Just because it’s brief doesn’t mean it can’t be interesting.
  • Send a confirmation email after the reset is complete letting them know it was successful, and provide contact info in case the change was made by someone else.

We love this example from Slack:

It’s user friendly, looks good, and gets us back to work quickly.

Overlooked #5: The Welcome Email

This should be a no-brainer, but unfortunately, the welcome email is one of the most-often overlooked emails. Here’s why that’s a mistake.

Welcome emails – a first impression email sent to your new subscribers, customers, etc – have an open rate of 82%. In other words, your readers are excited to receive these emails and see what you have to say. This is your opportunity to introduce your brand and set the tone for your relationship.

Our welcome email used to look like this:

It was super plain, almost completely generic, and looked exactly like what it was: a form email that was created without much design.

Now, we love our customers, and we are thrilled when we bring someone new on board because we know we’re about to make their lives way easier.

But sending plain-text emails like this don’t convey that excitement. Instead, it looks a bit like most of our efforts went into recruiting them, and now that they’re a customer, the branding has taken a back seat.

Of course, this couldn’t be further from the truth, and since we’re an email marketing company, we quickly stepped up our efforts.

This is our current welcome email:

This one is much more successful because it includes a few key elements:

  • Branding – Our brand logo, colours, and fonts are prominently featured, which maintains the look and feel of every previous piece of communication they received from us.
  • Information – This email clearly spells out the next steps for new users. We’ve included prominent CTAs to help get their account up and running quickly, and we break down the best practices that will help them use the platform effectively.
  • Design – No more plain text! The layout here is intuitive and easy to follow, and it guides the reader through the on-boarding process.

The key takeaway here is that, with a little effort, all of your messaging can look as good as your marketing campaigns.

If you use an email creation platform like Knak, these emails can be beautifully designed in Knak and then pushed into your automation platform, no matter which department is sending them.

If you’re not using an email creation platform, it may take a bit more work to build these emails, but the benefit of having consistent branding across your automated emails makes it well worth it. Use these opportunities to send out a great looking product and keep your brand at the center.

For more on why we’re so committed to unified branding, check out our Unified Branding = Better ROI blog.

And to learn more about how Knak can help you build beautiful, on-brand emails that level up your email strategy, no matter what department they’re coming from, check out our product page!

Pierre Hage is a results-driven marketing leader who’s passionate about helping businesses grow. He’s known for his unique blend of strategic, creative, and operational abilities, and he loves to find new ways to solve problems and drive growth. Pierre is Knak’s Chief Marketing Officer, but outside work, he’s a self-described woodworker, family man, and professional “cottager.”

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