The Nudge Effect in email shows just how hard email marketing is already working for your brand, in powerful ways beyond opens and clicks. But how much more could it do for your brand if you were to develop this pure natural talent?
How to use email to market your brand
Re-define your campaign objectives.
Whether you plan them to or not, your email campaigns will inevitably communicate messages about your brand. But email content and subject lines designed to generate immediate sales may not be as effective at communicating your brand values to your subscribers as subject lines specifically crafted to do so.
This is particularly true of email campaigns for quality or high value brands where it is not advisable to put too much emphasis on “special offers” or “discounts”. Products or services where the “sale” is more likely to take place via another channel are also likely to benefit from this approach to subject lines.
Think long term. Email marketing is a quick, reactive tool that can be very effective at turning around campaigns very quickly. But to get the most out of the medium, especially when marketing your brand, your email campaigns need the same level of planning and strategy as any other media.
So sit down with your branding team and develop a set of brand messages that you want to communicate over the next 12 months. To deliver those messages via email, work out a plan for how to approach subject lines, from name/address, content and snippets.
Work with other channels. Marketing budgets and departmental evaluation are often linked all too directly to revenue directly generated by that channel. But the truth is that people often come to make a purchase as a result of interacting with two complementary channels. An email may nudge a subscriber into calling a sales rep, for instance, or popping into a store so they can touch and feel your product before buying. Use your subject line to test different calls-to-action, and embrace cross-channel collaboration as a means of boosting sales for the company overall.
Develop a branding strategy for your subject lines. Subscribers who do not open an email will not see your offer or message, but you can still make sure that they get your brand messaging. How? Create a subject-line format that incorporates a brand message designed specifically for people who are not going to open the email or act on it immediately e.g. “Acme Financial: Home Insurance for less.”
Consider every aspect of your campaigns from a brand perspective. Almost everyone factors in brand values when it comes to the creative and content. But don’t forget other, often overlooked campaign components, such as the from address/name and snippets. Too many companies work very hard to deliver a great customer-service experience right across their websites and email content… and then fall down by using an alienating “firstname.lastname@example.org” from address.
How to measure the impact of email on your brand
Your emails have a significant impact across all channels. To identify the impact of your email campaigns, try checking for spikes in sales through all channels directly after a message is deployed. Online sales are one of the easiest to reconcile: simply check purchasers’ email addresses against your sent list. Even if these subscribers did not purchase through the email, sales within a day or two of receiving your email are likely to have been nudged by your message.
Also, check website page views, PPC search and affiliate search results. If you find peaks in channels that are costing you money, you may want to consider ways to encourage purchasing through your email programme instead. This may be a discount only available via email, entry to a competition, or even just a more user-friendly purchase process. As you already know your subscribers, the last thing you want to do is to pay for a lead twice.
Finally, conduct some market research to quantify the impact of your email campaigns on your branding initiatives. Choose a USP that is not the key message communicated in any other channel, and use email to promote it. Carrying out research before and after a 12-month campaign will demonstrate the impact of email on awareness of your brand values.
Will using email to impact brand affect my deliverability?
The short answer is NO. If you are marketing to a list of opted-in subscribers; following best practice and you don’t drastically change your frequency and list hygiene standards, it is unlikely you will see any change in your delivery. Don’t forget the nudge effect is going on already without you doing anything!