Build Brand Trust With Email
We see so many organisations without a professional email format. So we ask “Would you send out company letters or invoices on unbranded paper?” Well, it’s the same with email, sending emailing without the correct company branding can damage your business.
It struck me this week, while working with a new client, that so many organisations are not educating their employees, and while people aren’t trying to damage their company brand, sending emails that are inconsistent will dilute it and could cause reputational damage to their organisation. We strongly believe that the key to establishing a brand and building trust is consistency. This is true with email too. If you received an email from a supplier which is off-brand you may suspect that it was a phishing email. It is essential that every email sent from your organisation is consistent with your branding. This includes font type, colour and size, logo, and email signature, even the content should be considered, these all need to be consistent throughout your business.
When used correctly, a well-formatted and centrally managed email signature can help build your brand both internally and externally. To help you deliver on this we’ve created a short guide to help you get started.
OK, this is a given, after all, you’re at the home of email signatures. But to recap, or if you want you can review past articles on how to create the perfect email signature, your email signature should be consistent across your business, including all the relevant information your reader needs. This includes details about your company and the sender, such as name, title, telephone numbers, website address, business address, and definitely social media links. Beyond just the information, and sign-posts to links, your email signature is the base of your email brand and establishes trust with your recipients. We’re always happy to help an organisation create a professional email signature, just get in touch.
Today’s business is mainly conducted on the web, and social media plays a huge part in this. Make sure your social media channels are included in your email signature. Again, less is more here, focus on the main channels that you operate and promote corporate social media accounts above your employee’s personal ones. However, people still buy from people, so it’s important to include a personal link, such as a LinkedIn profile within your company email signature.
Email banners give you an opportunity to turn your emails into part a marketing channel. These banners are highly effective in promoting new products, webinars, or services to existing customers. However, you need to make sure that the banners remain consistent with your overall brand, and don’t detract from the email itself. Try to keep your email banner image as small as possible, ideally, no more than 10kb, with a maximum height of between 90 and 150 pixels. Do not attach the image, but instead embed them using HTML. When designing a banners aim for a web resolution of 72dpi so that it can be displayed correctly on smartphones and within preview panels.
An email disclaimer is that bit of text at the end of your email signature and should be on every email your business sends out. These disclaimers are extremely important in protecting you and your business. In many parts of the world, they are mandatory. You should consider if you require different disclaimers per department, as you may need to tailor the disclaimer slightly to meet specific needs, for example, your finance department may require different disclaimers to your legal. Again, email disclaimers are a topic we’ve covered before, so if you want a more detailed article please see “practical email disclaimer advice“.
Font type and colour
We often notice fonts and colour before we even start reading an email. If your sender has decided to use a font such as Comic Sans you’d be a little suspicious. How would you feel if you received the email below?
It is important to pick a professional font. Some organisations spend thousands designing their own professional font in order to stand out. These custom fonts look amazing in print, however, when picking a font for your email make sure you pick a web safe font. Otherwise, you may find that your email looks great locally, but is a complete mess when read by your recipient. Our advice here is to keep it simple, pick a safe font, colour and size (10-12 points). Stay away from highly formatted email templates, as they will come across as marketing emails or worse SPAM. When composing an email we find that plain text is often the best approach.
Most of what we have covered in this article can be standardised and pushed to your employees with relative ease. This next section isn’t so easy, however we think we have some ideas on how you can help your employees write emails in a consistent brand “voice and tone”. Achieving a consistent voice within a business is difficult, especially if you’re a large organisation, so consider creating pre-approved email templates which your employees can personalise. This makes sure that your employees are providing the correct information to clients without neglecting the personal touch. Google canned response can be useful here too.
Finally, fraudulent emails can ruin all your good work. Many hackers and phishers will steal your brand, including your email signature, in order to create a convincing spoofed email. It is important that your business email is correctly and securely configured. Make sure you have enabled SPF, DKIM and DMARC to prevent email spoofing. If you don’t know what we’re talking about check out our security article on setting up SPF, DKIM and DMARC within a G Suite environment.
This is just a short guide on what you need to consider, we hope you’ve found it useful.