Retailing, Emailing and Detailing
We often emphasize the importance of extending your brand throughout the shopping experience. However, there is another extension of your brand where there is almost always room for improvement: emails. Think of all the different emails that you send to clients and ones you receive yourself as a consumer: Order confirmation emails, Shipped Notification emails, newsletters, promotions, and customer service responses among others. Now ask yourself, do the emails you send represent what your business is all about? Do they enable recipients to easily share valuable info with others? Is your brand identifiable as soon as they’re opened? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, then you’re likely missing out on a huge opportunity to resonate with your existing and potential customers.
One simple and effective way to extend your brand through the emails you send is to stylize them. While the contents of the emails themselves are critical, how the email looks should be considered equally important. You wouldn’t give someone a business card that just included the company name, your name, phone number, email and url in plain text. They almost always have a logo or tagline on them at the least. The same should be true of your emails. Each email that is opened is a chance to make an impression and build brand awareness (or reinforce your brand): build a visual bridge between you and your customers. Without even naming the companies or showing the logos themselves, allow these descriptions to make the connection between some of the more recognizable logos in the world and the brands they represent: the famous ‘Swoosh’ seen on athletic shoes and apparel, the iconic once-bitten stemmed fruit seen on tech gadgets worldwide, the bold orange square with the white block lettering for the nation’s largest home improvement retailer, the golden arches that signal French fries across the globe, the circular luxury car hood-ornament with the 3 pointed star, the interlocking orange and yellow circles that make you think ‘credit card’. Despite already being some of the most recognizable brands in the world, none of them would miss the opportunity to reinforce it on virtually every means of correspondence they have with consumers, including emails, not to mention receipts, statements, etc.
Another effective way to get the most out of the emails you send is to offer a professional, comprehensive signature. Including your name and basic contact info are no-brainers, but many merchants overlook the value of including an image of themselves. This is an easy and effective way to add a personal touch to the interaction you have with customers and providing a bit more of a human element to an otherwise entirely web-based experience. Associating a face with a name or company is also effective way to reinforce your brand. Whether it’s a paid spokesperson or the CEO of a company, it’s not too hard to associate a face with some of the biggest brands out there, even if it’s just from a memorable tv commercial or article you read. Be sure to reference those images securely too. Sending well wishes to your customers around major holidays that include images of you and maybe your employees is another neat outreach too.
Finally, another way to extend your brand through emails, is to enable your customers to do it for you! With social media growing more popular by the day, there is all the reason in the world to encourage your customer to follow you across these platforms. Adding links to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages allows your customers to easily see what content you’re sharing on a regular basis. Furthermore, they’ll have the option to Like, Re-tweet, endorse and overall share your offerings with all of their followers across social media as well.
Nexternal customers can use the native Mail Wizard to send bulk emails which can be stylized to include your custom branding requirements. You may also utilize the order confirmation and shipped confirmation email addenda to tailor those automated emails as well.