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How To Maintain Trust & Reliability Through Email Branding

By Koi Hernandez, Design Fellow at GovDelivery

Advertising concept: Brand on digital backgroundJeff Bezos, technology entrepreneur and CEO of Amazon gives a powerful statement of what a brand is, he states “your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” A brand is simply the first or last impression you leave your stakeholders. It is your reputation. By maintaining a consistent brand, your stakeholders are more likely to recognize and trust your organization when they interact with you. That brand identity extends to all of your digital properties, including email. People have higher expectations of brands these days, and it’s not just about the message anymore, but the way that message is delivered.

Here are a few tips for how to incorporate better email branding that will engage your audience and improve their experience with your organization’s communications.

 Logo Placement: Your logo and company name should be the first thing that your viewers should see, consider placing it on the upper left or center to be sure that it’s not easily missed.  Make sure to create variations of your logo for Web or print use, as well as various sizes to prevent pixilation.

 Color: Create a color palette that pulls its colors from the logo, or complements the logo (if it’s minimal in color or uses one color). Use these colors to build consistency and hierarchy to place emphasis on the message that you’re trying to convey. If you have a website available, be sure to use the same colors throughout also.  Sites such as Kuler, allow you to build color palettes and pull colors from photographs or other sources of inspiration.  Balance out bold and bright colors with flat and muted tones to create a sense of balance. It also gives you a better flexibility in color pairings for headlines and body text.

 Find Your Voice: Be sure to match the tone of your website and printed materials to the content that’s being delivered in your emails. Also match the tone of your content to the visual material that you’re displaying.  For example, having a serious and solemn tone, next to images of children with bright colors creates a sense of imbalance.

 Choose Your Font Wisely: Find fonts that fit the overall mood that you’re trying to convey (yes fonts do have moods), and make sure that you use it consistently throughout your media (printed or not). Certain fonts have Serif and Sans-serif counterparts, which gives you flexibility in terms of use.  If you have a particular font that you use in printed material that’s not available on the web, use a service like FontSquirrel to generate a Web version of your font (make sure to check if it’s permissible in your fonts license).

 Imagery: When using images for your marketing materials, consider the type of images that you want to portray. Make sure that it matches the tone of your message—if placed alongside or near your logo, does it match the tone and mission of your company?

 Be Consistent: The last and most important tip is consistency. Double-check your pages and materials, from your printed sales sheets, websites, landing pages, thank you pages, unsubscribe pages, billboards, ads, emails…etc., to ensure that everything is re-emphasizing a similar message.  When it comes to branding for emails, or any media for that matter, consistency is key. The more consistent you are the more reliable and trustworthy you are to your audience.

What are your best practices for incorporating branding across your digital properties? Let us know in the comments!