Emails is just one type of digital communication medium. Chat services like MSN or ICQ were precursors to today's apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal. Even on social media chat services are a default setting. There are many messaging services, all with their advantages and disadvantages for marketing, but email is considered the most reliable and common medium of communication. However, the email signature is severely overlooked as a marketing tool.
We will explain how to implement your branding in email signatures successfully with just a few measures. You will maximize your B2B and B2C marketing success in everyday communication.
Emails and B2C marketing
Email usage continues to grow year on year. In 2020, 4 billion people worldwide used email services - this number is expected to rise to 4.6 billion by 2025. The number of emails sent is also rising continuously.
B2C marketing emails often include marketing content in the email body itself – the entire email is a sales or engagement effort.
Consumer-focused emails have a higher click-through rate than marketing efforts on social media. In Germany, for example, the rate is 4.3% and in Belgium even 5.5%. By comparison, the global click-through rate on social media is only 1.3%.
Emails also have another advantage over chat services or social media: social media moves fast and marketing initiatives quickly get lost in the churn. But email is a prompted marketing activity and people pay attention to it. U.S. adults spend around 5 hours a day on email, about 2 hours of that on their personal email accounts, according to a survey by Adobe. Importantly for marketing campaigns, that survey indicates consumers prefer informational emails over sales pitches.
Emails in B2B marketing
Given how important emails are for B2C marketing activities, you can probably already guess how important emails are to B2B marketing. For B2B emails you need a different marketing strategy than B2C emails. B2B marketing emails mainly communicate with business customers or service providers. In contrast to B2C marketing emails, most B2B emails communicate about business points; the vast majority are not overtly marketing or sales efforts. But every email reflects upon the sender and their company so every email should be considered a reflection of the company’s brand.
Email signatures offer a subtle way to embed marketing measures in any email. You can point out interesting and current offers or new developments to recipients, without obviously or inappropriately making a sales pitch.
Branding in a professional email signature
All emails should reflect your corporate identity and design. That is especially true for email signatures that make clear the sender’s business identity. And yet, about 30% of marketers have no email brand guidelines!
Imagine you receive an email from one of your service providers. However, in the sender's email address you do not find any indication that the email address belongs to the service provider company. Furthermore, the text is in Comic Sans instead of Calibri, colored green, and there is no company logo or name. The sender will assume the email is not professional or serious, and may be spam or a phishing attempt. Read here how you and your employees can protect yourself from cyber-attacks like phishing.
So, how do you design a credible and brand-compliant email? You craft it in line with your company's corporate design.
Every business email signature should include:
Consistent email addresses: to appear professional, the company name should appear after the @ of the mail address, i.e. in the domain part. An example of this would be email@example.com.
|Font and font size: a company-wide font, font size, and font color should be specified in your company's style guide. They should be used in all communications on behalf of the company to ensure a consistent look and feel.|
|Design colors: design colors should also be specified in the style guide. In most cases, these harmonize with the colors of the company's logo.|
|Logo: the logo usually appears in the signature under the employee's name. Often a click on the logo leads directly to the company website.|
|Image elements: above all, branding and communication elements that are listed in the signature should correspond to corporate design. Such elements can be, for example, event, webinar, or product banners.|
Learn how to create a professional email signature in Outlook in our article.
Why does branding belong in a professional email signature?
Email is one of the most widely used means of business communication. An effective email signature ensures recognition value for your communication partners.
During correspondence, you build a relationship with your communication partner. Correct branding in your email signature enhances your professional image and associates it with your company. It also increases brand recognition of your company, enhancing brand value and awareness.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression!
In a first communication with a B2B partner or customer, good branding practice in the email gives a professional first impression. Remember the previous example, Comic Sans and no logo? The reaction of customers to such an email would most likely be to send it to the trash bin unread. They would quite rightly assume the sender is not serious. On the other hand, a brand-compliant best-practice business signature communicates seriousness, attention to detail, and potential trustworthiness.
What is email signature marketing?
Email signature marketing uses email signatures to convey specific information to recipients. This can be a short identity-enhancing phrase in the signature, or banner images that link to websites. Those kinds of brand-enhancers increase impressions, boost traffic to websites, and generate conversions.
Email signature marketing can improve engagement in many ways:
- ...link to blog articles, case studies, white papers, videos, and e-books.
- ...announce news about the company, such as receiving or being nominated for an award.
- ...invite people to webinars.
- ...point out job openings and strengthen employer branding.
- ...improve brand image by pointing out charitable activities of the company.
Why you should use email signature marketing
A large part of communication, both B2B and B2C, takes place via email. Employees send an average of 30 emails per day. Extrapolating this to a company with 200 employees, that means 6,000 impressions generated per day and a full 180,000 per month.
According to the Adobe survey mentioned earlier, consumers prefer informational emails over marketing emails. Email signature marketing gives you the opportunity to cater to this preference while still using subtle advertising tactics effectively.
How can you ensure employees use appropriate email signatures?
Email signature management software helps execute marketing campaigns consistently across the company. Responsibility for including marketing measures in the signature does not lie with each individual employee, but with central signature management for the company. If you would like to have more information about email signature marketing or email marketing in general, please have a look at our email marketing guide.
empower® Mails for email signature marketing
empower® for Mails is our add-in for Microsoft Outlook that enables you to manage signatures company-wide. Whether legal information, data protection templates, or design in the context of email signature marketing: empower® Mails makes sure all email signatures in the company meet your expectations.
For easy ongoing email signature marketing management, empower® for Mails includes practical company-wide updates. You can update signatures or start a new campaign in your employees' email signatures in an instant. Our brand management solution supports your employees in implementing your branding, both in emails and documents.
Contact us and let our experts consult you without obligation!
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