You hear about branding all the time, right? Your graphics, social media, and whatever else should be “on brand”. You should do this for your brand and that for your brand. I know you’re hearing this because I’ve done my fair share of writing those same topics. Because there’s so much content being put out about branding, it’s safe to say that most of us are doing everything we can to make sure ours is powerful and connecting with our ideal audience. However, why do we drop the ball when it comes to our email list?
Yep, I said it. I’ve been subscribed to hundreds of list over the last (nearly) four years of my blogging journey, and I can honestly say that the majority of those I’ve been subscribed to have sent emails that totally feel disconnected from their brand. It doesn’t look like their visual identity. It doesn’t sound like the person I know is behind the emails. Unfortunately, when there’s that much disconnect instead of sticking around, I usually just unsubscribe!
You don’t want your subscribers to feel that way and end up wanting to leave your list instead of getting your super valuable content. So instead of just sending mediocre looking emails and losing people because of it, today I wanted to share 3 simple ways you can make sure your emails are on brand, so you can keep your subscribers interested in hearing from you!
Your template should match your overall branding
The really great thing about email marketing platforms is that they give you this base template that you can use for your emails. The problem with this is that most people are just taking that base template, throwing their content in, and then hitting send on their emails. Most people (even “big” bloggers) forget that yes, the base template is there so you can save time with your emails, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest a little time in customizing that template to make sure it matches your visual identity.
So, how exactly can you make sure your template is a visual extension of your brand? Well, since you can’t use the exact fonts from your brand, it’s important that you’re thinking about your colors and your overall formatting. When you’re including text that you want to stand out and when you’re organizing your content, do it the same exact way you would if you were writing a blog post. In addition to working on your colors and formatting, make sure your header and graphics match your logo or overall style. Don’t ditch your style guide when creating your graphics! Caroline Kelso of Made Vibrant does this beautifully. She has a custom header for her newsletter, but it still matches her overall brand.
One important thing to mention here is to not forget the little elements when you’re customizing your colors. In MailChimp, the background color of the entire email is gray. If you don’t ever use gray within your branding, get rid of it! Change the background color to white or something that better matches your overall design.
Write your content in your natural voice
So, another way that people will recognize when content comes from your brand is through the voice you write in. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the recent stories of the “copy cat” bloggers. They’ve been getting caught primarily through people realizing that the content is written in the original brand’s voice! Everything you put out to your audience should be written in the same voice. This means your social media posts, blog posts, and yes, even your email content!
If you write on your blog and in your social media posts like you would write or talk to your best friend, you want to be writing your emails the same exact way. People are going to notice if you write your blog posts in a super professional tone, but then write your emails in a relaxed, laid back tone. So, if you’re getting hung up here, just pretend you’re writing to your best friend instead of how many subscribers you have. Don’t think about the number; just focus on writing to one person.
The other thing I have to mention here is that you shouldn’t force a voice or tone that just does not feel comfortable to you! I know that I write in a really laid back way, especially in my emails, but that’s not something that everyone is comfortable with, and that’s okay! If you’re more confident in your writing when you’re putting your content in a more professional tone, then just stick to that! You can still share personal content in that tone. At the end of the day, you just want everything to sound like it’s coming from you, not four or five different people.
Keep in mind your overall goals for your brand
Lastly, is one thing that I doubt most people think of and that’s writing content that relates to the overall goal of your brand. So at the outset, you might not think about your overall goal on a daily basis, but with everything you’re creating, you are thinking about that end goal. Your overall goal with your blog may be to start offering paid products or launch a service based business. This means that you’re probably publishing content that will get you closer to that each time you write for your blog, right?
When you’re keeping that overall goal in mind for your email list the same way you would for your brand, you’re going to find that it gives you a focus for your email list, and this will end up keeping your content focused. So instead of finding yourself just writing about whatever you feel like, whenever you feel like sending an email, you’ll always have that big main goal in mind which will help you create content that leads your subscribers through your brand.
This may be sort of confusing, so here’s an example with my brand: one of my main goals with my brand is to help passionate, creative women reach their goals and work toward their dreams, whatever they may be, so they can build and live a life they love. For me to follow through with that goal, I have to make sure that I’m sending my list valuable content but also creating products and services that will help them with their goals and get them closer to their dreams. With that in mind, my approach to my email list is simple. I sit down each week and write valuable content in a more personal way. This not only lets my subscribers get to know the person behind the brand, but they’re also getting actionable content that can help them move forward. Sending content this way lets my audience know that they can trust me, which will inevitably lead me to greater success when I set out to generate sales through my list.
Regardless of what you want to accomplish with your email list this year or just in general, it’s incredibly important that you’re making sure that the state of your emails isn’t holding you back. Making sure that the emails you send to your subscribers are on brand doesn’t take too terribly long, so don’t skip that step when you’re setting up your list.