5 ways to build brand identity and values using email marketing

Why should someone open your email over the hundreds of emails they get each day?

Often, it comes down to building a connection with someone, and to do this, you need to effectively convey your brand identity and values.

However, you also need to consider the features of email marketing services, such as targeting and tracking progress. You want to make sure that your message reaches the right person and that the interaction brings value both to your business as well as to your potential customer.

This isn’t always easy to do in a few hundred words of copy, but there are some simple ways you can start to build your brand identity and connect on a deeper level with subscribers.

Why Is Brand Identity Important for Email Marketing?

To understand why brand identity is so important for email marketing, we need to look at why people open emails. According to this report, here are the main reasons:

  • 64% - sender name
  • 35% - subject line
  • 13.1% - offer
  • 7.1% - paragraph snippet

For the most part, it’s not about what you’re offering, it’s about who you are. The “who” is incredibly important, so what ideas, feelings, and thoughts do people associate with your brand?

Email is all about engagement, which is a very human thing.

If your brand feels robotic and lifeless, then your emails aren’t going to get the same open and response rates. The more you can define your brand identity in people’s minds, and give it human characteristics, the better your email marketing is going to be.

These emotional connections are very powerful, helping people to create a sense of community that your brand is a central part of.

5 Ways to Incorporate Your Brand Identity Into Your Emails

One thing we’re always told with email marketing is to keep things short and sweet. This is good advice, but how do we do this while still showcasing our brand identity and values?

1. First Impressions Count

Just like in the physical world, first impressions count in the digital world. Don’t underestimate the importance of your welcome email!

When people sign up for your email communications, they’ve been inspired to take action and trust you with their contact details. This is the ideal time to capitalize on their excitement and set expectations with your welcome email.

This initial email should set out what the customer can expect from you going forwards:

  • Showcase the value your emails will offer
  • Tell people when they can expect your emails
  • Highlight how you protect people’s privacy
  • Promise to be consistent
  • Follow through with your promises

Relationships are much easier to manage when you have clearly defined expectations, and this is the first step in establishing your brand identity. It’s a quick way to establish your brand as reliable, consistent, and trustworthy, laying a good platform to expand on your brand identity in future emails.

2. Limit the Sales Pitches

We know people tend to open emails based on who sent them, but why do they sign up for emails in the first place? Results show the following responses:

  • Learn more about a topic that interests them - 36.2%
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest content - 35.81%
  • Receive special offer or gift - 14.84%
  • Access content not available on the general website - 8.7%
  • Recommended by family or friends - 4.45%

Under 15% of people are signing up because of your products/services, so it’s clear they’re not looking for a sales pitch. Instead, they want to learn, be entertained, and connect with your brand.

It’s natural to want to focus on your main goals (selling a product), but when it comes to email marketing, it’s more effective to focus on the recipient’s goals and how you can help them solve their problems.

It’s a good idea to use your email to share other content you’ve created that’ll both entertain and educate your subscribers. For instance, if you host webinars or record podcast episodes, sharing these valuable informational resources is likely to further build trust with your subscribers.

When you build your brand identity and create a connection, then the sales will come without the hard sales pitch. You may mix in some sales pitches occasionally, but it shouldn’t be the main focus of your email marketing - building the relationship should.

3. Personalize Your Emails

Your brand might mean different things to different people.

For example, if you run a clothing store, you might have people who come to you for women’s clothes, men’s clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. Each person will have a slightly different image of your business based on the interactions they have with you.

If you ask five people to define Nike, you’d probably get five very different answers.

This is something you can use to create a more personalized brand identity.

By segmenting your subscribers based on their behavior (what page they signed up from, links they’ve clicked, etc.) you can offer personalized content that matches the vision you want each group to have of your brand. You can still portray the same themes and values, but it allows people to have a more personal relationship with your brand.

4. Get Personal/ Don’t Be Afraid to Show Character

There are millions of brands out there - people don’t sign up to your email communications just for you to sound like everyone else.

Show the unique character your business has:

  • Show the people behind the company
  • Tell the story of the business
  • Develop your unique brand voice

People love stories and every business has a story to tell. Don’t be afraid to get personal and show people your story. Establish your brand’s values in the physical world, and use your online platform to showcase them to your followers.

Email marketing isn’t about stuffy professional business writing. It’s about standing out and creating connections, so don’t be afraid to be unique and showcase the things that make your business special.

5. Talk About the Big Picture

It’s easy to have a narrow focus with email marketing. You want to sell your products and services, so naturally, that’s what you talk about.

Creating a brand identity is about much more than just products, so look to address the big questions. Show how your business looks to make positive change in the world, and don’t be afraid to address difficult issues.

Sometimes it’s beneficial to zoom out and talk about the big issues that are affecting people:

  • How does your business experience x?
  • How are you helping with x?
  • How are you leading progress in x industry?

The big picture affects everyone, so it’s a way to connect with your customers and showcase your values.

Final Thoughts

Email marketing isn’t just a tool to help you promote your products and services. It’s an effective way of creating a brand identity and building relationships with your subscribers.

When you embrace this idea, it’s going to allow you to craft better emails that get more opens, engage your subscribers, encourage responses, and ultimately, create sales.

Your brand has a great story, and amazing people working for it, so use this to build your identity and make a connection with people. It’s easy for every business to seem the same online, but with good email marketing, you can begin to stand out from the crowd, and make a lasting connection with potential customers.