Case Study: Email Newsletter Marketing That Reinforces Your Brand Identity
Hey There Business Bloomers! This post is a case study of reinforcing your branding in your email newsletter marketing, and for that discussion you’ll need to click this link to see the newsletter we’re discussing. In addition to branding, this case study touches on how intent, page flow and psychology are all incorporated into the email marketing messages we’ll be looking at. I will warn you now, this post is a bit long, but it is a good look at what content is included in the email newsletter, and why.
Make Your Email Marketing Task Easier – Make a Template
Do you have a newsletter template format that ensures that every newsletter follows a plan and reinforces your brand identity? Creating a custom template makes creating your newsletters easier and less time consuming, and it reinforces your branding by using your brand’s colors, logo, images, and design style.
A well designed template is about more than just the look, it’s also about the content. When you create your template, decide on a format to follow. Include articles and info that continue to nurture your brand identity and reinforce your reputation as an authority in your field.
Don’t panic if the first few newsletters you create aren’t perfect.
The example newsletter we are looking at for this discussion is the now final template I use for my email marketing, but if you look at the archives you’ll see it took me a while to figure it out. With trial and error, experimentation and effort I finally achieved a format that I really like, and which will work well for what I want to accomplish with my email marketing.
Hopefully, in sharing what I learned during all of this, I will help you avoid some of the hair pulling I went through before I finally achieved a format that is in alignment with my goals. 🙂
My hair is now safely attached to my head, and below are the points we’re discussing in this case study, including intent, format, brand reinforcement and viewer psychology.
What Do You Want Your Newsletter to Accomplish?
That is the first question to ask yourself. Reinforcing your brand identity is an ongoing and constant objective, so with that in mind let’s start looking at the example newsletter: <–click there to see the newsletter
The Header: A Visual Reinforcement of Your Branding Elements
To begin with, the enewsletter header features my name and title in the same font and color as the header on my web site and my social media cover photos. Your name, title and tagline should feature a consistent look whether on a business card, letterhead, web site, or social media profile page, to make you, or your business logo, easily recognizable. The same goes for your other branding elements – in the example shown those elements are the headshot and flower, which are also featured on my web site header and social media covers. Consistency and repetition are important when building and reinforcing your brand.
A Note About Naming Your Newsletter
It’s a good idea to name your newsletter and always include it in the subject line. You can add the month or a few words hinting to the main topic as well, but always include the name of the newsletter. There’s a couple of reasons for this:
1. For consistency and repetition, for building and reinforcing your brand.
2. The return address shown to the recipient is usually your email address. If the recipient is a client or potential client, you want to ensure that business emails from your email address go into their inbox. However, recipients often create a filter to send enewsletters into an enewsletter mailbox which they don’t check every day. Let’s face it, in the heirarchy of business “To Do” lists, reading email newsletters rarely falls in the urgent category.
Using a consistent title in the subject line allows the recipient to create a filter for their enewsletters based on the subject line, which will allow those emails to be filtered into a newsletter mailbox. If there are no consistent words in the subject line for each mailing, the recipient may build their filters using the return address, which may be your email address. This means that any emails coming from you risk being filtered into their enewsletter mailbox, where important business related emails can easily be missed for several days. Keeping the subject line consistent means they can use the subject line to build their enewsletter filter, while business related emails from your email address will still go to their inbox.
The Rule of Three: 3 Articles, and They All Reinforce Brand Identity and Reputation
3 Articles – studies have shown that information presented in threes is retained more often than info presented in other numbers. It’s where the saying “the power of three” comes from. The Rule of Three is ancient – if you want to learn more about that, just do a search for “the rule of three” and your search will literally return millions of results (336 million when I searched it today!).
1) The first article is a blurb about a slideshow on Social Media Etiquette and contains a link to the slideshow. This newsletter was sent out just a few days after I had given a presentation on Social Media Etiquette, so using that for the first article served to remind the recipients who I was and what they learned at the presentation, and reinforce my brand identity and reputation as a public speaker knowledgeable about social media. This serves the intent to reinforce brand identity and reputation. The slideshow presentation itself contains live links that serve the intent of driving traffic to my web site.
The first article also provided opportunity to link to the Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center, a well respected organization that was the event host (name dropping!), and to link to the rave reviews received after the presentation, which again served the intent of reinforcing brand identity and positive reputation as someone who provides valuable branding and social media outreach info to business organizations and the people they serve.
2) The second article provides some good, practical social media marketing tips and information that will be useful to the recipients, and which continue to reinforce brand identity and reputation as a speaker and workshop host for social media topics. While good information is provided in the article, even more information is promised if the recipient clicks through to the web site to read the case study.
So there is 1st, valuable info offered, and 2nd, incentive to click through by promising additional info. This serves the intent to drive traffic to the web site where, in addition to the promised blog posts, viewers will see information about Meilani’s Blooming Business Club. The intent of the web site is ultimately to get new members to join the club.
3) The third article offers up a video lesson that can be accessed by clicking this link in the email. The article lists the topics discussed in the video, telling the recipients they will learn practical, valuable marketing tips if they click through to watch the video. Again, some useful info is provided, and more is promised IF they click through to watch the video. The link leads to the video embedded in a blog post on my web site, once more serving the intent of driving traffic to the web site.
The Poll: An Interactive Element That Reinforces the Value of Services
Under the 3 articles there is a simple poll that asks: “On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most useful, how useful was the info in the Social Media Networking and Audience Building video?”
Why ask this question? This poll serves two purposes:
1. Psychology – The poll serves to get recipients to internally reinforce the message by their own vote, that the services and information offered are valuable. By voting, they are telling themselves that your stuff is good stuff!
2. It provides the sender with valuable feedback from recipients that lets the sender know if they are on the right track, that the info being provided is indeed info that the audience wants.
Below the poll is a nice Thank You whose message also reinforces the sender’s reputation as someone who cares about providing quality content to their subscribers and club members, again sending the message that the recipients are receiving good value for time spent reading the content.
Below that is a leading statement that sends the message: “if you found these articles provided good value in only 15 minutes to one hour, just think how much you can learn in a whole month!” and which contains a link back to the web site where they can join Meilani’s Blooming Business Club.
Under that link are social media icons that make it easy for recipients to share the newsletter by email or by posting it on their social sites.
Bonus Lesson: Repurposing Your Content
Well when I started writing this post, I meant it to be just a short lesson for club members, posted in our private community on Google+. However, as I got farther and farther and farther down the page, I realized this was turning into a full blown blog post. So now after posting it to the community, this will go onto the business blog on my web site and then get posted around to my socials.
When posting to socials, I’ll share the link to my blog post and write an introduction that gives an executive summary of what is found in the blog post if they click through to read it. Once again, I’m providing some valuable information, and promising more valuable information if they click through to my web site. The intent is to drive traffic to the web site, where there will be more posts for them to peruse, and of course, links that lead them to the club membership join up page.
Did you find this post helpful? Do you want to learn more about how to spend your social media time more effectively, so you are spending your time on purpose, with purpose?
Check Out Meilani’s Blooming Business Club!
Meilani’s Blooming Business Club provides members with a wealth of workshops, lesson videos, resources, and a private community on Google+ where members can get ongoing training as well as personal access to and support from Meilani! Click Meilani’s Blooming Business Club for more info.