Using Email Subject Lines to Build a Strong Brand Identity

As the competition for customers intensifies in today’s economy, a strong brand identity—even in a local market—gives you an invaluable advantage. Not only does a strong brand command a premium price for your products and services, it also can help create the perception of quality, driving customer loyalty. And, email marketing is a key way to help develop and maintain brand identity. This month, we focus on 4 important ways to use your email subject lines to build a strong brand identity.

Benefits of a Building Strong Brand
If you’re not yet sold on the value of building a brand, consider this. In his book Building Strong Brands (The Free Press 1996), University of California at Berkeley’s professor Dr. David Aaker asserts that a strong brand identity has a major impact on an organization’s bottom line through the following benefits:

  • Branded products and services command a premium price.
  • A premium price helps to create the perception of quality that, in turn, supports the higher cost of the products or services to the customer.
  • Because customers choose products and services they perceive as higher quality, branding also helps increase customer loyalty.
  • Perceived quality is the most important factor in an organization’s return on investment. In other words, marketing branded products or services versus unbranded should result in overall higher profit margins.
  • Customers also tend to correlate quality with value. So if a branded product or service is perceived to be of greater quality, it’s also likely perceived as a better value.
  • The perceived quality of a brand helps to differentiate it from competitors’ products and services.

4 Ways Subject Lines Can Make the Most of an
Important Branding Opportunity

Email can have a powerful effect on the marketing of your organization’s brand. What brand impression are your emails conveying to your subscribers when they see your email sitting in their inboxes? Consider the following ways to make the most of this branding opportunity—even if your recipients don’t open the email.

  1. Include your company, product/service, or email newsletter brand name in the subject line. Branding in the subject line boosts email open rates by between 32% and 60%, according to a study by email services provider Silverpop Systems, Inc. Plus, subject lines with brand names in them are more likely to be shared compared to subjects lines with offers only, another Silverpop study showed.
  2. Be sure the language in your subject line supports what your brand is all about. If your organization is conservative, for example, edgy or cutesy subject lines are not consistent with the brand image you’re trying to convey. In the same way, subject lines associated with high-value brands shouldn’t typically highlight sales or discounts.
  3. Have your from and subject lines work together to help build awareness for your brand. The from line is also important since recipients look at both when making the decision to open, trash or “spam” an email in their inbox. Between your from line and your subject line, you should be sure to incorporate your brand name—you, your company, your product, whatever it may be. As I have suggested in the past, though, sometimes it’s best to have the email come from an individual (i.e., a person’s name is in the from line). Coming from an individual can establish a more personal connection with the reader, rather than a colder sounding company name. So, in that case, you may consider using the brand in the subject line. Should you include the same brand name twice in both the subject and from lines? Perhaps—but testing emails is the best way to find out if it’s effective with your audience.
  4. Look ahead and set up an ongoing subject line branding strategy. What brand message do you want to communicate to your market audience over the next 6 or 12 months? Plan ahead and outline ways to incorporate that message into the email subject lines. That way, even if a recipient doesn’t open all your emails, they’ll still be seeing the brand message for your products or services in the subject line. And when they’re ready for those products or services, your company’s brand is top of mind.

When it comes to building strong brand identity, your email-marketing program can be an invaluable tool. And FulcrumTech can help you leverage this online tool—along with your Web site, search engine optimization, and social networking—to significantly increase brand recognition for your products or services and, ultimately, have a positive impact on your company’s bottom line. Click here or give us a call at 215-489-9336 and we’ll help you get started today!

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