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Is there a way I can effectively brand all of the routine, day-to-day e-mail leaving my company?

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Answer: Yes, and this is something that you most certainly should do.

Unlike organized e-mail marketing campaigns, routine, day-to-day e-mail is sent by every department within your company. While these communications are not specifically marketing related, every one of them offers a real branding opportunity.

Branding these routine e-mails is typically done through the use of e-mail signatures; all major e-mail programs enable senders to create a signature that is automatically appended to outgoing e-mail.

E-mail signatures are generally used as an easy means of distributing contact information. What is often overlooked is that they can be tweaked to provide a highly effective, and cohesive, branding opportunity.To do so:

  • Make sure thecompany logo is displayed consistently, is properly sized, and has no distortion or degradation.
  • Include functional links to the company Web site, map and a downloadable v-card, as long as you can do so cleanly.
  • Use HTML "ALT" tags properly to ensure the contact information in the signature is presented to those e-mail recipients who receive plain text e-mail or have image-blocking turned on.
  • Program HTML properly to ensure the signature image is not sent as an attachment, and that e-mail messages are not at increased risk of being filtered out by SPAM and anti-virus software.

Activating a high-quality e-mail signature program across e-mail users in your company is neither expensive nor difficult, and the ongoing rewards easily justify the cost.

Rex Weston is president-CEO of StaioneryCentral.com (www.stationerycentral.com), a provider of e-mail branding solutions.

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