Can email branding really increase the ROI for your business?

The power of everyday email

Think how many emails each employee in your company sends each and every day. To customers, prospects, suppliers and partners. People who already know your company and open the email as they know the sender. Open rates in excess of 90%. Compare this to the results we’re seeing with blast email marketing.  It’s chalk and cheese!

With Email branding, your message gets there

The inboxes of your customers are as noisy as a kindergarten class. They are receiving emails on a daily basis from social media, your competitors, and other websites. Branded emails can help your business stand out from the competition. Using beautifully designed banners and signatures to spread your message is an effective way of getting higher click-through rates, delivering your message, and increasing ROI.

In fact, branded emails have been shown to increase open and click-through rates by as much as 42%. Need to deliver your message? Brand your email.

Branded emails are a magnet for lead nurturing

In much the same way as a magnet attracts the North and South poles, branded emails bring together businesses and their customers. They allow customers to find out more about your company, its values and stories as well as its products and services. It allows your customers to move further along their own personal buyer’s journey.

Now that email branding has facilitated the engagement of leads with your client’s products and services, it brings their customers a step closer for them to consider large and timely purchases. Branded emails that contain targeted and relevant content will be highly consumed by your potential leads.

Branded emails equals more customers

Because your leads are better educated and engaging in content that is highly relevant companies are experiencing higher click through rates which means more leads end up being converted into customers, and more customers end up making purchases. Did someone say ROI? We have your ROI right here.

An effective email branding strategy coupled with high quality content can significantly increase the ROI for your business.

The marketing agency viewpoint

Are clients breathing down your neck about how to increase ROI on their marketing efforts? Are you looking for a way to create more traffic to their sites and landing pages?

The good news is that you can help them take their marketing strategy to the next level without significant cost, complexity or more work for your agency.

Download our latest ebook; Extend the life of your campaigns here to find out how.

Robyn Woods-Child |  Managing Director

Connect with Robyn on LinkedIn

Is your everyday business email really designed to do business?

CAMPAIGN achieves engagement from ‘Send’ to ‘Sale’

As corporations become more and more aware of the importance of email signatures and email disclaimers, so they’re now also realising the huge opportunity their everyday email presents as a marketing channel that delivers real engagement and ROI.

Because that’s what our clients tell us they need…real engagement; high-quality lead gen; sales conversion; without stretching their or stressing them out.

That’s why we’ve developed Rocketseed CAMPAIGN.

What is CAMPAIGN and how did it evolve?

The name really says it all – Rocketseed CAMPAIGN offers the most engaging way to run a complete marketing campaign through everyday business email, from ‘SEND’ to ‘SALE’.

But it hasn’t just ‘happened’, it represents a long evolutionary process of our ‘email branding’ that goes back to 2004 when the CAN-SPAM act was coming in, Mark Zuckerberg and pals were busy coding Facebook, MailChimp was 3 years old, and the final episode of Friends hit our screens. Even then, Rocketseed – ahead of its time – had introduced campaignable branding elements into email signatures but, back then, running an intelligent and dynamic marketing campaign through normal business email delivering exceptional engagement was a concept that your average CMO, CTO or sales team simply weren’t able to grasp.

In their defence, that was RocketSeed v1 – our GUI was tricky, there was some coding required, campaign programming, rotational time slots needed to be allocated, planning was required and a multitude of banners needed to be driven…a lot for someone to take on! So we pivoted and customers primarily focused on running banners without utilising our core strength which was tracker tags, integrations and sender and recipient rules all focused on driving results for our customers.

What do we do differently now? And what does it mean for you?

If we didn’t ‘get it’ then, we certainly do now! We realised that we were overwhelming customers with options…goes with the old advertising adage ‘throw you one ball and you’ll catch it, throw you five and you won’t’. So, we simplified things, researched our customers and changed our offering.

As a result we now have 4 simple options for customers that do exactly what they say on the tin. Signature Basic and Signature Plus deliver for the business that’s looking to create stunningly designed and intelligently dynamic email signatures for their staff that they can centrally control and easily apply for Outlook, Office 365 or Gsuite.

Launching ‘Campaign’

And now we’re extremely excited to launch our new flagship products –
CAMPAIGN BASIC and CAMPAIGN PLUS. These also include the signature component but are totally focused on driving real results for your business. In fact, we’re so confident about them that if after 3 months you aren’t satisfied we’ll give you your money back!*

CAMPAIGN ‘BASIC’ and CAMPAIGN ‘PLUS’ – What’s the difference?

Given the deeper integration between marketing and IT (they still argue but kiss and make up much quicker),
CAMPAIGN BASIC focuses on allowing those two departments to create campaigns and run them through their everyday email (fully exploiting its 99% open rate) thereby creating a basic integrated marketing channel, precision targeted to  up-sell and cross-sell.

CAMPAIGN PLUS is effectively the ‘sales supercharger’ for your everyday email – powered by Rocketseed. You will have seen the links through this piece to different areas of the website highlighting what we do but this is the crème de le crème when it comes to squeezing all you can out of your business email.

And the best part? We do it all for you.

In many ways, it’s the CAMPAIGN service that makes it so special. Simply give us your brief and we take care of everything – from set-up, creative design and campaign planning to marketing automation integration and results reporting.

So Rocketseed will set up and run complete campaigns for me?

Our creatives ensure that every email your business sends is literally ‘designed to do business’, and CAMPAIGN clients are also assigned a dedicated account manager to ensure their campaign stays on track, and they’re always on-hand – think of them as an extension to your marketing team (if you’re lucky enough to have one) purely focused on achieving results from your email.

We’ll automatically build a subscriber list for you, will apply tracker tagging (meaning content gets automatically served based on a customer’s engagement patterns – think ‘machine learning’ but based on a database application) and we’ll run targeted campaigns on your behalf based on recipient and sender domains, and integrate with your marketing automation (such as Salesforce), responsively guiding recipients through their customer journey.

Sounds deep? It is.

When it comes to results, CAMPAIGN measures all key email marketing metrics, from click-through to conversion – all precisely attributed – reports them regularly and sends real-time alerts to your sales team.

A complete campaign – designed to do business

Rocketseed CAMPAIGN really does give you a complete marketing campaign – engaging through everyday email from ‘Send’ to ‘Sale’.

Now it’s time for you to give it a try!

Damian Hamp-Adams  |  CEO

Connect with Damian on LinkedIn here

Is email beauty only screen-deep?

They say looks aren’t everything, but when it comes to email, it looks surprisingly like they might be.

Why do I say this? Am I shallow and superficial when it comes to email signatures or think that an email banner’s beauty is only screen-deep?

It’s actually because the most popular page on our website is Email Design Guidelines and so, always eager to please, we’re making this Autumn season all about style – style that stands out, sets your brand apart and …most importantly… sells.  Even if your everyday email hasn’t been hit by the ugly stick it could still be a bit…well… everyday. And that could be costing you engagement.

So whether it’s stylish new look signatures, some bright new branded banners or a whole email campaign make-over, we’ll be giving you everything you need to make your ‘everyday’ email absolutely fabulous – not to mention seriously sales-driving.

Because whether your brand personality is smart and sophisticated or frivolous and fun, you need to get noticed on every email. And because it’s not like designing for print or the web, there’s a specific set of effective email branding design skills that we’ll be sharing – how to take your measurements, how to ‘get your colours done’, how to accessorise and how to bring your new look together so it just ‘clicks

No second chances to make a first impression

Never is this more true than with email branding. With a small space and a few seconds before the scrolling starts, this isn’t shrinking violet time (but there’s also no need to go the full Lady Gaga). You don’t want to upstage the content of your email but you need to get noticed and a boldly-branded top banner gives you that immediate (and interactive) impact.

Is less really more?

What size is really your size? There’s no need to go large or get into a squeeze – a banner should be viewable but not obstructive on any email preview pane or smartphone. We recommend a max width of 650 pixels and height of between 90 and 120 pixels to get it just right for size.

What’s In, What’s out

Even with a full suite of features and functionality, there’s only so much you can fit in an email banner or signature so, rather than looking too ‘busy’ (which actually lessens impact) try to keep things deceptively simple. Keep copy clear and concise, images strong and not too detailed, and your logo in proportion – just ask yourself, “Does my brand look big in this?”

And don’t be shallow … use shadows and overlaps to give your designs some 3-D depth.

Buttons, tabs and links – the ultimate ‘go to’ accessories

These really make email branding technology work. Buttons, tabs and image-map links can take the recipient wherever you’d like them to go – from landing pages and social media to documents, videos, newsletter sign-up or even the app store. In fact, having more than one link on your banners can also significantly improve their click-through success.

Tired of the same old ‘look’? Restyle, rotate and refresh

We all know that consistency is key when it comes to branding, but even the best advertising artwork becomes stale eventually so it’s important to keep your email banners fresh by running message and design variations in your campaign rotation. It’ll keep your audience alert to your brand and stop them going ‘banner blind’. And, of course, you can A/B test your design variations to see which gets the most clicks.

Get the response you want – with a clicking obvious CTA

No call-to-action, no clicks. Simple. So make your CTA clear, concise and compellingly clickable. We’ll be looking at the psychology of clicking in detail this season – from shapes and sizes to colour and copy – but for now, just make sure your CTA makes them ‘click here’.

You can’t beat bespoke

Everyone loves a time saving template but sometimes your promotion needs that really perfect fit. For truly bespoke email branding Rocketseed’s designers will work to your brief to create exactly the email branding you’re looking for.  We can also train your own designers in the creative tricks and technical tips of the email branding art so that you can develop future designs in-house.

So, are looks really everything?

Email branding, however brilliantly designed, isn’t there just to be admired – it’s truly strategic in its marketing power. From positioning to promotion, your designs are really all about your business objectives, your audience and the all-important call-to-action.

Design trends may come and go but engagement never goes out of fashion.

So keep your ‘eye for style’ on Rocketseed this season. There’ll be detailed design advice, case studies, email ‘makeovers’ and, of course, we’re always ready to design you a bespoke email banner or an email signature that suits your brand to perfection.

So, to email in style this season, you know who you need…

Jenny Bassett  |  Account Manager

Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn here

5 ways email meets B2B marketing challenges

B2B marketing has always thrown up its own set of patience-testing challenges. From reaching the right-decision makers to nurturing prospects through an often long and complex sales process, these challenges need to be met through the right choice of marketing channel.

While you’re deliberating whether your target will be more receptive to traditional or technology driven approaches, spare a thought for the channel that’s most likely in front of their eyes for most of the day – their everyday email.  Because eyes that may have long since become blind to the batch and blast of bulkmail are still very open to personalised one to one everyday email.

Which is why ‘email branding’ creatively branding your daily one to one business email with bespoke, interactive, trackable marketing banners and signatures – is a channel ideally suited to tackling the challenges facing B2B marketers.

But isn’t email a bit…boring?  Just because it’s not the latest AI or the shiniest new social channel, its effectiveness shouldn’t be overlooked.  Remember, it’s a channel you already own and which every employee uses every day, making it a particularly cost-conscious, smart way to market B2B.

While B2B prospects might ignore a bulk email campaign, they’ll always open an everyday email from a personal contact. What’s more, when it comes to click-through rates, email branding delivers four times more than bulk mailing, achieving 12% versus 2.7%.

B2B marketing is about personal interaction

It may be B2B but it’s all about people. When you extend your marketing mix to include email branding, you are reaching out to people you have a real relationship with – personal contacts. You can amend the email banners they see based on a conversation you had that morning.   It’s relevant, it’s immediate and it moves the relationship forward.

B2B campaigns need to persuade all parties in a complex decision process

Even on an email with the same content, email branding allows different recipients to be targeted with different banners, personalised to them and linked to the supporting information they need, so whilst the finance director receives a banner stressing ROI, the IT director receives one on system compatibility.

B2B campaigns need sales and marketing close together

Introducing email branding across your organisation can help achieve closer sales and marketing alignment with central control, enabling the sales team to retain control of their personal contacts, while the marketing team sees brand consistency and nurture-campaign content delivered with every email.

B2B campaigns need to harness the power of opinion-formers

Email branding banners are the perfect place to highlight an endorsing quote from an industry expert, link to a glowing review in a trade journal, or feature a client testimonial that directs them to a case study success story. In fact anything that makes their research easier and positively positions your brand.

B2B campaigns place importance on your company brand.

Whilst your campaign might be for your latest product or service, it’s your company brand that can give your customer the reassurance they need to purchase. Not only does branding every email consistently create a strong, unified brand image, it shows you’re in control which together can translate into that most important emotional connection – trust.

When it comes to B2B marketing, Rocketseed email branding is up to the challenge. To find out more about how Rocketseed email branding can get you up close and personal to your customers…

Jenny Bassett  |  Account Manager

Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn here

Microsoft Certification for Email Signatures – Big News for Us, Good News for You.

We’ve got a big announcement to make and we’re thrilled about it. And, as a Rocketseed customer (or future prospect), it’s good news for you too.

Microsoft has formally issued Rocketseed its certification for Windows Server!

It’s only fair that in true Oscar-night style, we thank everyone who made it possible, namely Janine Beard, Nasier Jaffer, Oliver Howe, Charles Oertel and the rest of the development team whose skill, hard work and patience have paid off with this certification.

So, what does it mean for you? Why is it important?

Well, perhaps Microsoft’s own blog puts it best “Technology consumers have come to rely on the Certified for Windows Server 2012 R2 logo (or badge) as a symbol of quality and best in class management of Windows Server datacenter apps.” And, of course, you’ll now be seeing this logo on all our marketing collateral (keep an eye out for it)

But it’s more than that…

Once again, Microsoft says it best – “Investing in certification translates to increased customer satisfaction”. That’s what we’re always looking for, and that’s why we’ve been committed to achieving this certification.

When it comes to any business offering SaaS or with a product involving IT and email, the key to user satisfaction, especially for enterprise clients, is security and peace of mind in terms of the Microsoft environment.

As Janine Beard, MD of Rocketseed Development, explains: “This certification proves that our product has passed all of the tests required by MS to ensure that it works correctly within their environment without any adverse results to their suite of products.  It further shows that the developed application adheres to their security standards and poses no security risks when installed.”

Without doubt, one of the key benefits here is client attitude towards R4E (Rocketseed For Exchange).  The application being MS approved means that the R4E plugin can now be installed into a client’s MS Environment with their IT administrators completely secure in the knowledge that it works harmoniously with server setups without impacting any of the software or posing any additional risks.

In a rapidly changing industry, you need high-quality applications you can trust for deployment in your private/public/hybrid clouds and IT professionals need apps they can trust to ensure their workloads are operating as planned. It’s exactly this trust that MS certification brings to Rocketseed.

In summary, being approved through this certification program offers compatibility with an upgraded test suite reflecting the platform improvements.

To end on a high note from Microsoft – “This program includes a number of certifications that include hundreds of tests and best practices with an emphasis on deployment, management, reliability, and security”.

That’s where the patience came in …it literally was 100’s of tests.

It was all worth it. See for yourself.

Damian Hamp-Adams  |  CEO

Connect with Damian on LinkedIn here

‘All Marketers Are Liars’ – Time To Get Personal

Well, according to Seth Godin, marketing guru.

What he’s really saying is that potential customers aren’t buying into the rhetoric anymore. They are looking for authenticity – something you get from a one-to-one conversation with a personal contact – it’s the trust that comes with the relationship.

There is a wealth of information available out there, over and above your official company collateral – from review sites to candid user videos to minute-by-minute social media feeds – all with something to say about your products and services and with the credibility of independence. Somehow you’ve got to break through the noise and get your message heard. Email branding does just that with the personal nature of the message and allows you to be agile – able to deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right person.

Let’s Get Practical

Getting started on anything new can be a bit daunting so we’ve put together our top 5 tips for running a successful email branding campaign.

1: Set your email branding goals

Are you hoping to achieve greater brand consistency? Do you want to elicit immediate customer feedback? Or perhaps get a market indicator on a forthcoming product? Whatever your goals, it’s important to define them upfront and decide the metrics. The results will not only prove your success, but give you valuable insight and guidance for future campaigns.

2: Audit your content

Evaluate your content in terms of your goals – look at what you’ve already got and determine what can be reused, which pieces have the relevance to help you deliver on your objectives. Does the content support the right stage of the customer journey? Where are the gaps? Where are you taking them to next?

3: Build a plan – The Customer Journey

Are you using email branding as part of an integrated campaign or a stand-alone medium? Either way, a banner lends itself to short headlines and simple design for maximum impact. Because it’s so easy to customise and execute, plan a series of banners to underpin a wider marketing effort or as a standalone campaign. It keeps the message fresh and relevant.

4: Integrate, integrate, integrate

Using all the functionality of the customisable, interactive and trackable banners and email signatures is the key to success. Ensure that your systems such as CRM, marketing automation and analytics engine are all integrated with the email branding tool. That way, you get the maximum information from your results for the minimum effort.

5: Review and test

Email branding is a perfect way to get feedback on which messages are resonating with your audience, in real-time. Automated reports can be delivered to your inbox. Banners can be applied using a keyword in the subject line. It lends itself well to testing messages prior to a full campaign launch perhaps segmenting by department or domain name. With on the fly reviewing you won’t only have the agility to get the best results but also a way to gather important market data that may affect the success of future campaigns.

Learn more about email branding in our new ebook.  It shows you how to ‘get personal’ with your email branding, with targeted, tailored brand messaging on every email you send to your personal contacts.  Always opened, and engaging, its beats ‘batch and blast’ bulk mail hands-down.

Tracey Adams  |  Account Director

Connect with Tracey on LinkedIn here

6 Benefits Of Email Branding For Internal Communications

Getting your employees on board and on brand is imperative and not just an exercise in ticking internal comms boxes. It’s about empowering them to become brand ambassadors.

It’s as simple as it sounds

Think about it – lots of emails are sent externally, but your employees communicate with each other using email multiple times a day – especially in medium to large sized companies. Each email sent employee-to-employee presents an opportunity to share your internal comms news, company announcements, marketing updates, HR policies and more.

6 reasons to brand internal company emails:

  1. Nurture employee satisfaction by inviting them to take part in polls, forums and social events, whilst tracking exactly who is taking part!
  2. Promote brand values with consistent email banners and signatures.
  3. Deliver essential HR and other company-wide announcements via document download direct from your email banner, whilst tracking who has engaged with the message.
  4. Connect staff who work in different time zones and locations with email banner messages that directly reach each work desk.
  5. Keep employees involved and up to date as soon as relevant news is released to get staff involved, engaged and enthused.
  6. Discover which company announcements resonate with staff (and which don’t) via fully trackable banners and click alerts.

We’re here to help

Providing knowledge and harnessing a sense of involvement will help your employees uphold your company’s brand values, be able to articulate what your goals are and remain inspired to drive the business forward. And if your employees feel valued, involved and loyal, we bet your customers will too! To get started, please contact us and our Parrot Digital Team will be in touch.

Tracey Adams | Account Director

Connect with Tracey on LinkedIn here

How Can We Make Email Fashionable Again?

“Ooh look! My sexy new email campaign,” said no-one, ever. We might not be talking about it but we are doing it. According to the DMA* 92% of us still use email as ‘the bedrock’ of our marketing programmes. But somehow it’s lost its pizazz in favour of the new kids on the shiny social media block. How can we make email fashionable again?

Great results are always in style and email campaigns still generate higher responses than their trendier social sisters. By chasing better response rates, content quality and relevance are falling as some companies abandon email best practise. A recent article in Marketing Week suggests that people opt in to marketing communications from 80% of the brands they interact with regularly but only read 20% of the emails they receive.

With its low price tag, bulk personalisation ability and easy transition to mobile, email marketing has long been the new black. However, over-frequency has fatigued our audiences and bulk email blindness has set in. Customers begin not to ‘see’ messages coming in, hence lower open and click through rates. We’ve persevered, tried to find ways to cut through the competition and given our marketing emails a coat of many colours. But what about our everyday email? Frankly, our daily business communication remains positively naked!

Nude is rude as far as some top UK brands are concerned. The Ritz, Leyton Orient FC and the British Red Cross are dressing up their everyday business email and are getting better results by displaying perfectly branded, interactive messages with every communication. And let’s face it, building brand awareness never goes out of fashion. With the right resources it’s an area where Social Media is made-to-measure, though another finding from the DMA report suggests that email budgets are a bit more ready-to-wear. Whether you’ve got deep pockets or not, the opportunities to clothe your naked, everyday business emails are too good to miss. Email branding is the new way to improve brand awareness and get heads turning.

Click here for more information on how to have the best dressed emails in business!

Direct Marketing Association Study

What Makes Us Click?

what makes us click

The simple psychology behind a great call to action can help your digital marketing efforts much easier.

The Colour

As a digital marketer make sure you pick the right colour for your call to action.  There’s no magic colour that converts better than others so pick one that contrasts and compliments, for example think orange on blue.

  • ORANGEEncourages immediate action. Consider orange if you want people to sign up, buy or join right away. It’s also the colour most associated with cheap or inexpensive things.
  • REDIncreases energy and creates a sense of urgency. Try red if you’re running a sale, a limited time offer or selling tickets to an event that’s close to selling out.
  • YELLOWDraws attention and creates low level anxiety. Yellow both promotes positive feelings and causes just enough anxiety to move people to action without stopping them in their tracks.
  • BLUEBuilds trust and security. It’s the most popular favourite colour in the world and is the choice for brands who want their customers to feel safe and secure.
  • GREENPromotes growth and relaxation. We all know green means go, which is pretty handy when it comes to CTAs. It’s also easiest for the eyes to process, so it’s often used to relax the mind.

85% of people say colour is the main reason they buy a product

Shapes & Sizes

Make sure you find the best shapes and sizes for your call to action.  Rectangular buttons are by far the most popular, but don’t be afraid to test other shapes and sizes if they’ll fit your design,and A/B test.

  • ROUNDRound the corners of rectangular buttons. Our brains seek to avoid sharp or pointy corners.
  • BIG: Bigger is better. It should stand out, but not be so obnoxious that it hinders or overwhelms your design.
  • TAPPABLEMake sure it’s large enough to be easily tappable on all devices.
  • CIRCULARCreate and test out a circular button that looks like it’s begging to be pushed!

We recommend a button size of at least 44 x 44px

The Copy

  • USE ACTIVE VERBS: Try words like “Download,” “Get” and “Start”. Leading with an active verb will get people up and clicking.
  • BE SPECIFICDownload the guide” is better than “Click here”. Help your audience understand exactly what you want them to do and what will happen when they click.
  • KEEP IT SHORT: There’s not a lot of space, so don’t cram in a lot of words. It needs to be easily read and understood at a glance.
  • TRY USING 1ST PERSON: Start my free trial” converts better than “Start your free trial”. This is an easy A/B test to try with your audience to see whether 1st or 2nd person works best.
  • CREATE URGENCY: Simply adding “Now” to your button can boost conversions. Make it clear with the copy that your offer won’t be around forever and watch click your rates soar!

One recent study found a 90% better conversion rate using 1st person

Improve your call to actions today, with a little help from our experts, click here to improve your call to actions.