What Is a Branded Email? The Importance of Email Branding (Plus Tips & Tricks!)

Melanie Balke
April 1, 2024

The concept is simple.

A branded email is what it claims to be. It’s an email with baked-in branding. Most have a generic format: inbox@company.com. It’s a straightforward concept with practical benefits.

(Structurally, the email is broken into two parts. The first half is the specific account. Most generic inboxes are labeled with equally commonplace words, such as “hello” or “info.” The latter part, following the at sign, is the web address.)

On the surface, a branded email assures customers of your legitimacy. It reassures them that your content is from your brand and reaffirms customer trust. A branded email address also promotes internal conformity and efficiency.

Notably, “branded emails” also refer to the content and formatting of your email marketing campaigns. While a generic email may include little more than unformatted text, a branded email uses formatting and imagery to align with the sender’s values.

3 Reasons Why You Need Email Branding

Workers and horses work to maintain a steam engine, circa 1937. Overlaid text reads, "The Benefits: Why Invest in a Branded Email Address?"

These tiny details may seem irrelevant, but the smallest actions often have the greatest impact.

At its core, email branding is a supportive measure. It reaffirms your brand’s identity and keeps your content consistent, professional, and recognizable. In some ways, it’s the first step small business owners take toward creating a cohesive brand. Yet, I too often see otherwise bright professionals eschewing the virtues of branded email marketing.

So, I’ll start today’s blog post by highlighting some of email branding’s greatest assets.

1. Control Your Brand Identity

Above all else, a purchased domain name — the cornerstone of a branded email address — guarantees overarching control of your brand image and professional communication. Obviously, it applies to that genericized “hello@yourbrand.com” marketing account, but it also extends to your employees. In doing so, it keeps your communication secure and trustworthy.

On the surface, a domain name lends credibility to your content. More people will trust an email from “marcille@trustedbrand.com” than one from “marcille@gmail.com” — even if the content comes from the same person. Similarly, consumers are likely to open marketing emails from branded addresses. Regardless of the source, content from “mybrand@yahoo.com” will usually be seen as less professional and trustworthy than something from “marketing@mybrand.com.”

It sounds nigh impossible, but I can explain.

When creating a professional email address, you must link your business website to your mail hosting plans. Both the data and email account are maintained by an overarching domain registrar, which also maintains a running list of registered website addresses. As you may have guessed, this means no two people can register the same domain name. By extension, this also means your company and its employees will be the only validated users of your domain.

2. Gain Consumer Trust and Increase Engagement

I want to emphasize that point.

You are the maintainer of your branded email addresses.

You alone manage your brand’s email marketing identity. You shed the skin of genericized email addresses and solidify your business’ identity. Every email you send will have your business name attached, which imbues your content with unassailable consistency and value.

By extension, your newfound branding promotes increased brand awareness and consumer trust, and trust breeds profit.

People are more likely to buy from brands they know and trust. Conversely, they’re less likely to cede their financial data to an unproven company. Even the most trusting of potential customers will pause before investing in a brand using generic email addresses. (You may get some business, but you won’t reach your full potential!)

3. Keep Your Email Content Relevant

That consumer-level trust extends to your domain.

Branded email addresses are less likely to be caught in spam filters, ensuring your email marketing garners the most views possible.

Now, I cannot overstate the importance of spam filters. Nobody wants to be in a spam folder, but it’s a necessary evil. Otherwise, we’d all be drowning in a sea of irrelevant email marketing spam and scams! Consumers rely on spam detection to keep them safe from unscrupulous scammers.

So, by extension, businesses must invest additional time and money into reassuring each potential customer of their inherent repute. Attaching your business name to your email account is more than a vanity project; it’s a necessity! It reassures email clients of your business’ legitimacy and — in many cases — gives you more room to send and receive bulk content.

A Quick Note About Branded Email Account Management

Many businesses also gain functional benefits from standardized premium email accounts.

Most services bundle professional email management with the purchase of a “premium” web hosting account. Businesses can then access their professional email account through their website hosting platform. This bundled solution gives users a seamless, simple way to manage their brand identity.

Alternatively, users may opt to purchase a separate email account. All major platforms (Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, and Yahoo Mail) have built-in support for professional marketing management. Businesses may also choose dedicated software solutions (such as Klaviyo) to host and manage their professional communication.

Both options are entirely valid!

4 Tips and Tricks to Create Consistent Email Campaigns

A Peter De Wint painting of a hosptial, 1845. Overlaid text reads, "Tips & Tricks: Maximize Your Branded Email Address."

The real fun begins once you’re done purchasing your domain.

Branding doesn’t end with your domain name.

You must also cultivate an intentional “feel” for your marketing efforts. A well-branded email can be immediately identified without further input, and you want your content to be identifiable without a logo. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.

Consistent, identifiable branding relies upon two general specialties:

  • Designers create a visually distinct message. While the colors and shapes of an email are the most obvious tell, a business should also take advantage of layout templatization.
  • Writers must craft a cohesive message. Emails should share a similar cadence, demeanor, and tone.

1. Establish a Naming Convention

Nonetheless, I’ll begin with a practical tip.

Most organizations already have an established domain system. New employees are quickly assigned new emails, and those contact details are always very similar. However, many small business owners lack the experience and infrastructure to manage such a gargantuan task.

So, let me give you a game-changing tip: Never create a branded email account without establishing a naming convention.

Think of the convention as a formatting guide. Most organizations follow a simple formula of, respectively, first name, last name, and company name. Thus, if a new employee’s name is Edward E. Email, his branded email address will be “EdwardEmail@brand.com.” Other common naming structures include:

  • First name, last initial (EdwardE@brand.com)
  • First name only (Edward@brand.com)
  • Last name, first initial (EmailE@brand.com)
  • First and middle initial, last name (EEEmail@brand.com)

This inherent structure is unlikely to impact your customer base, but it will do wonders for your internal organization. Initially, it offers a slight security boost, making it harder for scammers to spoof internal emails.

However, this consistent structure also aids internal communication. Employees must only know the recipient’s name to extrapolate their contact information.

2. Find Your Style

Now, look at your content.

Your emails should have a cohesive visual style. If you’re confused, think of your email designs as part of a display case. You want to display a coherent, consistent collection. Thus, you must decide upon your style and theme.

Modern mobile-first email design has made the minimalist single-column layout the prevailing email branding template, but you don’t have to follow the crowd. Look through your own inbox for a few examples; pick what you like about the content. Do you want a modern, sleek look or a fun maximalist approach? Will you use trendy sans-serif fonts or traditional formatting?

Overall, you want your final designs to maintain the following qualities:

  • Conformity: Your emails should mimic the visual qualities of your website and social media presence. Consistent stylization supports your overall branding. Brand consistency should also be maintained in non-substantive portions of your email, such as the email signature and social media links.
  • Flow: Content should flow seamlessly from the inbox to the call-to-action link. Let your branding complement your message. Use imagery, formatting, and lines to literally draw the reader’s interest along a linear journey.
  • Functionality: Don’t send broken emails. Poorly optimized and illegible content lowers customer trust. Aside from the initial negative reaction, such content also acts as a sign of indifference.
  • Readability: That new font may look nice, but ensure it’s readable before implementing it. Similarly, ensure your colors have enough contrast. Balance your accessibility with your visual distinction.

3. Find Your Tone

When you listen to music, you can easily pinpoint the genre. Country is nothing like rap, and it’s hard to confuse classical Western opera with toe-tapping reggae beats. Your campaigns should be the same — identifiable and unique.

Summarily, your business should have a clear vocal “tone.”

This tonal contrast may be the most challenging part of branding. It requires careful write-ups and extensive revision. Your “voice” must efficiently communicate your goals without demeaning the audience.

And — before anyone points it out — your written brand identity is as important as your visual flair. Some emails don’t need flashy imagery to succeed. This content — formally known as a “plain-text email” — is more difficult to brand than more complex campaigns. Without a clear voice, marketers can write just about anything, and the results may not align with your vision.

4. Speed Up the Process

Overlapping leaves. "Hire the Pros: Let a Professional Team Manage Your Email Branding and Content."

You can spend months laboring over your desk, clocking countless hours to create a branded email campaign, and have little more than a few weeks of content to show for your efforts. And you’ll still have work to do. You’ll still need to receive emails and manage your executive duties.

So, why not expedite the process?

I created The Email Marketers to give every business the chance to shine.

My team of hand-picked email experts knows the complexities of content branding. They’ve worked with countless companies to create exemplary branding and effective content. More importantly, they’ll work alongside your business to craft personal branded email content for your audience.

Schedule a free strategy session and discover how a team of marketing professionals can take your branded email address to the next level. I also encourage readers to examine the rest of the blog and learn more about emails.