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3 tips for your brand to rule in email

Among all the different channels and technology out there, email remains one of the most vital. Sure, it’s not sexy like emerging martech. It’s a workhorse. People use it. And people rely on it. That means it can be invaluable to your brand — if you give it the love it deserves. That means paying attention to these three maxims.

People are busy. They are inundated with messages. You need to provide something that is empathetic to their situation. That means:

If you’re using the opportunity to hype your offering or to talk about your latest accomplishment, you’re going to lose them. You need to be serving them. Providing real value to their lives. Look at the intent of your email. Can you reframe to either help people solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity that will make their lives easier or provide a little joy? Do that and you and your email will be valued.

Let’s say your purpose is to help people make more confident decisions about their money. But you lead with language that exploits their fear of missing out like “Is your money missing out on some extra earning power?” FOMO is a powerful trigger. It can be tempting to tap into that fear to prod those you hope to serve to take action. But it contradicts the purpose you want people to associate with the brand. In doing this, you create dissonance and confusion for those you’re trying to engage. And you know what people do with something that creates this confusion in their lives? They actively avoid it. That’s a death knell for your brand.

As an extension of your brand, your email should offer real value to people’s lives. That can be monetary (10% off), functional (get more done), emotional (feel more confident), and more. But it can’t stop there. Today, people don’t want to just buy. They want to buy-in. They want to feel like their dollars are doing more than just helping them acquire goods and services. They want to associate with brands that are making a difference in lives, communities, and even the world. This is a purpose. Or as I call it, your Big Audacious Meaning. Don’t forget to show people how their dollars are helping further the purpose you serve. In other words, demonstrate your value and values and you will have a loved brand.

Before you hit send, put your emails through this easy, three-point check. It will make sure you’re focused on helping (rather than just hyping), you’re true to your brand, and you’re giving those you hope to serve the opportunity to become advocates. Give your email this kind of love and it will return the favor.

Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail — a brand innovation company, helping organizations find their unique, undeniable and unshakable sense of purpose and create innovative experiences that bring it to life.

Originally published at on October 15, 2020.

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Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail.

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