Email Branding Essentials: Crafting Your Unique Inbox Identity

Email Branding with Campaign Refinery Logo

Email branding is all about looks and recognizability. If you have branding elements and use them across different marketing channels to represent your business, you should use them in your emails, too. 

Today, we’re going to cover everything you need to know to make sense of this strategic concept. 

What is Email Branding? 

Email branding is the use of any element that represents your brand in your emails. These can be visuals, styles, fonts, colors, messages, and tone. When you create a unique style and use it across all your platforms — email included — your customers and subscribers will have a more consistent experience. 

If your subscribers already know your brand, email branding helps your emails stand out from the crowd and grab their attention among the hundreds of emails they receive daily. 

And if they’re not familiar with your brand, using consistent visuals and styles helps build brand recognition faster by creating a sense of familiarity. 

Email Branding Advantages 

A branded email offers a unique chance to carry your business’s identity and personality over to the email channel.

But the advantages don’t stop here. Here are are a few more:

  • Boosts visibility. When you’re a known brand, your messages are less likely to get drowned in flooded inboxes. It starts with subject lines and preheaders to grab the reader’s eye and encourage them to open the message. 
  • Increases brand awareness. A consistent visual identity across all messages helps your audience instantly recognize your emails without having to go through the entire message. 
  • Builds trust. When subscribers see the same visual elements in all your emails, they’re more likely to trust you. This shows you care about your relationship with your customers and put extra thought and effort into designing your messages. 
  • Boosts engagement. The short-term result of brand awareness and trust is higher open rates and click-throughs. Customers are more likely to engage with brands that are familiar to them. 
  • Drives revenue. Customers like to do business with brands they know. And email branding builds a familiar image in their mind, giving them peace of mind to purchase from you. 

Elements To Use in Your Branded Emails 

Your emails are a chance to showcase your brand’s unique perspective to your subscribers. If you have standout visual or stylistic features, you must use them in your emails. 

Let’s get a snapshot of what you should use in branding emails. 

Email Section Individual Parts
Styles Fonts 
White space
Content Subject line
Email copy
Signature Social media/website links
Contact info
Your name
Branding elements in email marketing

Now, let’s go over the most important ones.  

Company Logo

Your company logo is the most powerful visual element that associates your emails with your brand. Even if it’s the only element you use in your emails, it can go a long way in making your message stand out. 

Your email marketing platform should let you easily embed your logo in your emails. Put it at the top of your message, where the readers are more likely to notice it. 

You can apply and use Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) to have your logo show up next to your emails in the inbox, but know that the process is long and expensive. We at Campaign Refinery believe in proper and secure branding, so we entered the BIMI registration process recently, expecting to complete it this year.  

The logo’s placement isn’t the only thing that makes it noticeable. It should be the right size — not too small or too big. And it shouldn’t fade into the background color. Use a contrasting background color to draw attention to the logo. 

A logo specifically designed for email is another option you can use. This way, you can ensure the size, color, and formatting match your other email layout elements. 


Does your brand have a signature color? Use it in your branded emails. Customers associate colors with businesses and recognize the brand as soon as they see the color. 

If you don’t have a signature color, pick one. Your logo or website’s color schemes are a good start. Consider color psychology in email marketing and the emotions you want to convey. 

Be consistent across all your emails. Don’t confuse your readers by using different colors. Use recognizable patterns so that you don’t come across as sloppy. 


The way you organize your email content is a canvas for your brand identity. It can catch the reader’s attention, help you convey your message more effectively, and improve your engagement metrics. 

Here are some basic elements that every email layout should have.

  • White space. Adding white space improves readability and makes your emails appear less overwhelming. If you put too much information in too little space, your readers will ignore your message. The empty space doesn’t need to be white in color. You can use your branding colors to enhance the visual elements of your brand. 
  • CTA. The call to action button is an extension of your email copy, but it’s also an important design element. Use a tone that’s in line with your copy to boost brand recall. 
  • Images. Avoid clip art or stock photos since they can look spammy. Instead, go for brand-specific images. And don’t use too many images in your emails. One or two might be fine, but more images generally reduces your chances of hitting the primary inbox

At Campaign Refinery, we’re firm believers that simplicity improves deliverability. That’s why we encourage all our senders to use one-column layouts with minimal HTML components. Flashy, visual-rich images are bound to hit the promotions tab or worse, the spam folder. 

Subject Line

Using the same subject line in all email messages is counterintuitive. The subject line should fit the content and give a general idea of what’s inside the email. 

That said, you can come up with a unique style of crafting a catchy and distinctive subject line that represents your brand. 

Start by reflecting on your brand’s core values and personality. If your brand is known for humor, craft a subject line that makes your subscribers smile. If trust and reliability are your hallmarks, focus on clear, confident messages that reinforce that trust.

Use your brand identity and voice to develop a template. By putting every email subject line into this template, you can craft unique lines that make your messages stand out in the recipient’s inbox. 


An email preheader is a snippet-style sentence that comes right after the subject line. Your subscribers can see the preheader in their inbox before they open your message. So, you can use it to your advantage to increase your open rates

Craft a phrase that’s consistent with your brand’s tone of voice to create curiosity or urgency. 

Ask yourself, “What would make me want to open this email?” Use that answer to guide you. You could tease what’s inside the email, offer a promise of value, or hint at exclusive content only available to those who click through. 

Email Copy

The third, but equally important, content-related element is your email copy. It offers a chance to paint a unique picture in the reader’s mind; one that reminds them of your business whenever they read something like it. Plus, it has the largest impact on your email campaign metrics

Again, you should incorporate your brand voice to create messages that always ring a bell for the readers. 

A point of caution: Never mix AI with human writing. AI can generate a lot of content quickly, but it lacks the human touch and consistency. So, there’s a risk that your content may come across as impersonal or off-brand. 

If you want to take advantage of AI’s efficiency, have expert copywriters put the final touches on the text. It’s the human element that adds subtlety, empathy, and personal connection to writing. 

Social Media/Website Links

One of the biggest benefits of branding is fostering trust and credibility among subscribers. And one of the best ways to show credibility is by connecting with your audience via multiple communication channels. 

Include your social media or website links at the end of your email copy to signal your business’s high credibility. Do it in a consistent manner and place the links strategically but in the same place across all your emails.  

When your subscribers click on these links and visit those pages, they should see a consistent pattern of visuals and content on all these platforms.  


Email sign-offs are effective ways of pulling your message together and sealing it off. While the sign-off should be highly relevant to your email copy, it can be unique and showcase your brand identity. 

Ditch generic signatures like “all the best” or “yours sincerely.” These are boring phrases that can’t turn heads or stay etched in the reader’s mind. 

You can use your company slogan and play with words to craft a clever line. Think of the tone and style in the copy to give things a smooth flow while standing out.  

Before signing off, you can provide your company’s contact info along with the writer’s name to help subscribers contact you easily. 

Examples of Email Branding to Spark Your Inspiration

Let’s explore a few examples of exceptional email branding that can inspire your own strategy.

Flings: Break Tarts, Not Hearts 

Flings sells high-protein, low-sugar pastries. This email effectively uses their brand theme by incorporating romantic elements that play on the concept of a “fling.” 

The vibrant colors, playful fonts, and catchy phrases like “Love at First Bite” tie in the idea of romance with their pastries. The clear layout, bold graphics of their product, and the direct “GET YOUR FLINGS” button make for an engaging and brand-cohesive email. 

A branded email from Flings for Valentine’s Day
A branded email from Flings for Valentine’s Day

Headspace: 24 Hours Left

This email from Headspace showcases its brand identity through a clean, minimalist design and a soothing color palette. The message “A fresh start at a fresh price” aligns with their focus on mental clarity, while the prominent “Get 40% off” button directly conveys the offer’s value. 

The smiling icon at the bottom adds a touch of friendliness. Headspace uses this character throughout their mobile app, website, and ads, which creates a layer of consistency. 

A branded email from Headspace
A branded email from Headspace

Fix8: Oh, Hello You! Welcome to Fix8

This email from Fix8 captures their brand’s vibrant and health-focused identity. They use bright, contrasting colors on their packaging, website, and marketing materials. 

The friendly and informal tone in phrases like “Welcome to the fam!” and “Your guts will high-five you” conveys a sense of community and well-being, which is at the heart of their brand messaging. 

A branded email from Fix8
A branded email from Fix8

Email Branding Best Practices

Email branding can seem overwhelming because you might think that it needs a lot of creativity. Well, it does. But it’s worth the extra effort that you put into designing each element. These tips can help you master the art of branding more easily. 

Study Your Audience

Knowing your audience can go a long way in developing the right tone and overall feeling for your messages. 

B2C and B2B marketing emails require different tones and styles. B2C audiences are often looking for something relatable and engaging. They want to feel like they’re chatting with a friend rather than being sold to by a company. 

On the flip side, B2B emails should sound professional and convey expertise. Here, clarity and conciseness are important. You can still be friendly, but you need to show respect for your audience’s time and knowledge.

Regardless of the type of email campaign you run, remember that you’re communicating with people. So, you need to go beyond demographic details (like job title or shopping habits). Try to understand their motivations, challenges, and how they prefer to communicate. 

Surveys, social media interactions, and email responses can provide invaluable insights into what your audience appreciates in your communication. 

Be Consistent, Not Repetitive

Consistency doesn’t mean using the same elements in all emails. You’ll send emails for different purposes and on various occasions. So, it won’t make sense to use the same elements and templates for all messages. 

For example, using the same elements for Valentine’s Day and Thanksgiving can make your brand look unprofessional. 

By the same token, try to come up with a unique theme and incorporate it into all your images

For example, if your brand is known for its eco-friendly values, you could design all your images with a green, nature-inspired theme. This doesn’t mean every email has to look exactly the same, but rather, each one should feel like it belongs to the same family.

Keep Things Simple

In the search for uniqueness, you can easily fall into the trap of fanciness. It’s easy to complicate things to make them different from others. But it’s simplicity that boosts readability and readability encourages engagement. 

Here lies the biggest challenge: keeping things simple while standing out. 

Instead of using chaotic color schemes or fancy email fonts, stick to one or two signature elements that are in line with your brand identity. 

One of the best tips is to use the same font as your website to create that coherent flow. 

Test Across Devices

Your visuals and layouts should look the same on all devices, especially because most subscribers read their emails on their mobile devices. 

Responsive email design isn’t just a nice-to-have anymore. A message that looks beautiful on a desktop but breaks or becomes unreadable on a mobile device can frustrate users and lead to lower engagement rates.

So, check your final draft messages on a variety of devices to ensure they look the same. 

But testing doesn’t stop at ensuring visual consistency. You need to understand the user experience on different devices —- the way your email appears in the inbox, how quickly it loads, and how easy it is for users to take the desired action. Small details can make a huge impact when moving between devices.

Use Email Branding Software

If you’re considering going down the email branding road and don’t know what to do, email signature software can help you get started.  

Depending on the tool’s features, you can apply branding to your email copy, visuals, or subject lines. They contain different templates that help you choose the best one that matches your brand identity. 

You could start with free email branding software and then upgrade to a paid plan if you find it helpful. 

Here are a few options: 

  • Exclaimer. This tool integrates with Google Workspace, Office 365, and Exchange. It has an easy-to-use dashboard that allows you to create your email signatures using a drag-and-drop interface. 
  • WiseStamp. The tool has a beginner-friendly designer that helps you choose fonts, images, colors, and layouts that match your brand identity. It has solutions for both individuals and companies. 
  • CodeTwo. This service offers a company-wide solution to design signatures for different users. It integrates smoothly with major mail clients and helps you remain compliant.  

Predict Problems

Your email branding attempts may not always deliver the results you want. In some cases, user-enabled settings or ESPs render these efforts useless.

So, you should be prepared for these problems. 

  1. Make sure the message is clear even without images: Some users disable image loading to protect their privacy against email tracking pixels and tracking software. Can the reader still understand your message even if they don’t see your images? 
  2. Consider dark mode. Do your colors disturb the eye in dark mode? If so, choose a palette that works in both modes. The same thing can happen with your logo. Plus, the dark mode can cause huge headaches if your logo has black parts.
  3. Use a supported font. While custom fonts may seem exciting, there’s a chance that some apps might not support them. 
  4. Check you’re compliant. Ensure your branded design and layout don’t delete or overshadow elements required by regulation. For example, have you placed the unsubscribe link at the end of your message, and is it visible to the reader?

The Highest Deliverability Rates on the Market, Every Time!

Email branding is all about staying consistent. Your layout. Tone. Design. It all has to be consistent. 

But you know what matters more than anything? Consistently landing your emails in front of your users. 

Because if your users don’t regularly hear from you, they’ll forget about you — even if you’re pretty constant. 

That’s exactly why at Campaign Refinery, we prioritize deliverability. Our intuitive editor helps you build emails that reflect your brand, while our cutting-edge deliverability helps you reach your audience’s primary inbox. And we have clever tools to make sure your users interact with your emails. 

We’re committed to fueling your growth in every step. 

If you’re ready to ramp up your email marketing, apply to join our platform today

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