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Top 3 priorities when optimising your brand design

16th Dec 2016
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It’s fair to say we live in a mobile world. As marketers, we have had to rapidly learn and employ new skills for new devices. Anyone might visit your website or use an app from all kinds of OS, screen size or resolutions. When you add in accessibility and standards compliance when creating emails, websites, apps, and messaging collateral – it’s clear that a marketer’s life is not so simple anymore. But it is more fulfilling, and here are three simple steps to achieve that fulfilment when designing a multi-channel marketing campaign.

Priority one: Accessible for all

The top priority must be to ensure that the company design, copy, and overall campaigns appear correctly for all your users or customers, every time, whatever device they use to access it. All elements should display correctly, with no broken links, all perfectly spaced, and all easily navigated. Not all users will interact with your various messages in the same way, or even order, so it’s important to consider in which ways your target audience groups are most likely to consume your campaign.

Priority two: Keeping the look and feel across channels

It can be hard to keep the look, feel, and tone of designs and messages consistent when adapting to the choice of channels available.

60 per cent of retailers are integrating email with social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, but just 36 per cent use social media to improve the relevance of their email campaigns. Nearly a third of retailers indicated that integrating email with other digital channels is a top three email marketing priority. Why is this? The new user downloading an app, joining the email list, or browsing the website for the first time, can be welcomed with push notifications, emails, in-app messages and more, in a tailored on-boarding campaign. A multichannel approach means the message is more likely to reach and engage those customers, meaningfully.

Priority three: Understand each channel

Every channel has its own best practices around design and messaging, and each can be used for differing message types. Here are four types and some tips to make the most of them.

  • Push notifications can be annoying to consumers. Reserve them for highly important, time-sensitive campaigns. Handily they’re simpler, design-wise, than other channels. The communication consists of the app icon and name, a very short message (think less than Twitter length), and an image – depending on the platform used.

Apparently, message open rates are highest on Mondays and drop to the end of the week, and weekly messages are the most opened – and a silent message also increase the chances it will be read over a noisy one.

  • In-app/in-browser messages are only displayed to customers actively using the app or website, so work best for non-urgent messages. They can include rich media with text. Care still needs to be taken that they will display well across different devices and OS.

Marketers can communicate with website visitors whilst they are thinking of the brand. This makes them a great channel for a variety of campaigns, including: On-boarding, new feature/functionality awareness and adoption, new content, nurture incentives or promotional campaigns, or cross promotional campaigns – depending on the customer.

  • Email. Everyone knows this tried and tested way of sending in-depth content to customers. It can be timelier than an in-app message, since users don’t have to visit anywhere else to see it. Design options are incredibly numerous, but need to be optimised for mobile reading, where the majority of email is opened. It’s important to restrain your urge to be too flamboyant with the design if there’s a risk customers won’t see it perfectly.

Email still provides great ROI of the various digital marketing channels. Econsultancy's Email Marketing Industry Census, showed that 73 per cent of company respondents rated email marketing as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ when it comes to ROI – up from 66 per cent in 2015.

  • News feed cards are an in-app content stream that can link to app or website pages. Not as intrusive as in-app messages, marketers can use them to add more context like rich images and text.

When deciding the message for the channel, beyond design and copy, the bottom line is if it makes sense when the user sees it. That’s all. It’s important to start from the question: What is the customer doing when they encounter this message? Keep that at the forefront of your mind and think which channel will serve their need best.

Be true to the overall message

Customers will move between channels, reading emails, push notifications, receiving in-app messages, and so on. It’s important that marketing messages should share a theme and all feel like they come from the same brand message. The brand aesthetic and message must come through clearly, even whilst they may need to fit the channel used to share them.

But the most important thing is to fit the tools to the task, respect the customer, and seek to help them make their decision well. Give the customer the best possible experience you can of your brand and your product – it’s our customers who matter most.

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