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7 Email Marketing Lessons Big Brands Can Teach Small Businesses

7 Email Marketing Lessons Big Brands Can Teach Small Businesses

Whether you’re a startup or an established small business, email marketing is one of the best ways to build brand awareness and credibility. However, with around 64% of small businesses using email marketing to reach customers, it’s getting harder to stand out in crowded email boxes.

You might not have the huge marketing budget of larger businesses, but there’s a lot you can learn from their email campaigns. If you’re a startup looking for guidance or a small business trying to stand out from the crowd, here are seven valuable email marketing lessons you can learn from big brands.


1. Establish Brand Consistency

If you think of any big brand, their logo and the way they communicate will probably spring to mind. Brand consistency ensures that your business is recognizable across all marketing channels, not just email. When consumers become familiar with your logo and communication style, it also makes your business seem more reliable and credible.

Here are a few ways to establish a clear, consistent brand identity:

  • Include your logo in all emails and use a consistent color scheme and font.
  • Use a consistent tone of voice in all emails, whether it’s down-to-earth, quirky, edgy, or formal.
  • Make sure anyone creating email content for your brand is aware of your content style.
  • Create a consistent content schedule so that subscribers know what to expect from you in terms of both content and email frequency.


2. Communicate Brand Values

The most successful businesses clearly articulate their brand values and mission to consumers. For example, Coca-Cola is known for its efforts to bring people together, championing diversity and equality. According to a study by consultancy firm Wunderman, 89% of consumers said that they stay loyal to brands that share their values.

As you don’t have to worry about the operational challenges of running a huge business, you have more time to focus on communicating the passion you feel about your products and services. To differentiate your brand from competitors and build customer loyalty, use email messages to share your passion and values. This is especially important in welcome emails.


3. Cultivate a Unique Voice

Most big brands develop a unique brand voice to attract new customers and keep them coming back for more. They embrace their individuality and are not afraid to stand out from the crowd.

If you want to attract more attention and build customer loyalty, use your email messages to showcase your uniqueness. Every email is a golden opportunity to connect with subscribers on a deeper level and demonstrate that you’re not like other businesses.

More than ever before, consumers are looking for businesses that speak their language and share their values. Some people might not like your brand’s personality, but that’s okay; those who appreciate you for who you are will stay with your brand for longer.


4. Integrate Other Channels

Big brands use their emails to promote other brand channels, and use other channels to promote their emails. Cross-promoting branded content across different digital channels not only makes their brand visible to a wider audience, it inevitably drives more website traffic and steadily increases email subscriptions.

In the same way, you can use emails to promote your website, blog, and social media pages. As well as including links to these channels, share links to press releases, studies, and news articles related to your business.


5. Focus on Customer Experience

Delivering a great customer experience is key to attracting and retaining customers. As consumers are becoming more selective in their purchase decisions and looking for more value from businesses, brands that go the extra mile for consumers will reap the rewards in the long term.

Email marketing offers your business the opportunity to connect on a deeper level with existing customers. For example, personalized subject lines, exclusive content based on purchase behavior, and simple “thank you” messages are a few ways to make customers feel appreciated.

Sending out regular email surveys is another powerful way to engage your audience and show that you care about what they think. Remember to share the results of surveys to show that you’re listening to and acting on audience feedback.


6. Keep It Simple

If you subscribe to an email list from any big business, you’ll notice that a lot of their emails have short subject lines, are simply designed, and contain simple, straightforward messages with only one call to action (CTA).

When you’re creating any email, focus on the one action you want readers to take. Include just one CTA link or button so that people understand exactly what they need to do. Choose a minimalistic design, keep sentences short, and use simple language. The aim is to make it as easy as possible for people to scan your email. According to one study, emails with shorter copy of 95 words received higher click-through rates than emails with longer copy of 170 words.


7. Capitalize on Current Events

Big brands consistently use current events to make email messages more relevant and meaningful to consumers. Whether it’s a sporting event, a news story, or an approaching national holiday, brands create relevant content to reach out to their audience.

If you run a small business, keep an eye on local news stories and upcoming events in your area. For example, you can base email content around community festivals, local historical anniversaries, sporting fixtures, and exhibitions. Remember to include a special offer or discount to make your email message more attractive.


Whether you’re just getting started with email marketing or trying to improve your current email campaigns, taking inspiration from big brands is a good place to start. There’s no such thing as the perfect email marketing strategy, but you can boost results by continuing to experiment, tracking the results, and expanding on what works for your unique business and audience.

You might not have the same budget as larger companies, but there’s nothing stopping you from growing your email list and building a loyal customer base. By using some of the strategies outlined here, you can give your business the competitive edge and accelerate its growth.


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