When going through a rebrand, it’s important to take your contacts and email marketing efforts into consideration so your deliverability doesn’t take a hit. For example, let’s say you’ve finished updating all of your email templates from your old brand to your new brand and send your first rebranded email to your list. Instead of piquing the interest of your contacts and seeing high engagement rates, your contacts may no longer recognize you and be confused by your email. This can lead them to either delete your email or mark it as spam. Not only will this lead to low engagement rates, but it could get you blacklisted by ISPs.
While having your messages ignored or flagged as spam after a rebrand may always be a risk, there are some best practices you can implement during your transition. Not only will the pointers below help you bring awareness of the change to your audience, but they will help you avoid dreaded spam complaints and blacklists.
Introduce your new brand
Introducing your new brand before you make the switch can help bring awareness of the upcoming changes to your audience and further establish trust. This is something you’ll want to do slowly and over time so your contacts can get used to recognizing the "new you" in their inbox. You can send a single campaign that tells them of the upcoming change and when that change is expected to take place. You may also want to leverage emails you send regularly, such as newsletters, as well as your social media channels to remind contacts of the upcoming change before you make the switch.
If this is an acquisition, ask contacts to opt into the new company’s emails by having them submit a form. You can include a link to your form from your email and ask them which lists they want to subscribe to or unsubscribe from. This will not only keep your lists clean, but will ensure that contacts are aware of the upcoming changes.
Co-brand your campaigns
You may want to consider co-branding your emails for a period of time before completely switching to your new brand, especially if you’re updating the name or logo of your company. If you wish to co-brand, you should start doing it after your initial announcement of the rebrand so your contacts aren’t confused by your co-branded messages. Not only will they recognize your previous brand and open your message, but it will get them used to seeing your new brand before you completely make the switch.
Ask contacts to add the "new you" to their contact list
Ask your contacts to check their spam folder for your messages and to add you to their contacts list. This is especially important if you are changing your domain. ESPs may not recognize your new domain and send your email to the Spam Folder, this will result in low engagement rates. By asking contacts to look out for your messages and add you to their contacts list, your messages will be “unflagged” as spam which will help your deliverability and inbox placement.
Keep your original “sent from” information (if possible)
Keeping your “From” name and email address the same after your rebrand will make it easier for contacts to recognize you as they quickly scan their inbox. This “From” information has already been used to establish trust and recognition with your subscribers and they are less likely to mark your email as spam. In addition, receiving mail servers will use the “From” information to identify senders and score them. This establishes your sender reputation. If you change your “From” information, you will reset your earned reputation.
Subject lines are also quickly perused as contacts scan their inbox. You can use this prime real estate as an opportunity to get creative and introduce and establish trust with your new brand. For example: “Introducing [My Brand New Brand] from [My Previous Brand].” Not only will contacts recognize you from your previous brand (which will get them to open your message), but they are made aware of your upcoming shift at-a-glance and will get a glimpse of what your brand WILL be.
Make it easy to unsubscribe
Having contacts opt out of your email is better than having them mark it as spam because it doesn’t harm your deliverability. You can either make the unsubscribe font large and obvious, or you can choose to show an additional unsubscribe link in a prominent position, somewhere close to the top of your email. This helps push your contacts toward unsubscribing from your list instead of marking your message as spam.
Include a subscription reminder in your campaign
This reminder can be added to a text block toward the top of your email or in any other prominent position. Including this quick note can help cut down on confusion as to why a contact received your email, in case they forgot that they signed up for your list or don’t recognize your new brand.
Subscription reminders can be created for each list in your account. To view or edit a subscription reminder for your list, go to Lists and click the down caret for the list you wish to work with. Then click “Edit.” A modal will appear where you can view and edit your subscription reminder. To include that reminder when sending a campaign to your list, type the %SENDER-LIST-REMINDER% personalization tag in your email where you want the reminder to appear. When the email is sent, the reminder you created will replace the personalization tag.