Why does a logo up the top of an email increase replies by 12%?

When we started Black Pearl Mail over four years ago (before that we were in the exciting world of cloud anti-spam) one of the drivers was a personal frustration at not being able to easily get your logo at the top of the emails you send to people.

It made sense to me that in a world where people’s inboxes are becoming more crowded by the day, a classy letterhead styled email signature would help make email stand out in a busy inbox.

As most of you know achieving this used to not be a simple exercise. There are thousands of send/receive permutations which need to be accounted for. Over 60% of email is opened on mobile so of course that is a key area to address. Making it super simple so that anyone, even with no design skill, can create amazing looking emails was the toughest nut to crack.

We spent a lot of time and money perfecting this because we believed email needed to be taken to the next level. What we didn’t know back then was precisely how much more effective up top branding would make email. We now do and it took us by surprise!

Processing anonymized metadata from the millions of emails we process there was a clear trend indicating that a neatly placed logo at the top of an email significantly increased the replies an email got. The key factors are:

  1. Placement – up the top of the email. Left, center or right justified.
  2. Logo/name only
  3. Responsive to and from all devices and platforms (obviously!).

The second point is an interesting one because minimalist designs yielded far higher replies (as high at 12%) than busy banners. We theorize that is because banner type headers can be mistaken as campaign emails if your are not careful with design.

Given the anonymized nature of the data we used to conduct this study we can’t know why this is the case, though we have plenty of theories. What we can say is that over time, as the adoption of full letterhead branding continues to become mainstream, this boost won’t last forever. However, for the immediate future this is an affordable and easy way to improve the efficiency of daily business email.