Think of Bristol. Think of branding. Who does it well? Banksy. The Bristol-based, presumably Bristol-born street artist has popped up in Melbourne, New York and Gaza. Besides graffiti, he works with film and animatronics: his work has helped legitimise graffiti as an artform, and Banksy originals frequently sell for tens of thousands of pounds.
Comparing street art to email marketing campaigns may seem a bit of a stretch, but there are parallels - trust us. Read on to find out how, when it comes to email marketing, you can brand it like Banksy…
Be consistent. Banksy has an easily recognisable style: make sure yours is too, and keep it that way. A brand identity develops over time, like a friendship. Constant renaming, rebranding, redeveloping and reinvigorating means you’re always saying hello. Again. And again. And again.
Stand out from the crowd. Do something different to the others, and keep it simple. Banksy’s style is stark and uncluttered. On a wall full of colourful tags you can’t read, you’ll recognise the Banksy a mile off. If your email’s a wall of text or a mess of images, your readers will get lost. Stick to a clear message and layout that will be instantly associated with your brand.
Make it mean something. Banksy stands out because his pieces are smart, satirical and significant. Drowning your readers with buzzwords just doesn’t have the same effect: worn-out phrases like ‘premier provider’ and ‘world class’ send consumers to sleep. Avoid the hackneyed, dismiss the clichéd, and make an effort to say something meaningful.
Branch out from time to time. Not content with walls, Banksy made Exit Through The Gift Shop, and more recently he opened Dismaland - there’s no reason why you can’t supplement your email campaign with something else to gain more attention and recognition. Writing emails is all well and good, but when coupled with rich media such as podcasts, gifs or video, your message can engage people in a number of different ways.
Design efficiently. People say stencils are cheating: Banksy says efficiency is key. You shouldn’t be ashamed to use a template if it’s effective and if it doesn’t undermine your message. Content is what makes your marketing unique. With layout, there are things that work and things that don’t.
BUT you shouldn’t follow Banksy’s lead all the way. Anonymity may build legends but it’s not great at getting results from email marketing - now that we think about it, sending out thousands of anonymous emails is possibly the worst thing you could do. Courting controversy isn’t the world’s best idea either: for everyone who thinks you’re a genius there’ll be someone who says you’re not all that.
Of course, it helps to have friends. You may not have heard of Steve Lazarides, but Banksy has a lot to thank him for. Lazarides brought Banksy’s generation of street artists into magazines, galleries and the public eye. Likewise, expert assistance can guide your emails into more inboxes than they’d reach if you just fired them and forgot. Professional help with the mechanics means you can focus on the content. You bring the stencils and spraypaint: we’ll hold the ladder.