Does a logo in your emails affect perceptions of your business?
Most businesses have a logo. And many use them in their emails. But does having a logo and including it in your email signature actually affect what your potential customers think of your business? Well, we put it to the test.
We had 400 people from Amazon MTurk participate in a survey experiment, a vignette scenario involving a business email from a hypothetical company, ACC Accounting. The email either included or did not include a logo, randomly assigned as a randomized controlled trial. Participants then rated a series of outcome measures on a 1-7 scale with the preceding question "To what extent do you think each of the following words describe this company? (1 = Not at all; 7 = Extremely)." The four outcome words included: * Friendly * Professional * Competent * Trustworthy
The scenario participants read is as follows:
Imagine that you still work in the accounting department of the clothing store. Your team is looking for new accounting software, and you have been tasked with helping them identify and rate potential vendors. You receive the email below from one such vendor, ACC Inc.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2020, 11:02 AM To: email@example.com Subject: Accounting Software
If you're in the market for new accounting software we have a variety of packages from low-cost to state-of-the-art. Our software has been around for 5 years and is very user friendly.
If you'd like to schedule a demo please let me know.
Thank you, Andrew
Andrew Miller Sales Manager ACC Inc. www.acc_accounting.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Including your company’s logo at the bottom of an email does appear to have a small effect on recipients’ perceptions of your company. Including a simple logo at the bottom of the email significantly increased perceptions of trustworthiness by 0.30 points (p = 0.031) and competence by 0.248 points (p = 0.041). There was also a marginally significant increase in perceived friendliness by 0.229 (p = 0.082). There was no effect of email signature on perceived professionalism (0.157 points; p = 0.241). There were no interactive effects of including or excluding the email signature contact info above the logo, nor for age or gender.
Our simple logo helped make our business look slightly more competent and trustworthy to our email readers. It's not a huge boost, but our logo wasn't exactly a masterpiece. So if you're on the fence about establishing a logo for your business, and you have the resources to do it, our advice is to go for it.
We used ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analyses to test for significant differences in perceived friendliness, professionalism, competence, and trust between the logo and no-logo conditions. For significant differences, the difference between the two groups' averages would be large and its corresponding “p-value” would be small. If the p-value is less than 0.05, we consider the difference statistically significant, meaning we'd likely find a similar effect if we ran the study again with this population. To test whether differences for specific groups differ significantly from their counterparts (e.g., men vs. women) we used OLS regression analyses with interaction terms.