DMJ Ep 480 with Robert Brandl – Branding = Design + Personality + Positioning

Delivering Marketing Joy is an award-winning interview show that helps marketers level up.  Each week, Kirby Hasseman interviews the best and brightest minds in marketing to help you level up.

In this insightful interview, Robert Brandl, the founder and CEO of Tool Tester, shares his expertise on branding, SEO, and email marketing. As a renowned figure in the digital marketing landscape, Brandl’s insights are invaluable for businesses looking to strengthen their online presence and engage their audience effectively. The conversation covers a wide range of topics, from the importance of branding for SEO to the common mistakes in email marketing and how to avoid them.

Branding, as Brandl explains, is a combination of design, personality, and positioning. Each of these elements plays a crucial role in creating a strong brand that resonates with the target audience and stands out in the competitive digital landscape. Furthermore, Brandl discusses how businesses can enhance their email marketing efforts by offering value to their audience and using quizzes to grow their email lists. He also sheds light on the mystery of email deliverability, providing practical tips on how to ensure that emails reach the main inbox.

The Importance of Branding for SEO

Branding is becoming increasingly important for SEO, and it’s not just about having a catchy logo or a memorable tagline. It’s about creating a holistic brand experience that combines design, personality, and positioning. Design is a critical aspect of branding. It’s about creating a user-friendly website that makes visitors feel at home. It’s about choosing the right color palette, typography, and layout that reflect the brand’s identity and values.

Personality is another key component of branding. It’s about the tone of voice used in the content, the use of real people and office photos, and the overall vibe that the brand exudes. A brand with a distinct personality can establish a strong connection with its audience, making it more memorable and relatable. Positioning, on the other hand, is about being laser-focused on a specific topic or niche. It’s about differentiating the brand from its competitors and attracting the right audience by offering unique value.

Enhancing Email Marketing with Value Offerings

Email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses, but it’s not just about sending promotional emails and newsletters. It’s about offering something of value to the audience to encourage them to sign up for the email list. This could be a lead magnet, such as an ebook, checklist, or cheat sheet, that provides valuable information or solves a specific problem for the audience.

Another effective strategy is to create smaller, more easily consumable resources, such as infographics, short videos, or blog posts. These resources can increase engagement and completion rates, as they are easier to digest and share. They also provide an opportunity for businesses to showcase their expertise and provide value to their audience, thereby building trust and loyalty.

Using Quizzes to Grow Email Marketing Lists

Quizzes can be a fun and engaging way to grow email marketing lists. Whether it’s a personality quiz or a quiz related to a specific topic, quizzes can attract website visitors and encourage them to interact with the brand. But quizzes are not just about entertainment. They can also provide personalized recommendations based on the quiz results, adding value to the user experience.

For example, a skincare brand could create a skin type quiz and provide personalized product recommendations based on the results. To collect email addresses, businesses can offer incentives, such as discounts or exclusive content, to users who opt to receive their quiz results via email. This strategy not only helps grow the email list but also provides an opportunity to segment the audience based on their quiz results and send targeted email campaigns.

Common Mistakes in Email Marketing

One of the common mistakes in email marketing is sending too many emails to everyone on the list, regardless of their interests and behaviors. This can lead to lower engagement rates and potential deliverability issues, as recipients may mark the emails as spam or unsubscribe from the list. Instead, businesses should focus on segmentation and targeting, sending relevant and personalized emails to different segments of their audience based on their interests, behaviors, and preferences.

Another common mistake is neglecting the importance of email deliverability. Many businesses focus on creating engaging content and attractive designs for their emails, but they overlook the technical aspects that can affect whether their emails reach the main inbox or end up in the spam folder. This is where reputable newsletter software and deliverability monitoring tools come into play.

Ensuring Email Deliverability

Email deliverability can be a complex issue, but there are ways to improve it. One of the key factors is the choice of newsletter software. Reliable platforms like MailerLite or ActiveCampaign have built-in features and tools to optimize deliverability, such as authentication protocols, spam checkers, and bounce management.

Monitoring deliverability is also crucial. Tools like Glock apps or Mail dt can provide insights into email placement and potential issues, such as high bounce rates or spam complaints. They can also help businesses test their deliverability by sending test emails to different email providers and checking if they land in the main inbox. By regularly monitoring and testing deliverability, businesses can identify and address issues promptly, ensuring that their emails reach their intended recipients.


Branding, SEO, and email marketing are interconnected aspects of digital marketing. A strong brand can improve SEO performance, attract and retain customers, and enhance email marketing efforts. By understanding the importance of design, personality, and positioning in branding, offering value in email marketing, and ensuring email deliverability, businesses can create a powerful online presence and engage their audience effectively.

To learn more about Robert Brandl and his insights on digital marketing, visit the Tool Tester website or connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter. His expertise and practical tips can provide valuable guidance for businesses looking to strengthen their branding, SEO, and email marketing strategies.

As always, we want to provide you with value.  So if you want to create marketing campaigns (and appreciation gifts) that hit the TARGET, check out our TARGET marketing playbook here.

Written by: Kirby Hasseman

Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing & Communications. Kirby hosts a weekly Web show called Delivering Marketing Joy where he interviews business leaders from around the country. Kirby has published four books. His most recent is “Fan of Happy.” His book, called "Delivering Marketing Joy" is about doing “promo right” and is perfect for people in the industry and customers. He also wrote “Think Big For Small Business” and “Give Your Way to Success. All are available on Amazon.