Email Marketing – (part 1)
Permission Based Marketing
Marketing Tools And Service
Best Practices And Important Tips
Gathering And Building The Email List
Welcome to the wonderful world of marketing via email. This guide should act as a beginner or refresher resource for those interested in incorporating email into their business marketing efforts. The content is broken up into three parts.
The first part of this guide will give details on what this marketing entails, then get the reader familiar with terms used in marketing, the advantages of using this marketing strategy, tools to make managing this form of marketing easier, and finally the layout of an email series along with examples specific to the weight loss niche.
Email marketing is any form of direct marketing done via electronic mail for purposes of collecting data, selling, increasing awareness, requesting donations, and/or providing updates to those subscribed to receive these types of mailings, also known as subscribers.
The term, email marketing, is often used loosely, but may involve:
A merchant sending out a mass email message to current or past customers to strengthen the consumer-merchant relationship and encourage customer loyalty and keep customers engaged and updated.
Sending email messages in order to make subscribers aware of new services and products from partner merchants during joint ventures.
Sending email messages in order to get feedback on a new product or ideas for creation of a new product or service.
There are tons of advantages to email and for good reason.
Below are just a few reasons this has become a favorite among those using it to effectively communicate with customers and prospects:
Email marketing is fairly inexpensive.
The bulk of expenses are put toward reliable hosting for subscriber management (to include forms used to collect data, sending to a massive amount of subscribers at once, and help staying in compliance with spam and consumer laws). Because email is so inexpensive compared to other mediums, merchants often experience a high return on their investment.
Not only is email more cost effective than other mediums, but it’s faster.
Whereas traditional direct mail can quickly rack up in costs, time, and effort, email marketing is more easily managed and literally instant.
Leads are often times more targeted, because they’ve opted to receive communication from the merchant versus a merchant communicated due to a broader interest expressed by each individual subscriber.
Email also gives the merchant better control over when emails are read, by analyzing data to see who in what part of the world opens and reads their emails the most and when.
Email Marketing Terms
Below are some terms that may be a bit unfamiliar to the new email marketer that should be acknowledged before proceeding.
Bounce Rate is the percentage of total emails sent but could not be delivered to the recipient’s inbox.
There are two types of bounces, hard and soft bounces.
Soft bounces are less threatening as they only occur periodically with a valid email address is encountering some sort of network problem from the server.
This can be from the recipient’s end or the sender’s end (sometimes tools used to send and manage emails can have a heavier than usual usage and cause the server to have delays).
The recipient’s server may deliver these bounced emails at a later time once the issue is resolved.
Hard bounces are the result of an invalid, closed, or non-existent email address, and sadly these emails will never result in a successful delivery and should be removed from the merchant’s subscriber base to save space, time, and money.
Delivery Rate the percentage of emails that were actually delivered to recipients’ inboxes. The delivery rate takes into consideration both hard and soft bounces and eliminates them from being calculated to give a more accurate percentage of emails successfully delivered.
Though debatable, many marketers consider a deliver ability rate in the 90 percentile to be good. 10 percent or less would be a somewhat acceptable rate of undelivered emails.
Keeping a track of emails that continue to fail to be delivered to along with records of receipts who seem to never open emails can help to lower this percentage and keep the merchant’s delivery rate relatively high.
Merchants should also consider if their emails are being flagged as spam by firewalls or major ISPs, causing messages to be blocked.
List Growth Rate
List Growth Rate is a term used to describe the rate at which a list is growing in number of subscribers and readers.
Monitoring the growth of an email list can make it easier to know what works and what doesn’t work to increase the overall performance of each email campaign, as well as save time and money.
To calculate the list growth rate simply subtract those who have opted-out (or chosen to no longer receive emails) and the hard bounces from the number of new subscribers gained in a 30 day period and divide that number by the original number of subscribers in that list.
The email list growth rate is vital to email marketing success.
CTR (Click Through Rate)
CTR (Click Through Rate) is the number of subscribers who opened a given email and clicked an embedded link located within the email message.
To determine the CTR divide the unique number of those who opened the successfully delivered emails the total number of clicks.
Monitoring email CTR is important because it helps the merchant to know if emails prompt readers to take the desired action and that the reader remains engaged and intrigued by the material the merchant sends.
Email Sharing is the percentage of recipients who clicked on a “share this” option/button to share that particular email with others.
The sharing tool is usually something connected to a social networking website, but can be as simple as forwarding the original email to a designated new recipient.
Email sharing is an indicator that not only is the content within the emails relevant, but enjoyable or valid enough to share with others who will likely feel similarly.
The more a merchant can get subscribers and readers to share the more the reach of their message can expand and drastically increase the reach of the message by tapping into the viral nature of subscribers through their personal and social networks.
Open rate is simply the term used to describe the number of subscribers that open and read an email versus the overall amount sent to all the subscribers in a set campaign. There are many factors that can impact the number of opens.
If any, embedded images are in a message and the recipient has blocked such features, the email may not hit the inbox.
This means that even if the message is successfully delivered, it won’t be included in your open rate, if the user does not see the complete content of the message due to their restriction settings in their email.
Conversion Rate is the number of subscribers who have clicked on an embedded link within an email and completed a desired action.
The desired action can vary but it can be as simple as filling out survey, signing up for a new list, or purchasing a product or service. This rate is the most important measure of an email campaign’s effectiveness.
The higher the conversion rate, the more relevant effective the campaign and the more likely the merchant is to have a better overall relationship with their subscribers.
Unsubscribe Rate is the number of subscribers who have opted out or confirmed they would like to stop receiving emails versus who keeps their subscription and continues to grant the merchant permission to send emails to their inbox.
Email Content Types
Email marketing includes a variety of different types of emails, separated by its general purpose, for example:
Service Emails are usually sent to update customers who have made a purchase.
This can include (but in no way is limited to) emails sent to update customers about a recent or past order, special offers based on past purchases, or surveys to better merchants provide value to them in the future.
E-newsletters are more informative and usually include articles or links to articles that detail more in-depth an update or information about a new product or service that may be of interest to their subscribers.
These types of emails may include information on how to obtain free or discounted products or services as well.
Press Releases are a bit more one-sided and serve to update subscribers on information about the company and update them on new products, events, company changes in management, policies, prices, etc, and other information made to the public on the status of a company and their business practices.
Surveys are used to build a better product, service, and/or overall customer experience by simply asking customers and prospects questions to get the info needed to provide more of what subscribers want, thus increasing sales and awareness.
Invitations are sent to make aware and invite subscribers of upcoming special events. If done right, this can bring a flood of old and new customers in order to not only get people with like interests in one room, but better connect with customers to help build a better future experience with the company.
Thank You emails
Thank You emails are simple notes to let your customers know you’re grateful for their business. Use this time to also welcome new customers and explain your polices, contact information and business practices.
This is also an excellent time to make them aware of other products and services they may find useful that the company readily provides.
With there being so many different types of emails, it’s important to note how different emails work.
Transaction Emails are usually given directly after the end user has taken action to receive a product or service from a merchant.
These types of emails may serve as a proof of transactions, similar to a recipient given in a store by the register.
Because these emails are vital for customer’s records, it’s not uncommon for merchants to experience a higher than usual open rate, which makes for an excellent time to provide other vital information to their customer they may feel to be important for the on-going success of their relationship and future business.
Sponsorship Emails are the ultimate leverage because you can
a. Sell access to the list you’ve built for additional income or
b. Access the lists of other merchants in order to bring awareness to your brand and build your list. In other words, sponsored emails involve a merchant sending an email on behalf of another company to their list in order to help them expand (get new buyers, build their lists, and/or invite new prospects to events and presentations).
A sponsored email may also be referred to as a solo ad.
Lead Nurturing Emails
Lead Nurturing Emails are emails with the sole purpose of educating users on valid reasons why doing business with them is a wise choice and one to be made sooner rather than later.
Specials and discounts may be featured in these types of emails to encourage quicker action taken by readers.
Digests are similar to newsletters, but rather than full articles like what would be seen in a newsletter, digests give readers snippet like information pieces so that readers get more select information easier and faster than reading a full article about one particular segment.
Email Newsletters may consist of several articles which are aimed at fulfill one particular goal.
Newsletter campaigns are usually longer and more in-depth than digests are also based on a consistent recurring schedule (i.e. quarterly, bi-monthly, monthly, weekly, or daily).