Chances are, you get a high volume of marketing emails in your inbox each and every day. These emails may take different forms, from promotional offers to monthly newsletters, which hints at the breadth and diversity of email marketing as a discipline.
Indeed, email marketing is much more complicated than it might first seem, providing a range of strategic options for marketers and small business owners to choose from. A good first step, particularly for those who are new to email marketing, is to become more familiar with some of the basic terminology.
Email Marketing: 10 Terms Every Business Owner Needs to Know
Here are just a few of the terms and concepts we’d consider to be essential for properly understanding email marketing.
- A/B testing. The premise of A/B testing is pretty simple: You develop two unique versions of your marketing message (perhaps experimenting with different copywriting, different subject lines, images, and/or calls to action) and send each to a different segment of your audience. You then analyze the data from each campaign, determining which version of the email was more effective.
- Acceptance rate. The acceptance rate refers to the percentage of your emails that actually reach your audience’s inboxes (as opposed to getting shut down by spam filters, or bouncing back for any other reason). A high acceptance rate is obviously good, but keep in mind that it’s no guarantee of the email being opened, read, or even ending up in the user’s primary inbox.
- Click-through-rate. Most of the time, your emails are going to include a call to action, inviting the reader to visit your website, read a blog, or browse a product page. The click-through-rate, or CTR, refers to the number of readers who actually take this action, opening one of the links you’ve provided them. As such, it denotes a high level of engagement with your email.
- Conversion rate. The conversion rate is similar to the CTR, denoting the number of readers who take a desired action. This may be clicking a link, but it may also be calling your business to set up an appointment, or simply subscribing to receive further email correspondence. Proper A/B testing can be an effective way to improve your conversion rate!
- Hard bounce. A hard bounce means your emails cannot be delivered to the address in question, usually due to a technical issue (e.g., you got the email address wrong, or the address is no longer operational). A hard bounce can result in your emails getting flagged as spam, and it’s just generally a sign of inefficiency, so we recommend doing whatever you can to maintain an accurate and up-to-date subscriber list, pruning or correcting the addresses that result in a bounce.
- Landing page. Often, the best email marketing strategy is to send readers to a landing page, which is highly targeted to convert. A landing page will usually focus very narrowly on one product or service that you offer and will include several strong CTAs. Effective landing pages are essential to any email marketing strategy.
- Lead nurturing. The process of lead nurturing involves carefully building a long-term relationship with a potential customer, ultimately turning them into a sales lead. Email marketing is a good way to nurture leads, as you can provide enriching or educational content before transitioning into more of a “hard sell.”
- List segmentation. Just because you have 1,000 people on your email marketing list, it doesn’t mean you should send every message to the entire list. You may wish to break down your list into individual segments, based on interests or demographics, so that you can tailor your messaging accordingly. For example, you may have a list for leads and another list for loyal customers. At Grammar Chic, we might send some emails to content marketing clients, and others to resume writing clients.
- Open rate. The open rate denotes the percentage of people who actually open (and presumably read, or at least skim) your email message. An opener rate is a very good indication of your overall engagement level, and also attests to the quality of your subject line.
- Spam. Also known as junk mail, spam denotes unwanted emails that seldom make it into the user’s primary inbox. To avoid your emails getting labeled as spam, it’s critical to provide real value and high-quality content. Also make sure you’re judicious in how many emails you send. A/B testing and list segmentation are both important ways to avoid having your emails flagged as spam.
Go Deeper into Small Business Marketing
Looking to revamp your business’ email marketing campaign? Reach out to Grammar Chic today to learn more about our content and email marketing. Contact us at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.
Email has become a common form of communication in both our business and personal lives. Technology has made sending an email as easy as picking up your smartphone, meaning you can send messages anywhere, anytime. But before you hammer out a quick response or reach out to a client, it is essential to proofread what you have written.
A seemingly small mistake can make a big difference. Dropping, adding, or changing one letter can create a completely different word and change the meaning of your sentence. Getting a time or place wrong can mean the recipient misses out on a meeting or event. And spelling someone’s name incorrectly can convey carelessness and lack of attention to detail. Taking a few minutes to proofread your emails before hitting send can keep you from making silly mistakes.
- Use Spell Check and Grammar Check Tools. Many email and word processing programs have proofreading software built in. You can also use an external program to check for errors. While these tools are not foolproof and do not catch 100% of mistakes (especially if everything is spelled correctly but you use the wrong word), they can be a great place to start.
- Read It Aloud. Read back what you wrote out loud and listen for any mistakes, missing words, or confusing sentences. Make sure that the tone is appropriate, and you are not coming off as stuffy or hostile. At the same time, you don’t want your message to be too informal either.
- Wait Before Sending. Don’t immediately hit send once you are done writing. Take a break and come back with fresh eyes. Work on a different task for a few minutes to change your train of thought, then come back and reread the email to catch any confusing or unclear phrases.
- Double-Check Important Details. Review any names, dates, times, locations, or other essential detail to verify that they are correct. Don’t rely on just your memory. If you are sending an attachment, make sure that not only is it included, but it is the correct file.
- Keep It Simple. No one wants to waste time reading an excessively long email or trying to decipher your message. Keep things short and simple. Avoid using fancy words or technical jargon for the sake of sounding more impressive. Use language the reader will easily understand and cut unnecessary words or sentences that don’t add value.
- Ask for Help. When it comes to important emails, have another person read them before you hit send. You know what you are trying to say, so it can be easy to overlook mistakes or assume the meaning is clear. Asking someone else to proof your message can provide a different perspective and catch errors you may have missed.
Don’t let your message get overshadowed by confusing wording or spelling/grammar mistakes. Make sure you have a polished, professional email that effectively conveys important information. Reach out to Grammar Chic for proofreading help and feel confident pressing send. Connect with us at www.grammarchic.net or by calling (803) 831-7444.
Across the country, there’s a palpable sense of optimism: Following a long COVID winter, things are finally starting to go back to normal. People are getting vaccinated, government restrictions are being phased out, and people are resuming many of their normal activities.
For many business owners, this represents a significant shift, and an important chance to pivot. Following a year in which you encouraged your customers to shop online, order curbside delivery, or enter your brick-and-mortar store only while properly masked, your messaging now may look considerably different. For many companies, the message is simply this: Come one, come all! We’re fully open for business!
The question is, what’s the best way to get this message across, and to re-energize the clientele who may have kept their distance (justifiably so) over the past several months?
Using Email Marketing to Announce Your Reopening
One significant part of the equation is email marketing. If you haven’t already done so, consider sending an email blast to all the folks on your subscription list, simply letting them know things are back to normal at your brick-and-mortar location.
A few tips:
- Reintroduce yourself. Keep in mind that the people on your email list are likely previous customers and clients, but some of them may have stayed away during the COVID-19 lockdown. It may be worth offering just a couple of sentences to remind people of who you are, what you do, and how you can improve their lives.
- Explain where things stand. If your business really is back-to-normal, say so. Express your enthusiasm to see shoppers once more. And if you do have any ongoing COVID precautions in place, or if you continue to offer accommodations like curbside pickup and no-contact delivery, emphasize that, as well.
- Note your safety precautions. For some businesses, it might make sense to reassure customers that, even with COVID concerns tapering off, you’re still thinking about health and safety. For example, if you run a medspa, dental practice, or hair salon, you might mention that your employees have all been vaccinated and continue to wear masks.
- Sweeten the deal. If you really want to use your email marketing channel to entice people back to your store, there’s no better way to do it than with a promo, sale, or special offer. If you’re able to launch a promo or offer a discount, use your email list to announce it.
These are just a few tips to keep in mind as you use email to inspire your clients to return, and to revel in post-COVID optimism.
We’d love to help you get your messaging just right. If you have any questions about email marketing strategy, contact the writers at Grammar Chic, Inc. You can reach us at 803-831-7444 or via www.grammarchic.net.