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.