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Buyers Guide to E-mail Marketing
2. Benefits of e-mail marketing
3. E-mail Marketing Terms
4. Opt-in and double opt-in options
5. Best practices for e-mail marketing
E-mail marketing can be an extremely useful tool for the online marketer. Over the years, some people
have started to view this tactic less effective because of the increasingly number of spam being sent
out. If done correctly, e-mail marketing is a great tool to utilize and can keep your recipients engaged
with your company, and bring in sales leads. According to one study, implementing an e-mail
marketing campaign can receive a response that is five times higher than if you use a direct mail
Another statistic that is hard to ignore is that, “more than 1.5 billion people worldwide use email.” The
best way to reach these people and get them engaging with your company is to write smart content that
your recipients will want to know. Keeping them updated on latest developments of your company,
industry or sales events is a great way to do this.
The more useful the information is for your recipients, the more likely they will retain it. The key of e-
mail marketing is finding a way to engage the recipients first and then lead them to the actionable item.
This buyer’s guide will help you learn the most commonly used terms, how it all works, and most
importantly how to do it effectively.
Benefits of E-mail marketing
“According to the Direct Marketing Association, every dollar spent on e-mail marketing generates
$43.62 in revenue.” With that being said, there are other benefits to e-mail campaigns besides a great
ROI. Some of these reasons include:
• Constructing relationships – When done right, e-mail marketing is about relationships. You
want your recipients to feel like they mean something to you. Receiving an e-mail from your
company should be like getting an e-mail from a friend—inviting, warm and most importantly
informational. You want to let your customer know you appreciate their business and want to
keep them informed about any company news.
• Providing information – Going along with what was said above, being informational is the best
way to get your conversion rate high. Giving valuable information is key. People will more than
likely unsubscribe or even report you as SPAM if done wrong. Think of what you would find
useful information if you were a customer and give it to them.
• A jump in sales – Someone may need to hear more than once about your sale or any other
event. The first time they read about the event, it gets in their heads, the second reminds them
of it and so on. The rule of thumb in e-mail marketing is that a recipient will need to view an
offer an average of seven times before committing to a sale. Finding the e-mail addresses of
interested recipients should soon render paying recipients.
• As a supplement to other online tactics—E-mail marketing is a great tactic, but it also is a
great supplement to other marketing tactics. If you are running an ad campaign or social media
campaign, you can integrate opt-in options for your marketing e-mails.
E-mail Marketing Terms
Blacklist This is a list that organizations put together of IP
addresses that belong to certain organizations or
people who send numerous SPAM e-mails.
Click through rate This is a percentage of clicks your recipients
actually click on a link you send them in the e-
Conversion rate When sending out an e-mail, there is usually a
desired action you are asking your recipients to
do. The conversion rate is the percentage of
people who actually do the task asked compared
to the people who do not.
Opt-in The recipient of the e-mail has given permission
(i.e. opting-in) before you send the e-mail.
Double opt-in Double opt-in is the action of someone who opts-
in for your e-mail, and is then asked one more
time to confirm they are opting in.
E-mail Service Provider These providers are equipped to help you send
out mass amounts of e-mails with a single click.
They usually will also have templates for you to
pick from to help you design the layout of your e-
Hard bounce A hard bounce is when you send an e-mail to an
address that no longer exists.
Soft bounce This is what happens when you send an e-mail,
but the e-mail is sent back due to an inbox being
too full. You can send these messages later on if
Open Rate This is the percentage of people who actually
open the e-mail. It is counted by an invisible
image that is inside the message. A downside to
this metric is that if a person is blocking your
images they won’t be counted in the rate.
Unsubscribe This is a link that allows your recipients to opt-out
of your e-mail list without reporting you as SPAM.
SPAM SPAM is considered anything that is sent to you
that is unsolicited. Because SPAM became so
popular in the early 90’s, there are now laws
against SPAM and there are more strict filtering
techniques used by e-mail clients.
Differences between opt-in and double opt-in
With all the terms e-mail marketers use and techniques to get their e-mail lists generated, it is
sometimes hard to keep everything straight. There are a variety of techniques a marketer can use to
have their recipients sign up for their e-mail marketing campaign or news letter. The opt-in and double
opt-in are the common ones people reference.
Opt-in subscribers are people who willing submit their e-mail address to your company, which lets you
know that they are giving you permission to send them information, special offers etc. When they opt-in
and are automatically updated into your data base, then they are considered opt-in or “single opt-in”
Double opt-in is when an individual submits their e-mail address to you and then they must also confirm
their identity by clicking a link through a confirmation e-mail from the e-mail address they provided.
This technique is most widely used when companies start seeing a slew of wrong e-mail addresses.
Besides these two options, there is also an opt-out option that is starting to gain popularity. Because
some companies have policies in place where they will only contact their recipients if they have opted-
in, they are actually cutting down their contact list dramatically.
For example, “Cisco only has email addresses for 45% to 50% of its recipients around the world. Of
these, only 29% opted in to receive communications. As a result, Cisco can only hope to reach 14% of
its recipients by e-mail.”
Cisco, like many other companies, is re-evaluating their email policy to give their recipients an opt-out
option instead of the preferred opt-in method. By doing this, companies can reach more of their
audience, and still allow recipients to decide if they want to keep receiving e-mails.
Best practices for E-mail marketing
When starting an e-mail marketing campaign, it is wise to develop a strategy for each type of campaign
that includes the information you will send, how many times you will communicate to the recipients,
exact dates this communication will go out and what action you are trying to get the recipient to make
upon receiving the email. The main reason e-mail marketing has become so popular is the low to no
costs on delivery and quick delivery time compared to direct mail.
Just like with direct mail, adhere to common best practices to steer clear of SPAM complaints.
• Write a captivating headline – You could have the best information available on the subject at
hand, but if you don’t get anyone’s attention you will likely have a low click through rate.
• Do your homework – Before sending out on an e-mail marketing campaign, make sure you do
your homework. Do research on what your recipients are looking for and give it to them. Put
yourself in their shoes, what information would you want to know about your company and
products. What information are they looking for – most likely it isn’t general, so TARGET,
• Personalize: It’s all in the name – How many times have you received an e-mail, or direct mail
piece that started with “Dear Friend”, or “Dear Valued Customer”? Personalizing your e-mails
will be greatly appreciated. There are plenty of e-mail service providers that have features set
up to allow you to do this.
• Unsubscribe link – Being upfront and not hiding your unsubscribe button or link gives the
option of your customers to make a choice. How many times have you signed up for a
newsletter, only to find out it wasn’t exactly what you were looking for? If this is the case with a
potential customer of yours, it should be clear to them how to get out and not hit “report as
SPAM” to do so.