Email and Newsletter Marketing
Email and Newsletter marketing is one of the most effective, and least expensive, ways to promote your business. Eemail marketing and newsletters require minimal effort to produce, and are proven to increase sales.
These tools provide an excellent way for you to stay in touch with customers. Email marketing provides a cost-effective way to build customer relationships
that help drive business success. In today’s challenging economic
times, the advantages of a cost effective way to stay in touch with customers can not be underestimated.
We looked at four different email marketing suppliers before deciding to become an affiliate with Constant Contact. In working with customers who used this service we found that newsletter signups increased and our online surveys showed that people enjoyed the more graphical interface.
Another cost advantage we found was that the amount of time it took to create email newsletters went down. Email communication was faster and much more efficient.
We found that the main advantage of email marketing was not just cost. Email has been proven to be the most effective way to stay in touch with many customers. In the 2009 recession many businesses were forced to reduce costs and advertising became a major part of their cost reduction. The logic was simple, people aren't spending money so why spend money advertising to them.
For many businesses the logic proved fatal to their business. Those companies who stayed in touch with customers maintained that relationship and helped keep their customer base. As you plan your business strategy make sure that email marketing is part of that business plan.
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The Power of Email Marleting
According to a recent Forrester Research study, email has reached almost 100% market penetration. Their studies have shown that 97 percent of consumers and 94 percent of marketers are using email as part of their purchasing and advertising business cycle.
Email Marketing Statistics
- According to the American Management Association, email has overtaken the telephone as the preferred method of communication among North Americans.
- eMarketer reports that in 2000, twice as many emails were sent than traditional pieces of mail.
- Jupiter Communications estimates that while paper-based campaigns receive only 1 percent to 2 percent response rate on average; email campaigns can receive a response rate of 5 percent to 15 percent.
- Forrester Research found that campaigns sent using customer house lists achieve a 10 percent click-through rate - 2 percent of these click-throughs result in a purchase.
- Email gets results - fast. You should expect to get 90 percent of your email marketing results with 48 hours.
Email Marketing Summary
Email does not have to be expensive and if properly managed it will pay for itself.
When you work with Art Sprague Consulting we handle more than just the technical aspects of email marketing. We will work with you to help you determine your target audience. Set your budget, and help you gather more customers for your email marketing list.
Once we are ready to send your newsletter we will tailor your newsletter around your business needs. Our goal will be to provide your subscribers with well-written articles that address issues about your business and their interest. The content needs to be well written. If you are not comfortable with your writing skills we can help you or we can help you, If your business type is not one we feel comfortable writing about we will help you find a freelance writers who specializes in writing newsletter articles for your business.
We will also be sure that your website visitors see a sign-up form on every page of your web site.
Please contact us to help you get started.
Glossary of Email Terms
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- A/B Split
- When a list is divided into two segments, each of which can be tested with different variables as part of an effort to determine which is more effective.
- Above the fold
- When you launch your internet browser you will see a web page. The bottom of the window is commonly referred to as the "fold". The areas on a web page that generate the most views and clicks are usually above the fold.
- Auto Reply
- When an email recipient is "Out of the Office" or "Away on Vacation" they often set up an automated reply message alerting the sender to this fact.
- B2B (or business-to-business) companies are those firms that primarily sell products or provide services to other businesses.
- B2C companies are those firms that sell products or provide services primarily to end-user consumers.
- The amount of information that can be transmitted over a network such as the Internet in a specific amount of time.
- Lists of IP addresses belonging to organizations that have been identified as senders of SPAM (unsolicited commercial email). Blacklists are often used by ISPs and corporations as part of the filtering process that determines which IP addresses they want to block from their members.
- When emails are prevented from reaching their intended destination.
- Bonded Sender Program
- Sponsored by IronPort Systems, the Bonded Sender program identifies legitimate email traffic. Originators of legitimate email can now post a financial bond to ensure the integrity of their email campaign. Receivers who feel they have received an unsolicited email from a Bonded Sender can complain to their ISP, enterprise, or IronPort and a financial charge is debited from the bond. This market-based mechanism allows email senders to ensure their message gets to the end user, and provides corporate IT managers and ISPs with an objective way to ensure only unwanted messages get blocked.
- A "Bounced" email indicates that an attempt to deliver an email to a particular address has failed. This may occur if the email address is no longer valid or the intended recipient's ISP and/or email servers were not functioning over a period of 3 consecutive days. (See following item for more information on specific types of "bounces").
- Bounce - Hard
- An email address that is rejected for a permanent reason that cannot be resolved, such as: "the address does not exist".
- Bounce - Soft
- An email address that is rejected for what is most likely a temporary reason, such as an overfilled inbox.
- Phrasing that encourages a reader to take action. The sales call or closing line.
- CAN-SPAM Act
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) is a federal law that establishes requirements for those who send commercial email. It spells out penalties for spammers and companies whose products are advertised in spam if they violate the law, and gives consumers the right to ask emailers to stop spamming them. Among other measures, the law:
- Bans false or misleading header information. Your email's "From," "To," and routing information - including the originating domain name and email address - must be accurate and identify the person who initiated the email.
- Prohibits deceptive subject lines. The subject line cannot mislead the recipient about the contents or subject matter of the message.
- Requires that your email give recipients an opt-out method. You must provide a return email address or another Internet-based response mechanism that allows a recipient to ask you not to send future email messages to that email address, and you must honor the requests. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your commercial email.
- It requires that commercial email be identified as an advertisement and include the sender's valid physical postal address. Your message must contain clear and conspicuous notice that the message is an advertisement or solicitation and that the recipient can opt out of receiving more commercial email from you. It also must include your valid physical postal address.
The CAN-SPAM Act also provides for penalties for a number of other offenses, which can be reviewed here: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/canspam.htm
- Challenge Response
- A challenge-response system is a program that replies to an e-mail message from an unknown sender by subjecting the sender to a test designed to differentiate humans from automated senders, also known as "bots".
- Click-through Rate (CTR), Click Rate
- An indicator of response to a given email message, as measured by the percentage of recipients that click on a link enclosed in the email. To determine the click-through rate, divide the number of responses by the number of emails sent (multiple this number by 100 to express the result as a percentage).
- Co-registration or Co-Reg
- Co-registration is the process of using partners to generate opt-in email leads that you can add to your mailing list for marketing purposes. When you reach a co-registration agreement with a site or a network of sites, they will ask new registrants if they would like to receive information from your company as well. If the registrants opt-in (choose to receive mailings), they will be added to your mailing list so you can market to them directly.
- Confirmed Opt-in
- "Confirmed opt-in", also known as "double opt-in" or "closed loop" in some circles, provides an additional layer of security by requiring that email account be both subscribed and then verified by a confirmation email before they are added to the list. As a result, only those people with access to the account can respond to the confirmation message, greatly reducing the chance of abuse. For this reason, confirmed opt-in is regarded as the gold standard for secure email marketing.
- The copy, graphics and images that comprise the presentation.
- Contextual Link
- A Web link incorporated into a line of text that is generally less awkward and space-consuming than a conventional link.
- Conversion Rate
- A metric which measures the percentage of people converted into subscriber or buyers out of the total population exposed to a particular campaign.
- The text of the campaign, distinct from the graphics.
- CPA (or Cost per acquisition)
- A payment model in which payment is based solely on qualifying actions such as sales or registrations.
- CPM (or Cost per thousand)
- In e-mail marketing, CPM commonly refers to the cost per 1,000 names on a given rental list. For example, a rental list priced at $250 CPM would mean that the list owner charges $.25 per e-mail address.
- A database is a collection of information stored in a computer in a systematic way, such that a computer program can consult it to answer questions. For email marketing purposes, a database is the software that stores your records or lists. Your database may be in the following forms: ACT!, Filemaker, GoldMine, MS Excel, Netscape, Outlook, Outlook Express, Oracle, Salesforce, Saleslogix, Sybase or many other forms.
- DomainKeys or DKIM: Domain Keys Identified Mail
- An anti-spam software application that uses a combination of public and private keys to authenticate the sender's domain (A name by which a computer connected to the Internet is identified) and reduce the chance that a spammer or hacker will fake the domain sending address.
- Double Opt-in
- "Double opt-in", also known as "confirmed opt-in" or "closed-loop" in some circles, provides an additional layer of security by requiring that email accounts be both subscribed and then verified by a conformation email before they are added to the list. As a result, only those people with access to the account can respond to the confirmation message, greatly reducing the chance of abuse. For this reason, double opt-in is regarded as the gold standard for secure email marketing.
- Email Campaign
- When you build an email and send it to your recipients using VerticalResponse this is an example of an email campaign. Your campaign may be a newsletter or may consist of offers. Some marketers may define a campaign as a series of email messages using a common theme, but in the VerticalResponse system, any email sent - even one at a time as opposed to a series of emails - is classified as a campaign.
- Email Client
- An application used to send, receive, store and view e-mail.
- Email Service Providers (ESPs) are companies like VerticalResponse that provides a service of enabling a user to send permission-based email campaigns to designated users. They are usually Application Service Providers (ASPs) who offer their services in an online fashion. There are also software ESPs as well.
- The Email Service Provider Coalition (ESPC) was formed to fight spam while protecting the delivery of legitimate email. The ESPC members have recognized the need for strong spam solutions that ensure the delivery of legitimate email and have been very active in the war against spam. VerticalResponse is an active member of this organization. For more information on the ESPC, visit www.espc.org.
- A specific size and style of type within a type family.
- Some emails include a "footer". This is the area at the bottom of an email where you might find unsubscribe information.
- The intervals at which email marketing efforts are repeated: weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, etc.
- From Line
- The information that appears in the "From" line at the top of the email and typically indicates the identity of the sender.
- Hard Bounced Email
- A hard bounce is an e-mail message that has been returned to the sender because the recipient's address is not valid. A hard bounce might occur because the domain name doesn't exist or because the recipient is unknown.
- The header in an email is the part of the email that is not transparent to the recipient unless they have their "View Headers" turned on. This tells the recipient what servers the email is coming from and what programs are being used to generate this email. Headers contain information on the email itself and the route it's taken across the Internet. Recipients can normally see the "to" (identity of recipient), "from" (identity of sender) and "subject" (information in the subject line) headers in their inbox. You can modify these to influence their decision to open or delete an email.
- The announcement recipients see when they open an email. Ideally, the headline expresses the company's value proposition and encourages the recipient to read further.
- House List
- A permission-based list that you build yourself. Use it to market, cross sell and up-sell, and to establish a relationship with customers over time. Your house list is one of your most valuable assets.
- HTML Email
- HTML email is simply an email created with HTML that allows for the display of images as opposed to simple text. Ninety five percent of all email readers have the ability to display HTML emails, which are more visually appealing and attention-grabbing than mere text.
- HTML - Hypertext Markup Language
- A "markup" language designed for the creation of web pages and other information viewable in a Web browser.
- An Internet Service Provider is a company that provides access to the Internet. AOL, Yahoo!, MSN, Comcast and various local phone companies are common ISPs.
- Landing Page
- The page on a website where the visitor arrives (which may or may not be the home page). In terms of an email campaign, one can think of the landing page as the page to which the email directs the prospect via a link.
- The arrangement of content within an email; designed to optimize the use of space while presenting the critical content in the portions of screen most likely to attract the recipient's immediate attention.
- Text links, hyperlinks, graphics or images which, when clicked or when pasted into the browser, direct the reader to another online location.
- Load Time
- The length of time it takes for a page to open completely in the browser window.
- Look and Feel
- The degree to which design, layout and functionality is appealing to prospects and fits the image the business is trying to portray.
- Mailing List
- A set of email addresses designated for receiving specific email messages.
- Multi-part MIME Email
- Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) is an Internet standard for the format of email. Virtually all Internet e-mail is transmitted in MIME format.
- The means by which a user can click from page to page on a website and move around within a page.
- Notified Opt-In
- Notified opt-in is similar to single opt-in and the two methods are often confused or grouped as one for this reason. In notified opt-in formats, however, after an email address is subscribed to the list, it's also sent a message offering the account's owner a chance to remove himself. If he fails to do so, he will remain on the list until such time as he opts out. While this is a step above traditional single opt-in, it does not clear the bar set by double opt-in because it subscribes the email account by default, instead of requiring active confirmation.
- Nth Sampling
- When a subset of the list is constructed based on every Nth individual. For example, if you need to create a sub-list with 100 members from an overall list of 1,000 names, every tenth person is selected. If you need to create a sub-list of 5,000 from a list 100,000, then every twentieth name is chosen.
- Open Rate
- The percentage of e-mails opened in any given e-mail marketing campaign, or the percentage opened of the total number of e-mails sent.
- Opting-In is the action a person takes when he or she actively agrees, by email or other means, to receive communications from an email marketer. There are different types of opt-in practices, some of which are more demanding than others (See also: Single Opt-in, Notified Opt-in, Double Opt-in)
- Opt-out email marketing assumes the recipient wants to receive email unless they specifically ask to be removed from the list - in other words, "opt-out" or "unsubscribe". If readers fail to state explicitly that they no longer wish to remain on the list, they can expect to receive messages until they make their desire known. Response rates tend to be lower when sending opt-out email, so be prepared for this result when you're analyzing your campaigns.
- The practice of only sending e-mail messages to those recipients who have agreed (or asked) to receive them.
- The practice of writing the email to make the recipient feel that it is more personal and was sent with him or her in mind. This might include using the recipient's name in the salutation or subject line, referring to previous purchases or correspondence, or offering recommendations based on previous buying patterns.
- Phishing (pronounced "fishing")
- Refers to email scams whose purpose is identity theft. Identity thieves send fraudulent email messages with return addresses, links, and branding that appear to come from credit card companies, banks and some of the Web's most well known sites including eBay®, PayPal®, MSN®, Yahoo®, and AOL®. These messages are designed to "phish" for personal and financial information (e.g. passwords, usernames, social security numbers, credit card numbers, mother's maiden name, etc.) from the recipient. For examples, see www.anti-phishing.org.
- ROI (Return on Investment)
- A measure of the profit realized and/or costs saved at a company, or as the result of a specific project within the company. ROI measures how effectively the firm uses its capital and resources to generate profit; the higher the ROI, the better. An ROI calculation is sometimes used along with other approaches to develop a business case for a given proposal.
- This is the area in an email where you address your recipient. Examples are "Dear Customer", "Hello Larry", and "Dear Member".
- SasS (Software as a Service)
- Software as a service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet.
- Sender ID is an e-mail industry initiative championed by Microsoft and other industry leaders as a technical solution to help counter spoofing-the No. 1 deceptive practice used by spammers. (See: Spoofing and Phishing)
- Signature File
- A short block of text at the end of a message identifying the sender and providing additional information about them.
- Single Opt-in
Under single opt-in formats, businesses only mail addresses that have been actively subscribed to their list, typically by completing a web form, filling out a business reply card or sending an email to a specific address. Because the registration process is proactive, a single-opt in policy offers a higher level of security than the opt-out approach, but also has the following limitations:
Soft Bounced Email
- A soft bounce is an e-mail message that gets to the recipient's mail server but is returned undelivered before it reaches the recipient. A soft bounce might occur because the recipient's inbox is full and may be deliverable at another time or may be forwarded manually by the network administrator in charge of redirecting mail on the recipient's domain.
- Spam Trap
The term spam trap has two popular, yet very different definitions. The first definition (see below) refers to traps set up by anti-spam advocates to catch mailers who send unsolicited messages.
The second definition (also below) refers to a technique mailers use to get unsuspecting visitors to register for mailing lists without their knowledge.
- A spam trap is a seemingly valid e-mail address used to identify spam messages. The idea is to take an address that hasn't been subscribed to any e-mail lists and monitor the e-mail it receives. As it wasn't subscribed to any e-mail, anything it receives must be unsolicited - in other words - spam.
- A check box on a Web order form that defaults to "yes" or "I agree," but positioned on the page so that you will most likely overlook it. Unless you change the default, you are unknowingly agreeing to accept more solicitations by e-mail from that company or from third parties.
- SPAM, UCE
- SPAM or Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE) is unsolicited email, particularly of a commercial nature. Sending email to people who have not requested to receive messages from you will likely result in SPAM complaints.
- SPF (Sender Policy Framework)
- An e-mail authentication system that verifies that a message came from an authorized mail server. SPF is designed to detect messages from spammers and phishers who falsify the sender's IP address in the e-mail header.
- E-mail spoofing involves forging a sender's address on e-mail messages. It can be used by malicious individuals to mislead e-mail recipients into reading and responding to deceptive mail. These phony messages can jeopardize the online privacy of consumers and damage the reputation of the companies purported to have sent the messages. Spoofed e-mail often contains phishing scams. (See: Phishing)
- Subheads (or Subheadings)
- A line within a body of text that serves as a subtitle for the content that follows. Subheads break up columns of type and make the page more attractive or easy on the eye. They also often act as signposts indicating specific topics, offers, promotions, etc.
- Subject Line
- The email subject line is the line that appears in an email client indicating the topic of the message. This is the line used to entice the recipient to open the email and read further.
- The ability to serve messaging to the users most likely to be receptive to the message, based on their geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioral characteristics.
- A message, or part of a message, designed to arouse curiosity and interest and cause the reader to explore further, but without revealing too much detail about the offer being promoted.
- Scheduling the email campaign to reach the audience at the most opportune time for it to be read. Timing might be seasonal (for example, vacation or school), dependent on holidays, etc. or mailings might go out on a standard schedule. Even the day of the week and what time of day the mailing goes out are important considerations: for example, a Friday afternoon mailing may be great for retailing customers, but bad for business-to-business customers.
- Collecting and evaluating the statistics from which one can measure the effectiveness of an email or an email campaign.
- Type Size
- A size or style of typewritten or printed character. For example, a serif type (or typeface), a sans-serif type, 10 point type, 14 point type.
- Unique Forwarders
- The number of unique individuals who forward an email. When the number of unique forwards is totaled, each person that forwards a particular email is counted just once, no matter how many times they forward that message.
- When the owner of an email address unsubscribes, this indicates that the individual no longer wishes to receive emails from your organization. People can unsubscribe either by clicking the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of each email sent through our system, or by replying to the email with the word "Unsubscribe" in the subject line. This process I also known as opting-out.
- Up-Selling / Cross-Selling
- Presenting customers with an opportunity to purchase products, services or accessories that are related to items in which they have shown an interest or purchased previously.
- A measure of how easy it is for a user to complete a task. In the context of Web pages this concerns how easy it is for a user to find the information they require from a given Web site.
- The overall appeal and usefulness of the product or service to the prospect.
- Viral Design
- Elements and functions included in a communication that encourage and allow recipients to pass the offer along to others, thereby leveraging the marketing effort ("tell a friend," "please forward," etc.).
- Viral Forwards
- The number of referrals sent.
- Viral Responses
- The number of recipients who received the referral, opened it and clicked on a link.
- Web 2.0
- The definition of the term Web 2.0 is an evolving one, but it is generally agreed that Web 2.0 refers to a second generation of Internet services that let people collaborate and share information online. In contrast to the first generation, in Web 2.0, the Internet functions as a computing platform that serves web applications to end users. In this way, it provides an experience closer to desktop applications than the traditional static Web pages.
- Web-friendly Fonts
- Almost all web browsers are capable of displaying four primary fonts properly: Times, Arial, Helvetica, and Verdana, as well as their variants (Arial Narrow, Times New Roman, etc.) If a web developer decides to stray from one of these fonts he or she risks browser compatibility problems and the prospect that their pages may render inaccurately when viewed through certain web browsers.
- Whitelists are lists of commercial emailers (including ESPs) who have been approved to send mail through the ISP. The ISP requires a list of IP addresses that email will be sent from, and in some cases a test period where the commercial emailer will be approved or rejected.