We all speak English. I just happen to do it for a living.

Email Marketing in 1,500 Words or Less

Posted: October 5th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: email marketing, interactive marketing, management | 1 Comment »

I have a friend applying for a project management job with a local company that focuses on email marketing. She’s an excellent project manager, but doesn’t have much experience with email marketing. I don’t have anything else going on, so I wrote up a primer to get her through the interview.

GmailI can’t say it’s the best organized writing in the world, but perhaps handy if you’re trying to quickly understand email marketing.

How Marketers Measure Success in Email

  1. Numbers of emails successfully sent: Sometimes you get bounces, spams, or bad emails. It’s good to track those numbers and clean the list occasionally.
  2. Open rate: Total emails sent out / Emails opened = open rate percentage. The biggest three contributors to whether people open an email are:
    1. Do I know who sent this to me? The name and email address in the from: field.
    2. Is the subject line interesting to me? Words like “Free” usually end up in spam, but knowing that it’s the user’s birthday or that their anniversary is coming up can generate interest. The more relevant personal information you can add in the subject line (in a way that’s not creepy), the higher your open rate.
    3. Is this a good time to talk to me about this? Emails about insurance sent at 5 pm on a Friday? Not going to get opened. Emails about “three fashion tips you already have in your closet” at 4 pm on a Friday might get opened for the “going out” crowd.
  3. Click-through rate: Total emails sent / # of clicks in all emails. Typically, just like a web page, the biggest visual will get the most clicks. And the stuff at the top of the page will get the most clicks. Know what your client really wants from their email campaign, and put it up there.
  4. Spams and Unsubscribes: A certain number of people will categorize your email as spam and a certain number will unsubscribe. Marking an email as spam is easier than unsubscribing, and many people use it. It kinda sucks, but you’ll get a few. Unsubscribe is fine, because you canĀ  at least offer them incentives for staying in the course of unsubscribing, like a free flashlight or something. Or you can ask why they’re leaving: “Hey wow, bummer. Did we not send you interesting content? Maybe you could choose from one of these three things to help us do better next time.” At least you get a very short exit interview.

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