Email marketing is hands down the most effective and low cost way of generating sales, and your list is one of the most valuable assets you have.  All those followers you have on social media?  You don’t have ownership to anything on those platform, so if you rely on Instagram or Facebook as a primary means to communicate with customers, when the platform goes down or your account is hijacked, your channel of communication is immediately cut off.  Social media marketing is an important marketing strategy, but your email list is 100% your own and YOU have the power to leverage it.

All About Acronyms

Hunt around for email marketing tips and you’ll be immediately lost in a sea of acronyms.  Let’s break them down, simplify, and talk about their importance to measurable success:

CRM (Customer Relationship Manager): When discussing email marketing, a CRM is a program that stores information about your customers, tracks sales, and provides data points that can be used to create more effective email marketing campaigns

CR (Click Rate): Also known as open rate, this is a data point of the number of people who received your email who actually opened the email. This can help to determine if your subject line was enticing enough to get people to take the time to view the contents or keep scrolling through their inbox.

CTR (Click Through Rate): Statistics on what works and what doesn’t in the contents of your email campaign. CTR identifies if customers clicked on pictures or text, what image or text, and how often a link was clicked.

CTA (Call To Action): You need to be obvious, guiding the customer into what you want them to do by including a strong CTA. “Shop Now” or “Learn More” are strong action words, obvious but effective, and the first step to leading customers into a sales funnel.  An email should not have too many CTAs, with placement and design being critical. Using a button rather than a hyperlinked text can increase conversion rates by as much as 28%.

A/B TESTING: Not an acronym, but a process to determine if small changes result in more effective CTR and customer engagement. An example may be splitting your email list in half and sending the same email content with 2 different subject lines to identify which has a better open rate (a more personalized or conversational subject line may prove to be more interesting).  Other options could be sending the same content and subject line at different times of day to identify hours when your customers read their email, or using the same subject line and mail time but having the look of the content vary, to identify if design or layout plays a part in a more successful CTR.

AUTOMATION: Also not an acronym, but one of the most effective email list strategies is to create triggers that send out automated emails based on how customers interact with your website. This could (and should) include welcome emails sent upon subscribing, abandoned cart emails, and CTA to provide feedback or reviews on a purchase or service.  Creating automated emails is an efficient use of a company’s resources.  More than 8 out of 10 people will open a welcome email, generating 4x as many opens and 10x as many clicks as other email types. (GetResponse, 2020), and abandoned cart emails convert 3x more than other automated emails. (Email Tool Tester, 2023)

EMAIL FUNNEL: Still not an acronym, an email funnel is a series of emails triggered by a customer’s action that guides down a path (or funnel) into the desired action. Often there is a pre-programmed series of emails that map out the journey, starting with brand awareness (thanks for subscribing, this is who we are), moving into conversion (this is what we’re promoting and selling), then retention and advocacy (here’s more of what you like, here’s a coupon, tell your friends).

ROI (Return On Investment): Not specific to email marketing, ROI helps you to assess the best use of your resources, such as testing to decide if you generate greater sales by sending more frequent emails, or if working to craft better content and subject lines is more effective.

DKM/DMARC/SPF: These are all acronyms for types of email authentication, and as of January 2024, if you do not have all three set up for your domain, then email campaigns will not get to many subscribers, especially Gmail and Yahoo accounts. To avoid getting into the weeds with too much tech-speak, companies that deliver email are trying to eliminate spam. The way they are doing this is to require authentication that an email is actually “from” the company and domain name it says it is.  Google and Yahoo have updated their requirements for 2024, and if the program or ISP you use to send emails from does NOT have all these set up, your email campaign, contact page form, and auto responders will not be delivered. How to set these up can be confusing to the average nosiness owner, consult your favorite techie to help.

Email Marketing Tips

The best day to send email: Tuesdays are the best time to send emails.  The worst? Saturday and Sunday.

The best time to send email: The best time to send a marketing email is 9:00 AM – 12 PM EST, then 12:01 PM – 3 PM EST. The worst is 1 AM – 3 AM EST.  (HubSpot Blog Research, 2023)

Make email campaigns visually appealing: Emails with images offer an almost 10% boost in open rates. (GetResponse, 2022)

Design email campaigns for your audience: 55% of emails are opened on mobile devices, and 46% of smartphone users prefer to receive communications from businesses via email. (Statista, 2021)

The most effective strategies: Improve conversion rates and make your email campaigns more successful by adding subscriber segmentation (78%), message personalization (72%), and email automation (71%). (HubSpot Blog Research, 2021)

Automation leads to sales: Abandoned cart emails convert 3x more than other automated emails. (Email Tool Teste, 2023)

The Takeaway

Your email subscriber list is a high-converting valuable resource, so make sure your email gets delivered by setting up authentication. Establish your marketing objectives, and perform email testing and analytics on subject lines, content, and delivery time/frequency to determine what is most successful. Companies make an average of $36 for every U.S. dollar spent on email marketing, with retail, ecommerce, and consumer goods business netting the highest return on investment (ROI), at $45. (Constant Contact 2023)