Tuesday, February 7, 2012
February 7, 2012
I always like being known as a resource to our clients. I do this all the time by finding and forwarding relevant industry articles to that category ... and almost every time, get a note back with something along the lines of “thanks for thinking of us!”
Face it: Most of our clients are now also doing some form of digital marketing. At the least, they have a website all the way up to focused e-mail marketing, social marketing, text-based programs and on and on.
I saw this great piece from MarketingProfs that would be good for those beginners or mid-levels digital marketers ... And the best part is, you are the resource for this information.
Cut and paste it and send it to your clients as a service. 17 E-Mail Marketing Terms Every Business Should Know:
17 E-mail Marketing Terms Every Business Should Know
Every industry has its own language. If you are unfamiliar with it, navigating the world of e-mail marketing can be confusing.
The following is a list of 17 e-mail marketing terms that every business should know. (Note: This list is not comprehensive, nor is the discussion of the terms, each of which could be the subject of an entire article. So consider this list a starting point).
1. Blacklist: A blacklist contains a set of IP addresses that are suspected of sending out unsolicited e-mail (spam). If your sending IP has a high complaint rate, high hard-bounce rate, or a bunch of spamtrap addresses (see term No. 16), you are more likely to be blacklisted. Having your IP addresses blacklisted is bad. Do everything you can to avoid it from happening.
2. Bounce: An e-mail that is rejected by the receiving mail system is said to have bounced. An e-mail can be returned as "bounced" for many reasons, such as having an unknown alias (username), nonexistent domain name, or full inbox. (See more in the "Hard Bounce" and "Soft Bounce" sections.) Pay particular attention to the number and rate of bounced e-mails, both of which could negatively affect your overall delivery rate.
3. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003: Signed into law in December 2003 by President Bush, CAN-SPAM establishes the standards for sending commercial e-mail in the U.S. This act is the minimum standard for sending commercial e-mail in the U.S. Most e-mail service providers (ESPs) have much stricter requirements.
4. Click-through rate: Similar to open rate (see No. 12), CTR can be measured different ways. The most common, however, is clicks divided by e-mails sent. For example, if you sent an e-mail to 100 people and 12 of them clicked on one or more links, your click-through rate would be 12%. Before sending out your next e-mail marketing campaign, determine which links you want your subscribers to click. Design your creative to meet that goal.
5. Cost per thousand (CPM): Most of the major ESPs charge e-mail marketers based on the number of e-mails sent per given time period (month or year). Rates are based on 1,000 e-mails. Typical CPM rates can range anywhere from a few cents to several dollars, based on overall volume.
6. Delivery rate: The number of e-mails that are sent minus those that bounce equals delivery rate. See more under "Inbox Delivery Rate." Note that there is often a difference between delivery rate and inbox delivery rate. What matters more is the latter -- the number of e-mails that reach the intended recipients' inboxes.
7. E-mail service provider (ESP): An ESP is an organization that provides a tool or service that enables marketers to send out mass e-mails to their clients, prospects, and customers. Many ESPs also provide strategy and consulting services. Not all ESPs are created equal. Much like people (and cars), they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Find the ESP that best fits your business needs.
8. Hard bounce: A hard bounce is an e-mail that does not reach the intended recipient because of some permanent error. In server-speak, it's defined by a 5xx error code. Hard bounces can occur when an alias (username) or domain does not exist. In most cases, e-mails that have hard-bounced will never be delivered. Hard bounces are often the result of sending e-mail to an old or purchased list. Beware: A high number of hard bounces will have a negative impact on your overall delivery rate and domain reputation, making it harder to send e-mails in the future.
9. Inbox delivery rate: This term refers to the proportion of e-mails that reach the intended recipients' inboxes for a given e-mail campaign. Put another way, it's determined by e-mails sent minus those that bounced, dropped, lost, blocked, filtered as spam, etc. There are many e-mail delivery services (Return Path, Pivotal Veracity, etc.) that can help determine your inbox delivery rate.
10. List purchase: Buying an e-mail list normally involves not only an exchange of money but also an actual handover of an e-mail list (a file). Buying a list means that you, the list buyer, actually purchased the list. It's yours. You can do with it as you please. (See "Buying an E-mail List vs. List Rental.") When is it okay to buy an e-mail list? Never! (Though some marketing lists are OK.)
11. List rental: As opposed to buying a list, renting a list does not allow for an exchange of list ownership. Instead, the list renter is merely using the list owner's e-mail addresses to send a targeted message. (See "Buying an E-mail List vs. List Rental.") List rentals can be very effective as long as clear expectations are set up front, and the subscribers receive value from the e-mail.
12. Open rate: Essentially, open rate is the number of e-mails opened compared with the number sent. In other words, if you send a campaign to a list of 100 addresses, and 22 e-mails were opened, you'd have a 22% open rate. Simple, right? Not so fast. Not all ESPs measure open rate the same way. Some count a click as an "open." Some count those delivered (sent minus bounced) as the denominator. It gets even stickier if you consider that "opens" are really just a measure of an e-mail that's rendered in one's inbox, and so does not necessarily mean the message has been read. (The industry is moving to standardize the way open rates are measured.) Before using open rate as a metric for success, be sure your business knows how it's being measured.
13. Permission-based e-mail marketing: Asking for, and obtaining, permission to e-mail subscribers is the basis of permission marketing. Most often, subscribers will check a box to give you consent (permission) to send them e-mails. Though not necessarily required by the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, permission-based e-mail marketing is often a requirement of ESPs.
14. Soft bounce: A soft bounce is an e-mail that does not reach the intended recipient because of some temporary error. In server-speak, it's defined by any error code other than 5xx. Note that sometimes the mail server will not return an error code at all. Typically, soft bounces are due to full inboxes or temporary "hiccups" by mail servers or ISPs. Most ESPs will retry soft bounces after a specified period of time. Often, soft bounces eventually get delivered.
15. Spam: We all know spam when we see it. Typically, spam is e-mail that is unsolicited or e-mail that we didn't sign up (opt in) to receive. (In real life, however, spam is any e-mail that is unwanted.) Remember that the consumer ultimately determines whether your e-mail is spam.
16. Spamtrap/honeypot: These are old/inactive/unused e-mail addresses that are intentionally set up to catch spammers. If you have spamtrap/honeypot e-mail addresses on your list, it may be time to review your process for growing your e-mail list. Having spamtrap/honeypot e-mail addresses is a red flag to ISPs that you are a spammer.
17. Whitelist: A whitelist is a list of "approved" IP addresses and senders. If an Internet service provider (ISP) has whitelisted an IP address, it is more likely to accept incoming e-mail from that address. Having your sending IP address whitelisted does not guarantee that your e-mail will be delivered 100% of the time.
Comments? E-mail me at email@example.com.