Email marketing has been around for a long time, and it’s still one of the most trusted ways for small business to connect with new customers and engage their existing fans.
If you’re new to the world of email marketing, however, you’re bound to come across some terms and acronyms that are completely unfamiliar.
Fear not—we’ve broken down the most common email marketing terms and concepts for you in this article.
Email Marketing Terms 101.
Email Service Provider (ESP).
This will likely be one of the first email marketing terms you come across.
ESP in this case doesn’t refer to reading minds—it stands for the platform/service you will use to collect your customer information and send out your email campaigns. Some of the most popular are Mail Chimp, ConvertKit, and Constant Contact.
Drip Email Marketing.
This term refers to email marketing campaigns that automatically send in a predetermined sequence over time.
For example, you may create a ‘welcome’ drip sequence that begins when a customer first subscribes to your mailing list. They’ll get one email welcoming them, then a day later get another one showing your top products, then a third one asking for feedback, and so on.
All of these will send automatically, which is a boon for small businesses running their own marketing efforts.
Click-through Rate (CTR).
One of the important metrics to monitor for email campaigns is what’s known as your click-through rate, or CTR.
This figure, which is automatically tracked in most ESPs, shows you how many of your email subscribers clicked on the email, or clicked on a specific link within the body of the email. This information can show you how effective your emails are.
A/B Testing or Split Testing.
There are a lot of variables when it comes to an email campaign. The subject line you use, the text in the body of the email, the calls-to-action, the imagery … all of it will have a different impact.
It’s hard to predict what will work best, which is where A/B testing comes in.
With this method, you’ll create multiple variables of the same email—for example, using emojis in one subject line, all caps in another, and regular text in the third. Then you’ll compare how these performed using that data to craft better emails next time.
Fortunately, most of the major ESPs make it easy to do this, and it’s definitely a smart move if you want to get the most out of every email you send.
Opt-in and Double Opt-In.
No one likes being signed up for an email mailing list without consent, which is why it’s important to build in opt-in options for your users.
You have likely come across these before—when signing up for a service, a website will ask you to check a box to ‘opt in’ to their email mailing list.
A double opt-in is exactly what it sounds like—you give users two chances to opt in. The second usually comes in the form of a quick email asking people to verify their email address.
This is a good move for small businesses, as it makes sure that people will receive your emails (rather than going to spam), and will ensure your subscribers really do want to hear from you.
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