Email Marketing - Learn the basics of email marketingEmail marketing performance continues to increase in recent years, and we expect the trend to continue. Especially with the advent of personalization, email marketing is very useful in building lasting customer relationships, while yielding one of the highest ROIs among all internet marketing methods.

In this article, then, we want to share important information about email marketing, and share Mike Madden’s email marketing webinar.

Understanding Email

The first three or four things the recipient of an email sees are:

  • The subject line.
  • Who the email is from.
  • The address from which it was sent.
  • Preheader: Some email systems allow you to enter a preheader, which is a short summary following the subject line when an email is viewed in the inbox.

The initial elements of an email can either build trust and interest or discourage the recipient from opening and reading it. Correct email formatting is furthermore important to avoid being flagged as spam.

  • An effective and trustworthy email should have a from address and reply-to address that both can receive an email, and in the best-case scenario, these addresses are identical.
  • The subject line and preheader tell the recipient why they should take their time to open and read the email.
  • The first paragraph of the email body text should harmonize with the subject line and preheader, giving continuity to the message.

In the body of the email, you may have a header at the top and footer at the bottom, with the email message in between.

If you are sending commercial email, you must comply with the CAN-SPAM Act, which includes having your business address and a link for recipients to opt-out of the email list.

Related: Build Lasting Customer Relationships Utilizing Email Marketing

Defining Metrics for Your Campaign

There are specific metrics used to gauge the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns. The basics metrics are:

  • Sent: The total number of emails sent in a specific email campaign.
  • Delivered: Out of the emails sent, this is the number that were delivered to the intended recipient.
  • Deliverability Rate: Calculated as the number of delivered emails divided by the number of sent emails.
  • Hard Bounces: Emails that did not reach their recipient because of a permanent error (e.g., an email address that was deleted).
  • Soft Bounces: Emails that did not reach their recipient because of a temporary error (e.g., a full mailbox).
  • Opened: The total number of delivered emails that were opened.
  • Open Rate: Calculated as the number of opened emails divided by the number of delivered emails.
  • Clicks: The total number of clicks on links in the email message.
  • Click Through Rate (CTR): A percentage that’s calculated as the number of clicks divided by the number of delivered emails.
  • Click to Open Rate (CTOR): Calculated by taking the number of clicks divided by the number of opened emails.
  • Unsubscribed: The total number of people who unsubscribed from the campaign from within the email.
  • Unsubscribe Rate: Calculated as the number of unsubscribes divided by the number of emails delivered.

Email Marketing Terminology

Other terms and phrases you should understand when working with email include:

  • Blacklist: A list of IP addresses that have been suspected of spamming.
  • Whitelist: The opposite of a blacklist. This is a list of approved IP addresses and senders.
  • Spam: Unwanted or unsolicited emails.
  • Spam Trap: Email addresses used to catch spammers.
  • Spam Complaint: Any instance of a recipient marking your email as spam.
  • Opt-In: Consent is given to a business to send an email to a subscriber.
  • Opt-Out: Consent is not given or is withdrawn by a subscriber whereby a business does not have permission to send emails to the user.

Making a First Impression: Writing the Subject Line

Marketing email subject lines should have a strong call to action (CTA), or at minimum be compelling enough, to cause the recipient to open and read the email.

Compelling subject lines may use one or more of these strategies:

  • Use important words and phrases at the beginning of the subject line rather than the middle or end. This immediately gives the reader an idea of what’s inside the email that might interest them. When possible, use the recipient’s name in the subject line of the email.
  • Strong subject lines usually have a good ring to them, which can be accomplished by using writing techniques such as alliteration, rhyming, puns, and other catchy methods. All of this should fit into a very short character limit of around 35-55 if you want it all to be visible at once. Numbers and lists do well in titles if they are relevant to the content.
  • Subject lines should not sound spammy, rather emphasize the value contained within the email.

If email marketing is a major strategy for your business, you should perform A/B tests on your subject lines to discover which are most effective. A/B testing is relatively easy because many of the best email services include tools to test subject lines.


Mike Madden, Senior Demand Generation Program Manager for Marketo, conducted a webinar on the basics of email marketing. This 18-minute webinar includes:

  • The essential elements of an effective email marketing campaign.
  • How email marketing can be used in your business.
  • What you need to do when planning your email marketing strategy.

Take Away

Email marketing is one of the easiest ways to take advantage of personalization, which is increasingly important today, while also yielding one of the highest ROIs among all internet marketing methods.

To learn more about email marketing, and discover how it can help your company achieve its marketing goals, please schedule a free consultation or contact us direct.

Article updated July 21, 2020.

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