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Why bother with email marketing? – Part 2

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email marketing services for small business

In the first part of why bother with email marketing, we discussed having a good system in place to collect email addresses. The next step is understanding some of the metrics associated with email sending. Here are two metrics that we are going to set as our goal and focus for the time being.

  1. Open Rate – Like the name implies the open rate is the percentage of opens a campaign email received after it is sent. The average open rate for all industries combined in the US hovers around 20%.
  2. Click-Through Rate (CTR) – This is the percentage of times that a person clicks a link to your website after it has been opened. This averages around 3%. Even though we are going to measure the effectiveness of both metrics, our primary focus will be on the Open Rate of your email campaigns; assuming that we can get more people to want to open them the CTR will take care of itself.

The first step to getting superior open rates is to avoid getting labeled as spam. Some very simple ways to do that are to avoid using all capital letters and don’t use too many exclamation points. Other items that spam filters look for are free offers, money-back guarantees, make lots of money, and a host of other very simple things that all of us would recognize. Many email service providers provide some good guidelines on this.

Definitely spend 15-20 minutes to read it, it will help you over and over again.

It is easier to reach someone with who you have had communication. They may have requested information from you or bought something from you already. These people tend to be better on both fronts, they tend to be easier to sell again & they tend to open communications from you. already have than to burn through new leads who don’t know you.

I am going to give you 3 steps to increase the open rate.

1. UN-Automate the Automation

At least partially. Just because your email marketing system has canned email templates, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put thought into what you are sending your customers. It may even have some automated email triggers. This is to simply tee up your email content, for you to knock it out of the park. Also, automation makes it really tempting to send a bunch of emails all of the time. The quickest way to get unsubscribed is to send too many emails. Unless of course it’s understood by the consumer what they will be receiving. For example, in an instructional email course or you say in the first email “You will be getting one email a week.” On average, however, I recommend sending no more than 15-17 automated emails, per customer, per year.

Direct emails to the customer for billing questions or issues do not count.

When setting up your campaign emails, write as if you are writing to one person for the entire year.

What emails would you want them to read, and then write them into the campaign? The system will send them to everyone else for years following. It’s not that hard to write 15 emails for the entire year, is it?

2. Value your customer

Open your personal email Inbox, and read the junk that you have, and then read the emails from companies that you look forward to reading to yourself. Now reverse that as the sender of emails.

Which one are you contributing to? Most companies only think of what they can get out of an email, or social media. The successful ones ask how they can serve their clients better.

If you design email campaigns to serve the customer then your open rate will go up. It may take some time to figure how to do that, but it can be done. Become a good listener to what your client needs, and see if you can package some assistance in the form of a digital email that you can deliver. Once you start listening you can adjust and refine based on response.

3. Tell them to expect your email

Once you have designed 15 custom (but automated) emails, then tell them about it.

When you have them at your place of business or on the phone, tell them that in a couple of days you should receive an email from us very soon.

You can tell them that is the preferred method of communication that your clients have asked for, and that they should expect a welcome/thank you email soon. BTW you don’t have to tell them it’s automated. The emails should seem very personal.

Tell them that this email has a lot of highly valuable resources that many of your customers have found helpful. This is assuming you have put together something great for them. Ask them to add you to their contact list once they get the first email, so it doesn’t go to spam.

This first email should really crush it, in terms of offering value to your customer. This will set you up for success in the long run.

So below we have listed 10 more tips to help you increase your visibility and at the same time potentially increasing your open write.

What to avoid?

  1. Avoid opting clients in unless they have given you some type of permission. (when using the email term to “opt-in” we will assume it to mean to sign up with a reader’s permission.)
  2. Buying blind email lists from list providers (make sure they have opted in). These can be a way to get prospects into your system but expect the spam ratio to go up and drop your open rate. If you do buy a list, don’t inundate them with emails. Keep them separate till they show interest, then add move them into more regular campaigns.
  3. Letting go of too much information in one email, keep it brief and intriguing enough to navigate them to the next step.
  4. Using the same “Thank You” subject line for the majority of your emails. Be thoughtful and creative with each subject line.
  5. Pay attention to your key players and be sure to follow up personally.
  6. Sending the same message over and over. Change it up!
  7. Isolate your campaign’s messages and not connecting them to your physical networking efforts.
  8. Be sure all your marketing communications efforts are connected and saying the same thing.
  9. Useless content to the reader.
  10. Avoid Using Spammy Keywords.

Keywords and phrases NOT to use in email marketing campaigns:

  • Free
  • As seen on
  • Call free
  • Promise
  • No gimmick
  • No refund
  • Get it now
  • Winner
  • Congratulations
  • $$$
  • Free money


Digital Marketing encompasses many different but related tasks that are necessary for the success of your business. A great many business owners have not yet taken these strategies seriously and have not achieved optimal results in the market.

If you are a small business trying to build a brand in today’s world, the time is now to begin this journey to build your online presence to reach your consumers. Some of these you may be able to tackle on your own, others you may want to hire others to do for you. If you are looking for an email marketing agency, our team can help your business. Contact us today!

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