The Comprehensive Guide to Email Marketing – Part 1: The Foundation

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Reading time: 12 minutes.

Email Marketing
Architect Marketing Solutions has summarized approximately 250 pages of e-books, pdf articles and blog posts from the authoritative companies* in the email marketing industry to provide a comprehensive yet manageable guide to help you understand the value of and the tactics to complete an email marketing campaign.

This Architect Marketing Solutions guide to email marketing is brought to you in five parts, on 21 topics. Unless you have a membership with these companies, as we do, and unless you have the time to read 250 pages, AMS is bringing this extensive report to you, as with all of the others, free.

The five parts are:

  • Part 3: Marketing Plan
    • Marketing
    • Target audience segmentation
    • Strategy and Goals
    • Video
    • How to grow your email list

Part 1: The Foundation


The following definitions are provided to help you better understand the message in each of the parts and topics:

  • Autoresponder: a program or script which allows you to send an automatic response, such as a Welcome Message, the minute someone signs up to your list. Your message can be triggered by
    someone signing up, unsubscribing, or sending a blank email to an autoresponder address. It can also send out a series of messages in previously set intervals.
  • Behavioral targeting: A method of creating relevant email or Web content based on a user’s behavior, including opens and clicks, pages visited or conversions.
  • Bounce rate: The number of bounces (hard/soft) divided by the number of emails sent.
  • Click-thru rate: The total number of clicks on a given link in your email divided by the number of emails sent.
  • Click tracking: Click tracking refers to the data collected about each click link, such as how many people clicked it, how many clicks resulted in desired actions such as sales, forwards or subscriptions.
  • CAN-SPAM Act: This anti-spam legislation requires that each email should contain: a legitimate header, a valid “From” address, a straightforward “Subject” line, an unsubscribe/opt-out link and/or instructions and a physical address. It also states that all unsubscribes must be processed within ten days of receipt.
  • Delivered: A message is considered “delivered” once it’s accepted from the sender by the receiver. At this point, the receiving Internet Service Provider (ISP) may choose to subject the message to additional spam filtering or forwarding.
  • Drip campaign: a series of emails sent automatically in a coordinated, connected campaign.
  • Email campaign: A coordinated set of individual email marketing messages delivered at intervals and with an overall objective in mind, such as a download, purchase or some action. A campaign allows each new message to build on previous success.
  • Email Service Provider (ESP): Email Service Provider is a service that hosts email marketing services on their servers, which are specifically optimized for this purpose. While you control your email marketing account and send out emails using a Web browser interface, the ESP’s servers and Internet connections host and send out your message content.
  • Hard bounce: failed delivery of an email due to a permanent reason like a non-existent email address.
  • Inactive subscribers: Subscribers that have been removed from your list, unsubscribed or have not confirmed the subscription yet.
  • IP address: The Internet Protocol (IP) address is an identifier for a computer which has its own unique number that allows it to be found on the internet.
  • Lead conversion: The process in which a prospective customer is referred to a designated Web page and then performs the targeted objective or action (e.g. completes a form, makes a purchase, etc.)
  • Lead segmentation: dividing your mailing list according to interests, age, gender, purchasing behavior and location.
  • Open rate: the number of recipients who open your email message which you can use to analyze your email productivity. When you understand your open rate, you can create improved audience targeting.
  • Opt-in: An email that is explicitly requested by the subscriber.
  • Opt-out (unsubscribed): a specific request by the recipient to remove the email address from your mailing list.
  • Permission based marketing: Email campaigns sent to recipients who have opted-in or subscribed to receive e-mail communications from you, or your website.
  • Soft bounce: Failed delivery of an email due to a temporary issue, like a full mailbox or an unavailable server.
  • Spam: Unsolicited commercial email.
  • Split test: A common testing method in which a list is split into few parts (usually called A and B) and each group receives different creative content. This technique enables the performance of every message to be tracked in terms of conversions and determines which is more effective.
  • Thank-you page: A web page that appears after the user has submitted an order or subscribed to your campaign.
  • Whitelist: An advance-authorized list of email addresses, held by an ISP, subscriber or other email service provider. It allows emails to be delivered regardless of spam filters.

Why Should I Use Email Marketing Campaigns?

  1. Coordination
    • Professional cloud-based (the internet) email marketing platforms offer plans based on the size of your email marketing list (number of subscribers) and provide features like email marketing messaging, autoresponders, marketing automation and landing page development and analysis.
    • Email marketing services are perfectly scalable.  You can use a basic plan to start building your contact list and upgrade to more advanced plans as your subscriber list, and marketing tactics, grow.
  2. Full Control:  you have full control over every aspect of your email marketing communication
    • Design your assets (webforms, emails, landing pages).
    • Decide on the creative approach you send.
    • Selective audience segment for precise targeting.
    • Tag your contacts for better personalization (in your ‘to‘ line).
    • Create marketing automation workflows with your business goals in mind.
    • Plan your communication to reflect your Brand Identify (Voice and Story ) to stand out from other companies in your customers’ inbox.
  3. Precision
    • When you build your list organically ( not purchasing a list ), by asking the receiver to confirm their subscription, you have a quality contact who wants to receive your email. This means that you are sending offers or information to people who are really interested in your Brand.
    • You can track statistics and monitor the results from your campaign. Based on the collected information, you can make changes ( design, copy, structure or workflow ) and optimize your program.
  4. The Preferred Marketing Medium
    • According to the Direct Marketing Association ( DMA ), most people in 2018 prefer to be contacted by companies through email than any other channel.
    • A well-designed email marketing campaign is relevant and non-intrusive ( it doesn’t bother them to receive it ), and can wait in their inbox, and open it convenient to them.
  5. You Can reach Mobile Device Users
    • According to GetResponse Email Marketing benchmarks, webmail opens make up 56.5% of all email opens, followed by mobile ( 26% and growing significantly ) and desktop ( 17 % ), which means you can reach your customers and influence their buying decisions whether at the office, home, in the car ( or in a boring meeting ).
  6. Email is an Owned Medium
    • Traditionally, digital marketing is divided into paid, earned and owned media. The most productive is owned, which means that your business has full control of your messaging content, timing and segmentation from a databased of people who told you that they will accept your message.
  7. Targeted and Personal Communication
    • . You can collect relevant information from your contacts in your subscription process and use it to tailor the communication to their specific needs and preferences. This segmentation will improve your productivity ( higher conversions ), and, will stay on your list as long as your message provides value.
  8. Easy to Measure Results
    • You can gain full control over your email marketing efforts by integrating your email marketing platform with online analytics tools such as Google Analytics.
    • You can control the performance of individual emails in your email marketing tool’s statistics panel and then track user behavior on your website. You can set goals for individual campaigns, track conversions, and measure your campaign’s ROI.
  9. Fully Automated
    • With marketing automation, you can build custom workflows, and can easily create any kind of campaign by using a drag-and-drop editor to program the communication flow with actions and filters
  10. Excellent Return on Investment
    • Email marketing continues to drive the highest return on investment of all online marketing channels.

Great ROIGreat ROI

  1. According to a 2018 study by Litmus of over 300 companies, email marketing’s average return on investment is 38:1, that is, if you invest $1 in your email marketing activities, you gain $38 in revenue return.
  2. Your ROI will depend upon: the size and quality of your email list, content relevance to your audience, design and copy to drive visual interest, and call-to-action (is it clear and persuasive).
  3. One of the biggest advantages is that unlike most social media or offline advertising, you can easily track performance to prove the ROI.
  4. How do I measure email marketing ROI?: Track total revenue and divide it by the total spend. As an example: total revenue: $100 in sales minus $30 spend = $70 revenue. The ROI is:($70 divided by $30 times 100 = 233%).

Email Anatomy

Anatomy of an EmailShown is a layout of ten important elements of an email’s anatomy. There are key reasons that an email is opened or not, bounced when opened, based on your message, how it’s stated and that your interest in ‘their best interest’.

  1. From: can be your personal name ( but only if you know them ), or your company name.
  2. Subject line: states the purpose as a Value Statement why they should open your email.
  3. Pre-header: a short line of personal text displayed after the subject line. Often the reason the email is opened.
  4. Header:  includes the entire top of the email:  to/from/date/time when sent.
  5. Navigation bar and index: the goal is to get the visitor to, into and through the site. It also can show multiple brands
    or divisions if your company has multiple offers.
  6. Message body: this provides the details of your message, preferably in a personal, easy-to-read, distinct approach.
  7. Offer: needs to tie in with your subject line. This is the value and reason they opened your email.
  8. Images: graphics and video ( whether embedded, or link-directed to a carrier like You Tube, Vimeo )
  9. Call to Action: this is what you want them to do: sign up, link to your website or social platforms, purchase.
  10. Footer/social media: your signature is critical to establishing your Brand: includes a video or link, your logo, tagline
    and links to your social media platforms.

Architect Marketing Solutions can be your partner to help you better understand and use email marketing to improve your business. Give us a call at 331-303-0959, or email us at to learn how we can make you more successful.

* The companies researched include: AWeber, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, Content Marketing Institute, Copy Blogger, GetResponse, Hubspot, Mail Chimp, Media Post, and Sales Force.

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