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Email Marketing: A Beginner's Guide To Important Terms

Dec 8, 2007
If you haven't already started an email marketing program, it's time you did. But unless you are a large, multi-national corporation with big bucks to spend on an email marketing expert, the task will fall to you. So, where to begin?

First off, figure out which products or services you're going to promote with your HTML newsletters or emails. Once that happens, familiarize yourself with the most important email marketing terms below:

1) Opt-in email marketing

Opt-in email marketing is sending emails to recipients that have signed up to receive emails or newsletters from you. You can gather this permission through a ListBuilder on your Website, sign-up cards in your store or at tradeshows, or other traceable ways. To make your list truly permission based, you may want to go with a double opt-in scheme. This is when you send your customers an email asking them to click on a link to confirm their subscription.

2) The federal CAN SPAM act

This very important set of guidelines created by the U.S. Federal Government explains what you can and can't do when you send emails. Two key rules are that you cannot send commercial emails without permission or pretend to be someone else when you send emails. Familiarize yourself with all these rules by visiting the government's official CAN SPAM Act Website. If you fail to follow these rules, you can wind up getting hit with stiff fines or worse - end up in prison. So do your homework and get to know the CAN SPAM Act before you move forward.

3) Geo Targeting

Geo Targeting is sending emails and promotions based on geographic location including your recipients' city, state, country or postal code. This is incredibly valuable when you're marketing to customers in different climates or different types of locations.

4) The Blacklist or sandbox

Getting put on the Blacklist or in the sandbox means that your emails will be rejected by email service providers because customers complained that you sent them spam. If you create a permission-based email marketing campaign, you most likely won't need to worry about landing on a Blacklist.

5) Click-Through Rates

Click-Through Rates are data on the customers who not only opened your emails, but clicked on a certain link to visit a page on your site. The top Web-based email marketing firms give you access to reports so you can view this data 24/7.

Though the list above doesn't include every term you need to know about email marketing, it's a good place to start. Once you familiarize yourself with what these terms and lingo mean, you have a good jumping off point to start your bulk email marketing campaigns. While most of us wish we had an email marketing expert to handle everything for us, most people will end up becoming their company's own email marketing expert. whether you function as the CEO or administrative assistant, take care to do your homework and you'll find that email marketing works as an invaluable tool to help your business.
About the Author
Gary San is a best practices activist and advocate for Benchmark Email ( http://www.benchmarkemail.com ), a leading Web and permission-based email marketing service.
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