In our last blog we discussed email marketing services. This week we are touching on common terms and concepts for email deliverability and success. It is not enough anymore to send out email newsletters or announcements and hope that they are opened and read. It is important to understand which emails get opened, why and how long the viewer read the email and what will work in future campaigns. If you or your company are just beginners when it comes to the email marketing strategizing, here are a few terms that can help steer you in the right direction when planning your next email campaign. Once you understand what the numbers mean, then you can start strategizing your next email campaign.
- Acceptance Rate – The percentage of email messages that are accepted by the mail server. Note that an email being accepted by the mail server does not necessarily mean it will get to an inbox.
- Open Rate – The percentage of recipients who opened your email message. When someone clicks on an email, an image pixel in the email loads and is counted as an open. However, remember to use click through rate for reader engagement metrics.
- Click Through Rate – The proportion of the audience who clicked on one more links contained in an email message. This will give you a better idea of how engaged the viewer was on your email.
- Bounce Rate – The percentage of total emails sent that could not be delivered to the recipient’s inbox, known as a “bounce.”
- Conversion Rate – The percentage of recipients who clicked on a link within an email and completed a desired action, such as filling out a lead generation form or purchasing a product.
- Read Length – The length of time when a person opens an email, until they close it.
- Black List – A list that denotes a sender as a spammer, making it difficult for the sender to get future emails into an inbox.
- Spam – Not asked for, or not work-safe email. Over 90% of email sent is classified as spam.
- Ham – Email that is generally desired and isn’t considered spam.
Email has been around since the first one was sent in 1971. Since then, most of us have developed a love/hate relationship with email. It endlessly piles up in our “inbox”, making the typical office worker collect on average 121 emails daily. According to DMR Stats Online, most employees check their email about 74 times a day! While this may seem time consuming and counterproductive, email is still the most pervasive communication tool around in 2017.
Email marketing has spanned the numerous stages of digital marketing evolution and is still going stronger than ever. This is no surprise given that 269 billion emails are sent daily worldwide. Email marketers however are not all that concerned with how many emails are being sent, but are more concerned about the click through and click open rate for marketing emails. Too many consumers and clients are inundated with too many emails that they do not bother to open or even click on at all. That is where email marketing services come in handy.
In order to conduct a successful email marketing campaign and get consumers to actually open and read your business’s email is a huge feat! Email marketing services can help with some of the following issues surrounding this marketing strategy including:
- Increasing Customer Mailing Lists
- Engage Customers
- Eye-catching Subject Lines
- Personalizing the Email
- Adding Images and Graphics
- Creating a Relevant Call-to-Action
- Optimizing for Mobile
Some of the top email marketing services can be found if you follow these links. Read and research each for the specific needs of your company.
PCMag’s Best Email Software Review
Review’s Best Email Services
Business email can be the bane of our existence, right? Â It is never ending. It arrives constantly in our inboxes. For some of us we try to ignore it. While others try to open and get rid of it as fast as possible. Â Unfortunately, business email is a primary way hackers can gain access to sensitive company data and information. This is especially true for small to medium sized businesses. Overall cyber-attacks on companies with 250 or fewer employees doubled in the first six months of last yearâ€”and the loss per attack was more than $188,000 on average. The effect of cyber-attacks on the American economy as a whole is a high cost of $100 billion annually, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. What are some easy and straightforward ways to secure your business email? Letâ€™s take a look as some of the tips offered by security experts.
A Cyber Security Plan – Create, use and maintain a cyber security plan that has been carefully researched and based upon current information. This should include not just a secure email protocol but also ways to keep your website, payment information, client data and other private information secure.
Consider Email Encryption– Email encryption helps to protect personal information from hackers by only permitting certain users to access and read your emails. This could include downloading software, an email certificate or a third party encryption service.
Passwords!- Â We cannot say this enough. Passwords should be reset every three months or so. Also consider requiring multi factor authentication when employees change their passwords. Remind employees that the strongest passwords contain 12 characters, including a combination of upper and lower case letters and numbers, symbols and characters.
Train Employees – Since employees are on the front line of opening and dealing with emails they should be trained on what to look for in suspicious emails and protocols to follow when opening and disposing of emails. According to the Business Academy, employees should be trained to comply with the following rules:
- Never open links or attachments from unknown persons.
- Donâ€™t respond to emails that request a password change and require you to divulge personal informationâ€”no matter how official the source appears.
- Ensure antivirus and anti-spy software is updated on your computer.
- Encrypt any emails containing sensitive data before sending.
- Donâ€™t use your company email address to send and receive personal emails.
- Donâ€™t automatically forward company emails to a third-party email system.
Like many other companies, you may be struggling between making the switch from onsite email provider to hosted exchange. This can be a difficult to decision to make because both of these, like everything else in the world, have their benefits and disadvantages. Letâ€™s break these down, below.
Onsite email provider:
Benefits: One of the greatest advantages onsite emails have is that they are on the work premises. This means that the emails will have more instantaneous delivery and can be more reliable. Because they are onsite, the email server can be customized for whatever needs your business may have.
Disadvantages: Even though many of the advantages come from the provider being onsite, there is also a disadvantage to this. For example, having an onsite provider requires a secure IT personnel, or firm, to be able to maintain and troubleshoot the equipment whenever needed. This means that your company would have to pay for this added service. Other cost disadvantages that come with this are the higher upfront costs for the equipment and the rising electricity costs due to the power exchange server. A big functional disadvantage to take into consideration is that the server does not provide much flexibility when it comes to adding new employees to the server because they are bought with a certain capacity level.
Hosted exchange provider:
Benefits: Hosted exchange email is managed via cloud by third party services, which means no physical equipments and no large upfront or electricity costs for the equipment. This also means that your company would not have to spend extra money on IT services to maintain and update the system because the host company does it for you, and their services are provided 24/7. Adding and deleting email accounts can be done easily, which means flexibility while your company expands.
This serviceâ€™s greatest benefit is that it can increase your companyâ€™s productivity entirely. With this hosted email employees can stay in touch whenever and wherever through any device. It also provides users with collaboration features like sharing documents and calendar tasks, to name a few. Also, because this server is cloud based, it minimizes the risk of losing data.
Disadvantages: The only real disadvantage that comes with this is that these services require a monthly fee that is determined by the amount of users. But, is this really a disadvantage when it is eliminating other major expenses?
Technology is constantly changing from day to day. Due to these updates there are often changes in pricing and offerings for particular services. One of those services is handling email. There are two options to choose from in most businesses in order to handle email. The first is managing email in-house using software such as Exchange on a Windows server. Then there is the option to use a 3rd party hosted email solution. In the past the pricing for a hosted email solution was not cost effective and did not include several benefits that an in house solution offered. Some things have changed over the past few years to make hosted email a more viable solution. For one the mailbox sizes for the hosted Exchange accounts have increased drastically, mainly due to disk space costs decreasing over time.
Another shift that has indirectly changed things is that Blackberry has fallen out of favor with most companies due to the rise of Androids devices and iPhones. This is dropping the pricing of hosted solutions as support for these newer devices is a bit cheaper than Blackberry devices. The prices do vary, but most hosted providers charge an access fee of $10/month per device for a Blackberry and only charge $3/month for other phones such as the iPhone or Android. Each solution does have their own pros and cons, so let’s take a peek at them.
- Pro – No monthly fees for Exchange
- Pro – No cost to receive email on phones
- Pro – No mailbox limits
- Pro – Intra-Office email is faster
- Con – Exchange must be purchased upfront as well as user licenses
- Con – A server is needed to run Exchange
- Con – A third party subscription for spam filtering is needed
- Con – Owner is responsible for maintaining the Exchange server
- Pro – No need to buy Exchange or licenses
- Pro – Spam filtering service is included
- Pro – No need for a local server for Exchange
- Pro – If local network is down you can still get email outside your office
- Con – Cost ranges from $5-$20/month per user
- Con – Phone access is an extra charge monthly (free to use IMAP or POP though)
- Con – Mailbox limits (although they usually start at 5GB now)
- Con – Downloading large emails takes longer
It is important to mention that not all hosted email providers are the same and one should compare each email provider as they may offer very different services and support. There are email providers out there that will provide email services that are much cheaper but at the sacrifice of features. We typically will recommend going with a provider that uses Microsoft Exchange over an account that just provides IMAP or POP3.
If you have any questions about email solutions for your company or any other IT topic that you may have, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-964-8324.