Direct mail

If you have ever bought a product or tried a new service based on email advertising that came to your inbox, you have experienced the results of direct email. Direct email or direct email marketing is a marketing system in which unique messages in the form of advertisements and brochures are sent to targeted individuals based on a set of predefined factors.

If you are looking at starting a direct email campaign, here are some common questions and their answers to get you started.

  1. What is a direct email strategy?

Simply put, a direct email strategy is the sum total of activities and actions you plan to carry out in your direct mail campaign to get the results you want. Because your strategy is targeted towards achieving your marketing goals, you should first define these goals and objectives, as this will then help you plan your strategy. A typical direct email strategy involves a lot of moving parts including customer segmentation, message personalisation and so on.

  1. What is a targeted direct email?

This phrase is pretty self-explanatory – it involves an email targeted at a specific individual or group of people. Direct email makes it possible to send your message to the people who will make the most of it without involving the entire neighbourhood. However, targeted direct email takes it one step further by sending your messages to a specific group derived from your customer segmentation. For instance, your targeted direct email can be sent to recipients that meet just one criterion only, because they are the people who specifically need your products and services.

  1. What is open rate?

When you send direct emails, you will want to know how successful your campaign is, and so you calculate the open rate. Open rate is the percentage of people who have opened your emails out of the total number who have received them. For your direct email marketing campaign to be successful, you need to have a good email open rate. If people are only receiving your emails but not opening them, how can they read your message? If you are getting a less than desired open rate, you should consider checking your subject lines to make sure they are catchy and compelling. Also, check your email for name and address to make sure it is brand-friendly.

  1. What is click-through rate?

Getting recipients to open your emails is only half the battle. You also want them to click on the link in your email to arrive at your page and move through the conversion funnel. This is where click-through rate comes in. Click-through rate is the percentage of recipients who clicked the link in your email out of the total number of people who got and opened the email. The frequency of your click-through rate is a function of the content of your email and the way you craft the message leading to the link. The ultimate goal of any email marketing campaign is to get recipients to the point of clicking on the link in the email.

  1. What is A/B testing?

As an email marketer, you will always be on the lookout for the best email marketing tactics so that you can achieve your sales expectations and, to get what you want, you have to do a series of tests. A/B testing is a technique used to find the best email marketing techniques so that you can properly capture your target audience. A/B testing involves testing every aspect of your email, from the subject line to the headline, body of message and even the conclusion.

Keep in mind that only one variable can be tested at a time, so you can get clear data on what works and what doesn’t.

  1. What is list segmentation?

Email list segmentation is when you divide your email subscribers into smaller lists based on a predefined set of criteria. Email list segmentation is useful as it allows you to create personalised emails for your recipients that are relevant to their unique needs or are based on unique data such as their interests, geographical location, purchase history and a host of other factors. Email lists are segmented so that email marketers can cater to each email list independently rather than sending one message to everyone. This system of direct email marketing is said to account for about 77% of email marketing ROI.

  1. What is email bounce rate?

Bounced emails are the bane of any email marketer’s existence. A bounced email means that your intended recipient didn’t get the email you sent and so did not have access to the information contained in it. Your email bounce rate is the percentage of emails that failed to reach the inbox of the recipient out of the total emails sent. Bounced emails are typically divided into hard bounce and soft bounce, where a hard bounce is a permanent delivery failure and soft bounces are delivery failures that occur for certain reasons, like a full inbox. Soft bounces are usually converted into a hard bounce after 5 retries.

  1. What is email conversion rate?

The conversion rate in email marketing is the percentage of email recipients who receive your email and carry out the required action, thereby completing the email’s goal. Conversion rate is an important metric for email marketers as it helps them calculate the ROI on email marketing. Your direct email marketing conversion rate is influenced by a lot of factors, including the content of your email and the ease of which readers can complete the goal action. If you have a high open/click-through rate but a low conversion rate, chances are your call to actions are not clearly defined.

  1. What is a false positive?

When an inbox’s spam filtering system blocks a legitimate email, this is known as a false positive. False positives occur when the recipient’s email servers interpret your message as spam. This can be bad for business and will not only cost you sales but can also prevent you from sending emails to addresses on that server in the future. If you are receiving too many false positive results, use a sender policy framework (SPF) to identify your domain and check your IP to make sure it has not been blacklisted.

  1. What is a whitelist?

An email whitelist is a list that contains email addresses designated as safe and approved. Once your email address is on a whitelist, the recipient’s spam filter will always allow delivery. To get whitelisted, a user will have to manually enter your address into a list of safe addresses in their email client; however, this process differs by email provider.