Email Basics

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Email Marketing Glossary: 10 Terms You Should Know

Do you speak email marketing language? For email newbies, the unique terms marketers use can be a roadblock to getting started. If you want to cut through the jargon and make the most of your chosen email marketing tools, learning the language is an easy first step. Here are 10 terms to get you started on your path to email mastery.

Segmentation

In email marketing, segmentation involves dividing your email list into smaller categories based on specific characteristics or behaviors. With segmentation, you can send subscribers the most relevant information. Some common methods for segmentation include:

  • Interest groups
  • Segmentation by demographics (age, gender, etc.)
  • Segmentation by location
  • Behavior-based segmentation
  • Purchase-based segmentation
  • Engagement-based segmentation

Email marketing tools like Mailchimp provide straightforward options to begin segmenting your audience. Check out our guide to tags, groups, and segments for more info.

Personalization

Personalization means customizing email content for individual recipients. This may use a recipient’s name or past behavior, and is often simpler to set up than it sounds! Marketing platforms like Mailchimp and Klaviyo use merge tags to customize how an email will appear to each subscriber.

Deliverability

In simple terms, deliverability means keeping your emails out of spam. Several factors can impact deliverability, including domain configuration, list hygiene, and compliance with GDPR and CAN-SPAM regulations. Because deliverability is impacted by so many different variables, working with an email marketing expert is often the best way to address deliverability issues.

Accessibility

Accessibility in email marketing means designing emails everyone can enjoy. Subscribers with disabilities, especially people using screen readers, can often run into difficulties reading the content of an inaccessible email. By using alt text and high-contrast colors, email marketers can improve their emails’ accessibility and make them available to all.

Engagement

In email marketing, engagement is the level of responsiveness your audience has to your content. Some common ways of measuring engagement include click rates, open rates, and revenue. For more information, check out our article on email marketing metrics.

A/B Testing

A/B testing is the practice of sending two different versions of an email to a sample of your audience to determine which performs better. You may A/B test an email’s content, “from” name, subject line, or other elements.

Call-to-Action (CTA)

An email’s CTA prompts recipients to take a specific action, such as making a purchase or signing up. It typically takes the form of a text link or a button. Some emails may include multiple CTA’s, while others focus in on one main action.

List Hygiene

List hygiene is routine maintenance for your email audience. Marketers with good list hygiene regularly remove inactive and/or invalid email addresses. Maintaining a clean email list can help with deliverability. If you’ve never cleaned your list, try starting with a straightforward tool like Zerobounce.

Subject Lines

Subject lines are the brief text that appears at the top of an email. They typically give subscribers a glimpse of the email’s content, and can be thought of as an email’s “title.” All emails are required to have a subject line, so developing an engaging subject is essential for email marketing success.

Preview Text

Preview text is a snippet of text that accompanies the subject line. Depending on your email client, it may display slightly shorter or longer than the subject line. Preview text often contains a snippet of text from the email copy itself.

Go Beyond the Basics with Pure Firefly

Maximizing your email marketing success takes more than a grasp of the basics. Pure Firefly offers 1-on-1 training sessions on the nuances of Mailchimp strategy, template design, and campaign analytics. Or contact us to kick off ongoing marketing work including account set-up, Mailchimp audits, template creation, and more.

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What is an Email Bounce?

Newbies to email marketing often wonder what it means when an email bounces. If you’re among these new marketers, don’t worry. Bounces are a common occurrence every email marketer must learn to manage. In this blog post, we’ll explain what a bounce is and delve into the key distinctions between “hard bounces” and “soft bounces.”

What is an Email Bounce?

Emails bounce when they are unable to be delivered to a specific address and are returned to the sender. This can happen for various reasons depending on the situation and type of bounce. Typically, bounces are divided into “soft” and “hard” bounces. Understanding the difference can make a major impact on your email marketing strategy.

What is a Hard Bounce?

A “hard bounce” is a type of email bounce that occurs when an email cannot be delivered to the recipient and is permanently rejected. Hard bounces typically result from issues that are unlikely to be resolved, such as:

  • Invalid Email Addresses: This is the most common reason for a hard bounce. If the recipient’s email address is incorrect or doesn’t exist (e.g., typos in the domain or username), the email cannot be delivered.
  • Blocked Emails: Sometimes, an email address may be blocked by the recipient’s email server, often due to spam or security reasons.
  • Domain Does Not Exist: If the domain part of the email address (e.g. gmal.com) doesn’t exist, it results in a hard bounce.

What is a Soft Bounce?

Unlike hard bounces, soft bounces are the result of a temporary issue that prevents an email’s delivery. Common causes include:

  • Mailbox Full: Similar to a hard bounce, if a recipient’s mailbox is temporarily over its storage limit, it can result in a soft bounce. This issue can be resolved when the recipient clears space in their mailbox.
  • Server Is Down: If the recipient’s email server is temporarily unavailable, you may be unable to send to it. This can happen due to server maintenance or technical issues. It typically resolves when the server comes back online.
  • Message Size Exceeds Limit: If your email message is too large to be delivered to the recipient’s mailbox, it may bounce. Use file-sharing links or optimize your image sizes to resolve this issue.
  • Recipient Server Timeout: Sometimes, the recipient’s email server may take too long to respond due to server congestion or slow network connections.

Why Email Bounces Matter

Understanding the difference between hard and soft bounces is crucial for several reasons:

  • List Maintenance: By identifying and removing email addresses that result in hard bounces, you can keep your email list clean and up to date, improving your email deliverability.
  • Reputation Management: High bounce rates, especially hard bounces, can negatively impact your sender reputation. Maintaining a positive sender reputation is essential for avoiding the spam folder.
  • Customer Engagement: Bounced emails fail to reach the intended recipient. Over time, this can lead to lower engagement rates and diminished campaign success.

How to Handle Email Bounces

Dealing with email bounces effectively can boost your list health and improve the success of future campaigns. Here are some steps to start with:

  • Identify Bounced Emails: Use an email marketing platform that tracks bounces and categorizes them as hard or soft bounces. This will help you understand the severity of the issue.
  • Remove Hard Bounces: For hard bounces, promptly remove the email addresses from your list. Continuing to send emails to addresses that hard bounce can harm your sender reputation. Try using a list cleaner like Zerobounce to root out any additional invalid addresses in your audience.
  • Retry Soft Bounces: For soft bounces, consider retrying the delivery after some time. Soft bounces may resolve themselves, especially if the issue is temporary.
  • Update Contact Information: Routinely encourage subscribers to update their contact info. This can help clear out invalid email addresses.
  • Monitor & Repeat: Keep a close eye on your bounce rates as you continue to email your audience. Promptly addressing any sudden spikes can prevent further deliverability issues.

Bounce Back with Pure Firefly

Email bounces are a common occurrence in digital marketing, and understanding the difference between hard and soft bounces is essential. To take your knowledge to the next level, consider booking a strategy session with the email marketing experts at Pure Firefly. We can take a close look at your campaign analytics and provide you with actionable steps to improve deliverability, maximize engagement, and help you convert subscribers into happy customers.

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Email Basics: What’s the Difference Between CC & BCC?

The invention of email predates the internet as we know it. Even though the tool has been around for decades, there are still several terms that can be baffling for new users. Two of the most commonly confused fields are CC (Carbon Copy) and BCC (Blind Carbon Copy). While they may seem similar at first glance, they serve distinct purposes and have unique implications for email privacy. In this blog post, we will delve into the difference between CC and BCC, explore their functionalities, and shed light on when to use each one effectively. 

If you need more help with email basics, don’t hesitate to contact our team of email specialists.

CC (Carbon Copy)

CC is an email field that allows you to send a copy of the email to additional recipients. When you add someone to the CC field, all recipients in the email can see who else received a copy of the message. It’s a transparent way of including others in the conversation and keeping them informed. For example, if you’re sending an email to a colleague and want your supervisor to be aware of the discussion, you can CC your supervisor. The recipient in the CC field is not expected to take any specific action; they are simply being kept in the loop.

BCC (Blind Carbon Copy)

On the other hand, the BCC field is a powerful tool for maintaining privacy and confidentiality in email communication. When you add someone to the BCC field, they receive a copy of the email, but their email address remains hidden from other recipients. This means that the email’s direct recipients (in the To field) and CC recipients are unaware of the individual(s) in the BCC field. BCC is particularly useful when sending a mass email to a large group of recipients who may not know each other, especially when you want to protect the privacy of your contacts. 

Each recipient receives the email as if they were the sole recipient, maintaining confidentiality and preventing unintentional reply-all situations.

Using CC and BCC Effectively

To ensure effective communication and respect recipient privacy, it’s important to use CC and BCC thoughtfully. Here are some best practices to consider:

1. Use CC for Transparency 

CC is appropriate when you want to involve multiple parties in a conversation, without sending directly to multiple recipients. This is a great option for teams where multiple people are working with one client. CC’ing your team on an email can keep everyone informed while reserving the To field for clients. When using CC, just be mindful of the recipients’ privacy. All recipients can see who is CC’ed on an email, and some may not appreciate seeing a long list of people in the CC field.

2. Use BCC for Privacy and Confidentiality

BCC is ideal when sending emails to a large group, especially when the recipients may not know each other. It helps prevent recipients from seeing each other’s email addresses and maintains confidentiality. Email confidentiality is incredibly important, especially when sending sensitive information, so BCC is an important option to protect your contacts. If you have questions about email privacy and confidentiality, consider a one-on-one call with one of our email experts.

3. Use BCC for Bulk Email 

Ever want to send the same email to a large group of people, without all of them knowing that you’ve sent to a large group of people? This is one instance where BCC can come in handy. None of the To field, CC, or BCC recipients can see who has been BCC’ed on an email. This can give the appearance of one-on-one communication, with the ease of sending in bulk. If you’re a small business using bulk email for marketing, be sure to follow legal guidelines like CAN-SPAM and GDPR. Check out our guide to deliverability to learn more.

4. Consider Context and Content

Before adding someone to CC or BCC, carefully consider the relevance and necessity of their involvement. Ensure that the content of the email aligns with the recipients’ expectations and needs. If you need help developing engaging email content, consider working with an email marketing expert like the ones at Pure Firefly.

Make Pure Firefly Your Email Guides

As a new email marketer, understanding email best practices is crucial for effective communication and engagement. Pure Firefly, a trusted expert in email marketing, can provide the guidance and training needed to navigate email strategies successfully. Visit Pure Firefly’s Contact page to get in touch with our experienced team. For those seeking comprehensive training on Mailchimp and email marketing in general, one-on-one training is a great option. Our email experts are happy to share their insights backed by over 10 years of experience in digital marketing.

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Optimizing Image Size for Email

Many email designers start out with questions about image size: What size should email images be? Is landscape or portrait better for emails? How can I ensure my email’s use of images doesn’t land me in the spam folder? These questions are great to consider when creating a new email template

What Size Should Email Images Be?

In email design, images should ideally be as small as possible without sacrificing image quality. This is because large images can lead to slower load times, which may also negatively impact engagement rates. 

For emails with multiple images, aim to keep each image at or below 250 kb. Emails with one large image (such as a header image) and some text may include an image up to 450 kb in size. Any image over 1MB urgently needs to be reduced in size.

Image Dimensions vs. File Size

While image files should be kept at or below 250 kb in size, the ideal image dimensions may vary depending on an email’s design. 600px has commonly been regarded as the ideal width for email banners. However, newer devices can process larger image dimensions. This is why the Mailchimp template builder caps image width at 1200px.

Even though 600px is no longer a strict rule, keeping images under 900px in either direction is still ideal to ensure fast load times. If your organization includes a signature or logo in every email, aim to keep this image below 250px in either direction.

Deliverability & Images in Email

Deliverability has a critical influence on any email’s success. To maximize deliverability and engagement, design your emails with only relevant images which add value to your content.

It’s important to remember that some email clients may block images by default, which can impact the overall user experience. An email that includes only images is also likely to land in the spam folder. In addition, sending images which are too large can have a negative impact on deliverability.

At Pure Firefly, our template design services consider deliverability by following best practices to ensure that your emails reach the inbox and are likely to encourage engagement. Our experienced team is here to help individuals and organizations of any size create visually appealing and effective email templates. Contact us to learn more.

What Makes an Effective Email Image?

Ultimately, the right images for your emails will vary depending on your industry. However, some key trends and tips apply no matter your audience:

  • Build on your brand: Whether you use photos, icons, or illustrations, ensure that any email image is consistent with your overall brand.
  • Guide the eye: Images immediately attract attention, so place them near the most important parts of an email.
  • Always add alt text: Some subscribers can’t view images in emails. They may have images deactivated in their inbox, while others use screen readers. Add alt text to every image to maintain accessibility for all subscribers.
  • Don’t forget to smile: Images with faces can convey emotion and cultivate feelings of connection with your brand. Don’t be afraid to include a headshot in your email signature or add a candid image to your latest weekly update

Pure Firefly is Here to Help!

If you need a helping hand with your email images, don’t hesitate to contact an email expert. Pure Firefly’s team is experienced with template design across various industries, and specializes in Mailchimp’s new template builder. Schedule a one-on-one training for quick questions, or contact us for a free quote on email design.

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Send Frequency in 2023: How Often Should I Email?

Finding the right email frequency is key to attracting engagement and building a positive relationship with your subscribers. By building a reliable cadence, you can ensure subscribers look forward to your emails. In this post, we’ll answer the question: How often should I email my subscribers? We’ll also explore the best days to send, the importance of send time optimization, and how email frequency works with automations.

How often should I email my subscribers?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including your industry, audience, and the type of content you’re sending. Most businesses find success in sending at least one email per week. However, this may be too much for some audiences.

To find the right send frequency for your audience, consider using segmentation. Because your audience members will engage with your emails in unique ways, they may prefer to receive emails on unique schedules. Try sending at least one email per month to all your subscribers and sending more frequent emails to the most engaged portion of your audience. This can boost opens & clicks without overwhelming your audience. 

If you’re a Mailchimp user, you can use several segmentation tools to tailor your send frequency to your audience. To build a successful strategy, consider booking a call with an email expert like Pure Firefly.

Email Frequency & Automations

Automations can be a powerful way to increase engagement with your audience while managing your email frequency. For example, you can set up a welcome series to introduce new subscribers to your brand through several emails. You can also create a re-engagement series to win back inactive subscribers without bombarding them with too many emails.

Because automations are triggered by a subscriber’s actions, they often send on a more frequent schedule than typical campaigns. An automated welcome series, for example, should begin sending as soon as a subscriber joins your audience. Depending on the length of your series, a welcome automation should have only 1-5 days between each email. 

While subscribers are going through a welcome journey, it is recommended that you pause other emails to these new subscribers to avoid overwhelming them.

What are the best days to send?

The right day to send will vary depending on your campaign, audience, and industry. However, a study by SendinBlue confirmed that weekdays perform more highly than weekends, comprising roughly 95% of the total weekly click volume. 

Studies have shown that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday tend to have the highest open rates. On Monday and Friday, people are busy catching up or preparing for the weekend. However, these trends may vary depending on your industry and audience.

Some email providers offer tools to guide your choice of send date. For example, Mailchimp’s campaign manager includes send day optimization, which makes recommendations based on your industry & subscriber behavior.

 

Send Time Optimization: Does it matter?

Send time optimization aims to schedule your email send time around when your subscribers will most likely engage. Many email providers offer send time suggestions based on various factors, including subscriber location, behavior, and more.

While these can be helpful, it’s important to remember that everyone’s inbox habits are different. Instead of relying solely on send time optimization, consider testing different send times and analyzing your data to see what works best for your audience.

Whether you test send times manually or use optimization algorithms, send time can significantly impact an email’s opens and clicks. For example, if someone receives an online shopping discount at the start of their workday, they are likely to forget about it once they have time to shop. Place yourself in your subscribers’ shoes and tailor your send time around the type of content you send.

 

Pure Firefly Can Help You Build a Send Frequency Schedule

If you don’t have the resources to create & test a sending schedule, consider working with an email expert. Pure Firefly’s team has experience testing email send frequency for clients in different industries. Set up a one-on-one call to get our input on send frequency, or contact us for a free quote.

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