Email marketing is the distribution/communication of a business message, either to an individual or to a group of people, using email. Companies typically use email marketing to send out emails for the advertising, promoting and selling of their products or services while promoting loyalty and brand awareness.

Templates are typically used to efficiently send out emails to many people using the same message. This is accomplished with the inclusion of merged fields in the body of the message creating the appearance to recipients as personalized emails.

It can be used for both B2B and B2C market segments. Email marketing would be typically used as one of many channels contained in a company’s broader digital marketing campaign.

Types of Marketing Emails

Transactional (Relationship) Emails

Transactional emails are usually triggered based on an action by existing customers with a company. Their primary purpose is to execute or confirm a business transaction that the recipient has previously agreed to enter into with the sender. Types of transactional email include:

  • Welcome Emails
  • Tutorials and Tips Emails
  • Customer Stories
  • Brand Stories
  • Re-engagement Emails
Direct (Engagement) Emails

Direct email is mainly used to communicate a promotional message. Companies typically leverage lists of existing customers or potential customers for lead generation that can be derived from a CRM system or purchased through a 3rd party to send this category of messages out. Types of direct email include:

  • Cart Abandonment Reminders
  • Time-Sensitive Promotions
  • Receipts Emails
  • Sales Follow-ups
  • Review Requests

Email Automation

Marketing emails can be sent out manually to a single contact or to a filtered list of many contacts. It’s most efficient when they are sent out automatically by a marketing automation software or a CRM system with integrated marketing.

A single action by an employee/user linked to workflows guided by business rules can trigger the distribution of emails to thousands of potential customers and existing customers. They also can be entered into automated campaigns where multiple emails sent out at specific times and dates.

For a more in-depth discussion on drip campaigns, please view the blog article, “What is a Drip Campaign” as well as other marketing blog posts on the Clear C2 website.

Measuring Message Effectiveness

Messaging optimization is key to achieving a high conversion rate in an email marketing campaign. One way to ensure the best results possible is to perform upfront testing before sending out emails to the entire subscriber list.

A/B Testing

The terms “split testing” and “A/B testing” are often used interchangeably. They’re actually two different types of tests. Split testing involves comparing two distinct email designs.

A/B testing is a better test to measure message effectiveness. It involves comparing two versions of the same email based on changing one element, such as subject lines. After preparing the variations and selecting the sample size, each version is presented to the two different audiences of the same size. The test will reveal which version proved most popular among the recipients based on specific metrics, such as conversion rate or open rate.

A/B testing informs marketers what words, phrases, images, videos, testimonials, and other elements work best. Even the simplest changes can impact conversion rates. Here are some of the variables that can affect the performance of an email:

  • CTAs – The “calls to action” tells readers what is wanted of them to do now. It should entice the reader to act on the offer because it offers too much value to resist. Changing even one word in the CTA can influence conversion rates.
  • Subject lines – Email subject lines directly impact open rates. If a subscriber doesn’t see anything he or she likes, the email will likely wind up being deleted. A/B testing subject lines can increase the chances of getting people to click.
  • Content depth – Some consumers prefer high-level information that provides a basic overview of a topic, while others want a deep dive. Test content depth by creating two pieces of content. One will be significantly longer than the other and provide deeper insight.
  • Content Style – Whether the content contains text only or includes an image, audio or video, it can affect the conversion rate depending on the subject matter. Which types of images, audio or video chosen also matters.
  • Day/Time of Day – Sometimes the day or time of the day the email is sent can affect its performance. For measuring this scenario, the same exact email (containing no variations) will be sent out at different times.

Test Requirements:

  • Change just one element on the form.
  • Equal numbers of people see each variation.
  • The test runs long enough to reach statistical significance.

Email Marketing Metrics

Let’s take a look at the metrics one should be paying attention to in their email marketing efforts.

Key Email Metrics
  • Open Rate – The percentage of email recipients who open a given email. Example: 5000 total clicks ÷ 10,000 delivered emails * 100 = 50% open rate.
  • Unsubscribe Rate – The percentage of email recipients who unsubscribe or opt-out of a given email. Example: 1000 total clicks ÷ 10,000 delivered emails * 100 = 10% clickthrough rate.
  • Clickthrough Rate (CTR) – The percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links contained in a given email. Example: 500 total clicks ÷ 10,000 delivered emails * 100 = 5% clickthrough rate to a website’s landing pages.
  • Conversion Rate – The percentage of email 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. Example: 400 people who completed the desired action ÷ 10,000 total email delivered * 100 = 4% conversion rate.
  • Bounce Rate – The percentage of total emails sent that could not be successfully delivered to the recipient’s inbox. Example: 75 bounced emails ÷ 10,000 total emails sent * 100 = 0.75% bounce rate. There are two kinds of bounces to track: “hard” bounces and “soft” bounces.
    • Soft bounces are the result of a temporary problem with a valid email address, such as a full inbox or a problem with the recipient’s server.
    • Hard bounces are the result of an invalid, closed, or non-existent email address, and these emails will never be successfully delivered.
  • Subscriber List Growth Rate – The rate at which the subscriber list is growing. Example: (500 new subscribers – 100 unsubscribes and email/spam complaints) ÷ 10,000 email addresses on the list * 100 = 4% list growth rate.
  • Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate – The percentage of email recipients who clicked on a “share this” button to post email content to a social network, and/or who clicked on a “forward to a friend” button. Example: 100 clicks on a share/forward button ÷ 10,000 total delivered emails * 100 = 1% email sharing/forwarding rate.
  • Overall ROI – The overall return on investment for email campaigns. In other words, total revenue divided by total spend. Example: ($1,000 in additional sales – $100 invested in the campaign / $100 invested in the campaign) * 100 = a 900% return on investment for the campaign.

Marketing Email Regulations

Data privacy and security regulation is growing rapidly around the world, including in the United States. In addition to strengthening the requirements to secure personal data, individuals are being given an increasing array of rights concerning the collection, use, disclosure, sale, and processing of their personal information. Meanwhile, organizations’ growing appetite for more data, and more types of data, persists, despite mounting security risks and concerns about permissible use.

To this end, there are three Major legislations impacting the universe of email marketing regarding consumer data privacy protection.

Canada Anti-Spam Law (CASL)

CASL legislation went into effect on July1, 2014 being the first of the three laws to be implemented.  It focusses mainly an anti-SPAM law feature requires Canadian and global organizations that send commercial electronic messages within, from or to Canada to receive consent (by an explicit or implicit opt-in) from recipients before sending messages.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), passed in May 2018, is a legal doctrine that establishes guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the European Union.

While GDPR has similar anti-SPAM requirements as CASL, the GDPR focuses on 8 basic privacy rights.  The right to: Consent, Data Protection, View Personal Data, Get Notified, Correct Data, Automated Delete, Be Forgotten and Data Portability.

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a California state law that strengthens privacy rights and consumer protections for residents of California. It was signed into law on June 28, 2018 and is scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2020. It is the most comprehensive data privacy legislation passed in the US to date. It is essentially the American version of the GDPR.

Email Marketing and C2CRM

Email marketing platforms can be found in standalone email marketing software or as part of CRM systems. While standalone systems tend to be slightly more robust with features and have an extensive library of images and templates, CRM systems offer more efficiencies, better collaboration and lower pricing since there is no integration involved…lists do not have to exported and performance statistics to not have to be imported into the CRM.

C2CRM provides all the essential components of a full-service email marketing software while leveraging CRM tools to provide a more personalized, more effective direct marketing contact with prospective clients. It utilizes a robust drip campaign module and incorporates a collateral library to seamlessly provide a world-class marketing delivery system.  Below are some of the features C2CRM has to offer:

  • enhanced form letter creation with drag & drop editing
  • library of pre-designed templates
  • scheduling capability for monthly newsletters
  • drip campaign integration
  • A/B testing of emails
  • linking of emails and performance statistics to companies and contacts without the use of integration
  • automated opt-in and opt-out on contact records
  • sending email to existing customers or potential customers for pre and post sales, quotes, acknowledgements, knowledge base articles, etc.
  • Email dashboards and reports
  • CASL/GDPR/CCPA compliance


Given C2CRM can provide a full turnkey marketing solution to meet your business requirements and satisfy your customer journey, please sign up for a free trial of C2CRM today to check us out.

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