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Happy first day of December! It’s December and the end of the year is in full-swing. Don’t go into the holiday travel season without the December Book-of-the-Month: Business Adventures by John Brooks.

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Resource Center > Article
How Email Tracking Can Help You Grow Your Home-Based or Other Small Business or Franchise
17 Mar 11 Posted by: Kathleen C Lanza
in Marketing & Sales
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You’re a home-based or other small business or franchise owner selling a product, service or even a business opportunity or franchise to other entrepreneurs just like you.  Given a warm lead from any source―BusinessOpportunity.com for example―you need to make that all important first contact via phone within days if not hours if you want to be effective, as we discussed in a prior blog post. 

In that initial phone call or on that first recorded message to establish contact, you’re going to make sure you are clear on what your next step will be in reaching out to that person.  In all likelihood, sending an email will be your best bet.

So how do you know if the email you sent actually reached its intended target? 

This is a really important question.  Knowing if your warm lead received your email, opened it and most likely read it helps you to gauge whether or not it just went from being warm to blazing hot.  A truly hot and interested lead is one that you can feel wholly confident about pursuing further.  Just knowing which of your leads warrants additional time and energy will make you and your overall operation more efficient and save you time and money all around.

Thankfully, finding out whether or not an email has been delivered to and opened by an intended recipient is a rather commonplace activity these days.  In fact, email tracking has become routine for many marketers and vendors who want to evaluate the success of their email efforts.  If you’re someone who already uses an email service of some kind, you most likely already have access to some key email metrics free-of-charge depending on the software or service provider you use.  It’s simply a matter of setting things up correctly, which is usually just a phone call away.  Additionally, there are free-trial services available to assist you in tracking your email marketing success rates, especially if you engage in bulk campaigns, such as MailerMailer and Constant Contact.

The key to getting started in accessing this kind of critical and extremely helpful information is to know that these kinds of services and the data they can provide are available to you in the first place and then to know a little bit more about what it all means.  Fortunately, when it comes to what are commonly called “email performance metrics,” industry definitions are fairly standard.

Although the potential parameters for evaluating email performance are actually quite considerable, here are just a few basic terms you should know starting out:

Email service provider (ESP): A business or organization that provides email campaign delivery technology.

Open rate: Indicates the number of people who opened or viewed a particular email message.

Opt-in: When a user signs up to receive email marketing messages from a particular source.

Click-through-rate (CTR): The average number of people who click through a link, expressed as a percentage of the number of unique clicks divided by the number of emails that were successfully delivered.

Unique click: Similar to open rate, but with any duplicate opens eliminated.

Bounce: Email that can’t be delivered to the mailbox provider and is sent back to the ESP that sent it.

Single opt-in: When an email recipient signs up to receive emails from a particular source without further verification, which means people can sign up for others without their permission.

Double opt-in: The gold standard in permission-based marketing where an email recipient signs up to receive emails from a certain source and there is verification back and forth of intent and acceptance.

Response rate: Total number of responses received from a particular email campaign, expressed as a percentage.

Spam: Unsolicited email, or “junk” email, the folder for which often becomes a repository for unrecognized emails in a recipient’s mailbox. 

Needless to say, when it comes to this last item, the spam folder, that’s the one you want to avoid at all costs and it’s also why it’s so important to track your emails’ performance.  You need to know if they’re getting through and if they’re doing what they’re designed to do―moving you one step further in the sales process and toward closing the deal with that once warm lead.

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I had the pleasure of chatting with Shawn Pigg, CEO of Hotels Etc. for BusinessOpportunity.com's Podcast series that will be released very soon on our new Digital Platform.  Here is the transcript from that call for our regular RSS feed subscribers who get all of our posts first.

If you would...
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