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Top Three Things To Focus On With Email Marketing

We are living in an era when big data trumps all.   As a marketing company, we sometimes focus on numbers that usually confuse more then they explain. While these numbers are important in the grand scheme of things, they do little to inspire action in most small businesses. So, what do small businesses need to focus on to make sure they don’t get left behind when it comes to email marketing and the digital world?

1. The Open Rate

Yes, this seems basic, but the open rate is more than just a vanity metric. It displays the health and interest level of your entire list. It doesn’t matter how great your content or offer is if no one is reading it. The open rate will give you a snapshot of just how well you and your list are meshing.  Are you speaking to what they are interested in?

While there is no magic number to open rates, a email list with an open rate anywhere north of 30% is fairly interested in what you have to say (kudos to you on communication). Now, I’m not condoning getting comfortable with a 30% open rate, but I would say that is baby step number one for your business. Eventually, you want 50% or more of your list opening the majority of your correspondence, but be patient because those levels take time to achieve.

Make sure content is timely, well written and your titles are enticing. Clean your email list regularly and give those who are no longer interested a way out. It’s not the size of your list that will make you rich; it’s how productive it is…

2. The Click Through Rate

Now that you have a healthy open rate, you can start optimizing your content for click through rate (CTR). It’s isn’t the open that starts the sales process…it merely starts the conversation.  You want a readers to get to your site and learn more about what your business has to offer.

Click Through Rate comes down to a solid offer and a lot of A/B testing (which I’m a huge fan of by the way). Make sure your offer is of interest to your list and then begin trying out the content to make sure it captures their attention. If you can achieve 20-25% of opened emails to click through to your site, you are really in sync with your prospects and have a clean list. While this number is not achievable in every industry, it’s a great goal to have.

3. The Share Rate

In almost every email newsletter you receive from a business or organization, there are always share buttons somewhere in the main body of text. While most people pass over them and are blind to their presence, they can be a very valuable list growth tool if used properly.

One of the metrics you should really be keeping an eye on is your share rate. When your audience is in tune with your offer and feel that you are delivering superior content, they become fans. Fans who stick around become evangelists. And evangelists share your stuff and they share it often!

Email marketing is still one of the most productive and highest ROI options for small businesses looking to grow.  If you are in business for the long game then you must use email marketing in order to ensure your business’ survival! Just remember, slow and steady is not for the faint at heart, but it does win the race.

Leave us a comment below and let us know how email marketing has impacted your small business.   We would love to hear what you have to say.


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Kelley Shaw

Creative Director

Bringing Ideas To Life

Kelley’s role at RTL Digital Media covers a spectrum of design and production functions, including animation, catalog design, and trade show design with an e-commerce focus. She puts extra energy and life into our clients’ projects.  She knows how to make design fit perfectly—and strategically—into an organization’s branding and messaging.

Kelley’s experience includes directing the creative and artistic vision for Geneologie, an online and catalog fashion resource.  In three years, she was promoted four times, leading the in-house promotional marketing efforts. She built the vision, strategy and delivery teams that focus on Direct Mail pieces including catalogs, apparel, packaging, and design production.

Kelley previously served in a designer capacity assisting Americasmart, creating product displays, and was an intern with Denmark Ad Agency, where she created presentations, print graphics, and branding packages. She has received awards for her designs and invests her personal time with charities donating artistic help, graphics, and mentoring.