Newsletter Jargon 101: How to Understand What Happens in your Newsletter Platform

Episode – 009- Newsletter Jargon 101: How to Understand What Happens in your Newsletter Platform

Don't you just LOVE it when someone talks in an incomprehensible way and makes you feel like a total fool? Well, in this episode I want to help you understand newsletter jargon so you can actually up your game and do something good with it.

As usual, I'm breaking down each of the most important elements and why they are important to you. Behold: this is an episode full of AHA moments!


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Full transcription


Welcome to Episode 9 of the Online Business Tech Hub. This is Alessia your host tech expert for online coaches and consultants on a mission to rescue my clients from tech disasters.

Today's episode is about jargon. Don't you just love when someone talks to you in a completely incomprehensible way and makes you feel like a total fool? I hate it, everyone hates it, right? I mean, all the copywriters tell you not to write your marketing stuff using jargon because it would be gobbledygook for other people. Right. Those are not in your niche.

So the same goes with newsletter platforms and email marketing. And so I thought to host an episode where I actually explain to you all those terminologies, all that terminology, what it actually means so you can start to understand how your newsletter platform works and you can actually do something with it. Right. Because when you read this, you know, whatever sales page or anything where you go through the feature, if you don't know what they're talking about because it's all jargon, then how can you understand if that platform, whether it's a newsletter platform or an online course platform, whatever, how can you understand if that is the right one for you if you don't understand what they're talking about?

So today's episode is newsletter jargon 101: how to understand what happens with your email marketing provider. First, I want to tell you something. Do not take notes. There is a free cheat sheet that you can download. So you absolutely don't need to sit down and grab a pen and paper or your laptop and start taking notes. You absolutely don't need that. Just download the PDF after you have listened to the show and you can print it, you can take notes on it, you can do whatever with that.

Let's actually dive in immediately, without further ado, because there are quite a lot of words I want to explain to you.

So let's start with the first one, A/B testing also called split test. This is very useful with main marketing platforms because it lets you compare the performance of a newsletter or of a landing page or a form that you use to collect subscribers to see which one works better. You might have different colors you might have. I don't know if you think about a landing page, a registration page for your free event, or your freebie, you might have a beautiful photo of you smiling on top of them, or you might have a different header on the page that it's, I don't know, an image of the object you are going to talk about in your freebie or an evocative image, for example.

And you can see which one is performing better, which page collects more subscribers, the one that has the photo of your beautiful smile, or the one word that is an evocative image. And you can see which one is performing better. Then after a while, you can decide that you're going to use only one of them because it has been collecting more subscribers.

So the conversion is higher and the same you can do with newsletters. OK, there are some platforms that, you create A/B testing for a newsletter and you might test the different subject lines.

You can send a newsletter where you use two different subject lines and see which one performs better. The email marketing platform then determines a winner and then sends the rest of the list that you have selected the newsletter that has the subject line with more openings. So the possibilities of A/B testing are really endless, you can test anything, you can test subject lines, you can test images, you can test different copy. You can test different text in the body of the email or in the body of the landing page and see what performs better or what converts better.

This is really useful and when you have landing pages, for example, for a webinar, it can be also quite interesting to see which of the options works better for your audience. And it's also a quite important source of information and insights on the behavior of your followers.

Next, onto the next word, open rate and click rate. These sound quite simple and it actually is, but I thought it actually was worth explaining it. So the open rate is the percentage and number of people in your list who have opened your emails, which is usually quite a lot higher on average than the click rate, because the click rate is, as the name suggests, is the percentage of clicks that have been performed open within your newsletter, in your e-mail. Now, the click rate is always or tends to be lower, quite lower than the open rate.

And this is because usually, it is hard or harder to ask your email subscribers to perform an action. In this case, click on a link. You might get a really high open rate, but then the click rate is always quite lower and actually getting a higher click rate, I think is more important than a really high open-rate. Think about it. You send an email where you start to promote your latest service or offer or, you know, lead magnet or whatever it is.

A lot of people open the email, but no one actually clicks or very few of them click. So this means that a very small percentage of people are actually going to go and check out your new offer. Or your free resource or the latest blog or podcast episode, so the click rate is extremely important, but it's also the hardest to get a higher number. Next word, we are talking about tags. So what is a tag?

A tag is a label that you can assign to any of your subscribers to give you a specific piece of information. For example, you might want to add a tag to the people who download a specific free resource. Or you want to add a tag to a contact that behaves in a certain way, so, for example, in an email you write that you are working on a new offer and you give a brief description and then you can say, click here if you want to be the first one to be notified.

And you might add a tag to the people who click on that link and it can be, for example, a waitlist tag. So you know that the contacts that have that specific tag, waitlist, they are going to be the first ones you will be targeting. You will be getting in touch with when you launch your new offer, or another example is you can assign a tag if you run a free event or a paid event and you want to be able to recognize among the different lists you have, who attended that event. You do it by assigning a tag and you can have as many tags as you want. However. Even though it's very useful to have different pieces of information. Don't get yourself too excited about it.

What I mean by that is this. It is very, very important that you understand, which pieces of information you actually need to store and collect. And you keep a list of these tags. Because you don't want to have so many outdated labels for your subscribers from, I don't know, a year ago that maybe aren't relevant anymore today because otherwise, it gets really confusing.

So keep the piece of information you actually need and when you don't need it anymore delete it, just make sure that you don't start collecting all these tags, and then in the future you have no idea what they are about. Keep the relevant pieces of information. And a tag is the prerequisite usually, but not necessary.

To the next word. I'm going to tell you about, which is segmentation. So the segmentation is the process of breaking down your list or lists into subgroups.

According to different conditions, behavior, or tags, keep in mind that a segment is like a dynamic list, so the list is stagnant. I download your free resource and I sign up to your email list and I'm there unless I subscribe. A segment is very different. A segment is dynamic. I am in the sublist, in this segment only until the conditions are in place.

Let me give you a concrete example. You want to target specifically the contacts who open a specific email and click on a specific link. So in that case, the first step is creating a segment. The condition that you set is that the contacts I am targeting, they have opened this email and you would pick it from the list of the newsletters you have been sending and you can select more than one if needed, even though I don't necessarily recommend it. And the other condition, which is the contact has clicked on this specific link. And there you have it, a list of contacts that have opened that email and clicked on that specific link.

However, that is up to date, as of when you are creating the segment, the segment, but let's say that tomorrow, two, three, four, 15, 20 people open the e-mail because maybe they haven't seen it and they go and click that link. These contacts will be synchronized over the segments that you have created. OK, so that's why I'm saying that segmentation is dynamic because once you set the conditions, it will keep updating on its own until you delete that segment.

OK, so this is something really cool that you can use when you want to target specific subscribers, maybe this isn't something that you would use when you're starting out with e-mail marketing and newsletters. But it's anyway something good that, you know, it's available.

Then we have another interesting feature, an interesting word which is auto-resend, which is quite self-explanatory. However, the important thing to keep in mind here is that when newsletter platforms talk about auto-resenders. The thing is that some platforms let you set the auto-resend to go on autopilot after several hours or several dates. There are some other platforms that have the auto-send feature, but it's manual. So you decide when you want to resend for the second time.

The first e-mail, the first newsletter that you send to those that didn't open it the first time. This is a really important and very useful feature. But it's important also to know that there is this option that different platforms offer the automated auto-resend. So you prepare a campaign and you can set that I want this campaign to be sent to those who didn't open it after two days, for example. There are other platforms where it's really quick to send an auto-resend campaign, but you have to do it manually.

Next word is automation. Now in automation, it's one of those words that means everything and nothing. So obviously, you know what an automation is, but in the field of newsletters, what is an automation.

So an automation in this case, is something that lets you deliver, for example, a series of emails on autopilot. So I sign up for your free resource. I downloaded I get into your list and I get automatically the resource I sign up for, but with an automation besides that first email, you can start a series of emails that are to be delivered every three days from the day I sign up for your free resource.

OK, it's not only that though. Of course, most of the time, yes, that is the most used feature of automation. So the delivery of a series of welcoming emails, but an automation can also be used to assign tasks. So in my automation with Active Campaign, I always add an action in the automation that is, for example, assign a tag because I want to know how the subscriber ended up in my list.

Which freebie did they download? What did they sign up for? Was it a webinar and so on. So I add an action in the automation that sets a specific tag. But then an automation can also be the movement in between different lists. So I have always one specific freebie list for each of my freebies and one master list, which is my newsletter list because I send newsletters only to those in my master list and not to those in the freebie list.

OK, so at the end of the welcome series, when someone signs up to my free resources, they go through a welcome series of emails and the last action I set in the automation is unsubscribe…free them, release them, and subscribe to the master list. This is all automated and that's something else that you can do with automation.

Now, there are plenty of options here, so I'm not going to cover all of them. Otherwise, we will be here until tomorrow morning. But keep in mind. Automations can be quite flexible, you can do really a lot depending on the platform you are using, the provider you are using.

Then what is an RSS campaign? An RSS campaign is a newsletter that is automated. And it is sent to the contacts to the list. You select them every time you publish a new blog on your website or you publish a new podcast. OK, so the RSS feed is this piece of information that you grab from your blog or your podcast hosting platform and then you can add it to a specific block in your newsletter when you create the newsletter.

And then the campaign, the newsletter will be sent out automatically whenever there is a new piece of content. Whether it's a blog post or a podcast or anything else you have created, you have got an RSS feed for. So this is really useful because you might want to send a newsletter regularly where you talk about the specific topic, but the focus, maybe it's not really so much on the content that you have been publishing, but there might be some people that actually like to have delivered straight to their inbox an email where there is a recap of the content you've been publishing, for example, last month.

So it is a useful feature. However, I wouldn't recommend that you rely exclusively on an RSS campaign like a newsletter or instead of a newsletter where you share, I don't know, behind the scenes of what is happening in your business or you share your own reflections or, you know, anything that is the content for your newsletter because that is quite annoying. That can get potentially quite annoying if you use only an RSS campaign. It is useful.

I use it once a month. I have an RSS campaign for the last Tuesday of every month where I send to my email list all the recap of the latest podcast episode I've been publishing in that specific month. But that's not the only campaign. That's not the only newsletter I send. I also send out another time, an extra newsletter where I share what is happening in my business. I share tutorials or I share anything else that I want to share with my email list.

So don't rely too much on the RSS campaign. They are useful, but not necessarily the only thing I would use if I would want to grow and engage the email list.

Last but not least, what is a drag and drop editor. Now a drag and drop editor is a really cool feature that nowadays most of the newsletter platforms offer. It is a way to assemble and create landing pages, forums, and newsletters putting together different blocks.

So a block of image, video text, social media icons, and so on. There is usually a column on the right side where there are all these different blocks. So image, text, video, social sharing, I don't know anything else, columns, anything that you can click on. And while you keep clicking you drag it onto the main text editor, the newsletter editor, you drop the block, and then you can move it around.

So it's a really easy way to compose your newsletters and your landing page for your free resources. It's very intuitive once you get acquainted with the provider. And it's something that most of the newsletter providers offer now. Usually, email marketing platforms also let you create an only text email as well. But you also have the option of these drag and drop, editors, which you can personalize a lot more.

Now, we are at the end of the episode.

I know there's been a lot of different words, different explanations, and I hope it was useful. So so in this episode, I wanted to explain to you most of the newsletter-related jargon so you can actually understand what is going on in your newsletter provider. You can understand what you read when you go through a sales page and all the features of a provider.

I hope you listen to my advice and you didn't, you know, take notes because there is a cheat sheet in the show notes.

So just go there, download it, print it, take your notes. And then if you have any other questions for me, an email at alessia@alessiapandolfi.com or contact me on LinkedIn and hit me up with your questions, I might as well do a second part of this episode.

Before closing this episode, I want to invite you to E-mail Marketing 101, which is a 3-day workshop to go from confusion to clarity and finally start getting consistent leads. As you can understand from the name, we are going to focus on e-mail marketing for three whole days. So this workshop is perfect for you if you want to pick the right email marketing provider for you, for your business, for your goals, according to your skills, without wasting time and money.

It's also the perfect workshop for you if you want to understand how to actually make the best out of all the features, the automation features without watching outdated and endless YouTube video tutorials. And it's also perfect for you if you are fed up, that your newsletters end up in the spam folder. These are the topics we are going to cover in the 3 days of E-mail Marketing 101. It's a free event. It's absolutely free guys!

So make sure that if you've been having a bit of a hard time with email marketing, make sure you are registered. Now, the event will be held from the 30th until the 15th of April. It will be around 45 minutes each day. So it's not really long. There is a lot of space for Q&A at the end. So you can ask me all the burning questions you may have got during the time I explained to you and actually show you because this is a really concrete workshop, there's going to be no theory.

I want to show you all the bits of the different e-mail marketing platforms and how you can use them and make the best out of these providers without going mad. You can find the link to register here, and I'm looking forward to seeing you there on the 13th, 14th, and 15th of April.

Our time: 2:35am EEST