Email Marketing Basics for Your Craft Business

By Lisa McGrimmon | Published Jan. 21, 2014 | Modified Sept. 10, 2019
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Email marketing basics teach you how to develop a newsletter to promote your handmade business whether you do business online or in person, at craft shows. This series on email marketing will show you how to set up and grow your own e-newsletter.

Notebook and pen on desktop. Text overlay - How to develop a newsletter to promote your craft business

Before we jump into the email marketing basics series, I'd like to prepare you with some definitions of jargon you'll find in email marketing circles.

These terms will come up throughout this series, and you'll see them if you research email marketing on other sites.

If you ever forget what a term means and need clarification, you can jump back to this page for the definition.

Basic Email Marketing Terms

Here are important terms you'll come across as you explore and research email marketing basics for your craft business:

Email Marketing

Communicating with a group of people who have expressed interest in hearing from you via email. People choose to subscribe to your newsletter, and you provide information relevant to your business and your subscribers' interests.

Open Rate

The percentage of subscribers who open your newsletter. Don't expect everyone to open your emails. Depending on the industry, standard open rates range from about 20% to 30%. 

That doesn't necessarily mean only 20% to 30% of people are reading your emails because the technology used to measure open rate isn't perfect. This statistic doesn't necessarily capture everyone who opens your newsletter.

In spite of imperfections, open rate is a useful statistic to track. By watching how your open rate changes from one mail-out to the next, you can see what headlines resonated with your audience. You can also experiment with mail-out times and dates to see what is most effective for your audience by tracking your open rate. 

Double Opt In

A double opt in email system requires subscribers to confirm twice that they want to receive your email.

  • Step One: Subscribers submit their email via an online newsletter sign up form.
  • Step Two: The email marketing software you use automatically sends an email to the address they provided. The new subscriber must click on a link in that email to confirm they wanted emails sent to that address. If they ignore the email, they won't be signed up for the newsletter.

A double opt in system protects people from being signed up to mailing lists they didn't want to sign up for. It also protects you from accidentally sending emails to someone who didn't want them.

A double opt in system helps to ensure you have a list of people who truly want to receive your emails, and it helps to reduce the potential for spam complaints against your newsletter.


Unsubscribing is when someone who was once an email subscriber chooses to stop receiving your newsletter.

No matter how fabulous your newsletter is, people will unsubscribe. Getting a few unsubscribes after each mail-out is to be expected and not negative.

As your newsletter list grows, it can become more expensive to manage. Carrying a mailing list full of people who never open your emails if not going to help grow your business, and it can get pricey.

If someone is no longer interested in reading your messages, it's much better if they unsubscribe instead of continuing to receive emails they never open.

Unsubscribe Rate

Your unsubscribe rate is the number of people who unsubscribe each time you send out a newsletter. A few unsubscribes are to be expected. 

It's helpful to watch how your unsubscribe rate changes when you make changes to your newsletter.

If you make a substantial change to the structure, or content, or delivery time, watch your unsubscribe rate. If that rate is much higher than usual, you'll know you did something your subscribers didn't love. 

Delivery Rate

This statistic measures the number of emails that actually end up in subscribers' inboxes.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

Your newsletter's click through rate is the percentage of people who clicked one of the links in your email. If you're sending out newsletters to encourage people to visit your blog or your online shop, your CTR will tell you how well you're meeting that goal.


Strictly speaking, spam is marketing email sent to people who did not choose to receive email from that sender.

From the perspective of an email marketer, it's important to be aware that subscribers can mark a newsletter as spam for all kinds of reasons, even if they did initially choose to receive your newsletter.

For example: If emails are sent too frequently, or they don't recognize your newsletter as something they signed up for, subscribers may mark it as spam. A small number of spam reports are acceptable, but if your newsletter gets marked as spam by too many subscribers, it may suffer.


Autoresponders allow you to pre-write a series of several emails, and subscribers receive them in order no matter when they signed up for your newsletter. Autoresponders can introduce new subscribers to your business, and they can be fantastic time savers.

Subscriber Segmentation

Subscriber segmenting allows you to divide your mailing list based on certain characteristics of your subscribers. For example, you could select out the people who didn't open your email and resend it to them with a new subject line.

Subscriber segmenting is getting beyond email marketing basics and entering into the realm of more advanced email strategies. However, it's good to understand the term because you will come across it as you research email marketing basics and beyond.

Most Wanted Response (MWR)

Your most wanted response is the thing you most want your newsletter subscribers (or website visitors) to do.

If you want subscribers to click on a link to your Etsy shop, that's your MWR. If you want subscribers to visit you at a craft show and use a coupon you included in a mail-out, that is your MWR.

Your most wanted response can vary from one mail-out to the next. Knowing what you most want readers to do can help you design your newsletter more effectively to encourage that MWR.

Other Email Marketing Jargon

There is plenty of other jargon out there in the world of email marketing, but these terms cover the basics. They are the ones you're most likely to come across and care about when you're getting your newsletter started.

Now that you're prepared with newsletter marketing lingo, you're ready to dive in to the email marketing basics series.

Email Marketing Basics Series

  1. What is email marketing & how can it benefit your business?
  2. How email marketing can help you sell more crafts & why should you build an email list if you already connect with customers on social media.
  3. What to write about in your newsletter.
  4. How often should you publish your newsletter?
  5. Email marketing providers to help you publish a professional, affordable newsletter.
  6. How to get people to sign up for your newsletter.
  7. How to keep subscribers interested so they continue to open your emails.
  8. How to make smart, strategic decisions about your newsletter.

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