"Marketing is getting someone who has a need to know, like, and trust you,” the brilliant John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing says. Email is a great way to do that: It’s low-cost, lets you reach many people at once, and helps you stay top-of-mind with past, current, and potential clients.

Today let’s focus on five key benchmarks you should use in email marketing, based on my own experience as well as those of my remodeling clients.

Open Rate

Above 30% is considered good. The biggest key to getting the email open is the Subject Line. The Obama campaign in 2010 used a considerable amount of email marketing. Their best performing Subject Line was simply “Hey.” Don’t just use ‘Your Company Name – Newsletter #6.’’ Ask a question and/or make it intriguing; make them want to click and see what’s inside. On average, 70% of the emails you send won’t be opened, which brings us to our next benchmark …


Once a month is ideal for remodelers. The biggest thing I hear is, “Well, I don’t want to bug them!” I understand that, but you do want to stay top of mind and in front of them. Monthly frequency is great, especially if you are providing simple and helpful content. And provided you are also doing a good job in the next benchmark. That’s …

Length of Email

The shorter the better. You and I both get enough emails everyday. Same goes for people on your email list. If the emails are short and contain something interesting, they will get read more regularly. Don’t include five different articles in your email marketing; keep it to one key article/video and include a clear call to action for them to take.

Opt-out Rate

This percentage involves the number of people who ask to opt out or unsubscribe from your newsletter divided by the total number of emails sent. Aim for a rate at or below 0.2%, meaning you get just two opt-outs/unsubscribes for every 1,000 emails delivered. From my research, the percentage goes up if you send email too frequently (bothering some folks) or too rarely (out of sight is out of mind).

List Size

Get to 500 email subscribers and go up from there. This means that you need to always be adding people to your list: Candidates include previous clients, prospects, people you meet at home shows or other events, strategic partners, and family/friends. Set a goal each month for how many new subscribers you want to add. Get your staff involved in this goal and make it a priority.

Email marketing is a great way to build know, like, and trust as well as stay top-of-mind. Make sure it’s part of your overall marketing plan and work hard to meet or beat the benchmarks above. Kyle Hunt is the owner of Remodel Your Marketing; 810-522-8755; [email protected]twitter.com/KyleHunt.