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Discover the Value of Each Subscriber in Your List

Discover the Value of Each Subscriber in Your List

Beyond • October 22, 2018

Not all email marketing subscribers are created equal. Contact A: Has come to your website after visiting several other competitors. They see your popup signup form that boasts a 20% off discount for new subscribers. They signup just in case, but they haven’t made a decision yet about your business or any other one. After opt-in, they aren’t really paying much attention to your emails. Contact B: Has already done their research. They even have a recommendation or referral about your business. They’re confident you’re the solution for what they seek. They might just be waiting to save some more money, for a holiday bonus or any other number of reasons. They signup, because they want to hear more from you. Emails from you are almost always opened. Do you think it pays to communicate to those two subscribers in the same manner? It’s not rhetorical. The answer is no. If you were to continue on sending to Contact A, the same way you were sending to Contact B, it would eventually affect your deliverability. Inbox clients pay attention to when you’re continually sending to inactive subscribers and will act accordingly. For that reason alone, knowing how important each individual subscriber is to your business has incredible value. Enter Benchmark Email’s brand new Contact Rating system. What is the Contact Ratings System? Contact Rating is a way of telling how engaged your subscribers are with your email campaigns. Aside from seeing who is interacting with the emails you send, contact rating is also beneficial because it allows you to segment your emails based on the subscriber’s rating. Ratings can go from 0 stars, meaning they’re a new subscriber who you haven’t sent to yet, to one star, meaning they’ve received an email, but haven’t clicked or opened, and 2-5, which show how engaged that contact is with your emails. The rating is based off of your previous 90 days of sending. You can improve your email’s deliverability (and do some awesome strategies we’ll get into shortly), with the Contact Rating system. You can segment your emails on the fly using the rating system and separate the low rated contacts (0-2) from the highly rated ones (3-5). To learn more about Contact Rating, you can check out our helpful FAQ. Now that you know how to segment based on Contact Rating, let’s look at how you can put it to use: Create a Loyalty Program for Your Highest Rated Subscribers On average, it costs 5 times more to acquire a new customer than to keep the ones you already have. That’s why a customer loyalty program is a good strategy for any business. Knowing how important customer retention is, making your subscribers feel special with a loyalty program is an essential part of nurturing positive customer relationships with email marketing. How can you do it? Create Special Sales or Events Exclusive to Your Highest Rated Contacts To make your loyal subscribers feel special, creating an heir of exclusivity can go a long ways. It can be a single day or a week-long affair, but the idea is to generate some excitement and to make your loyal contacts feel appreciated. Think about how Amazon handles Prime Day. It’s 24+ hours of new deals occurring throughout the day. It incentives Prime members to return all day and night to see the new deals that have opened up. This Amazon Prime Day email lets you know only a select group gets to enjoy the benefits and it creates a sense of urgency. It’s sure to result in plenty of repeat business. Give Loyal Customers a Say Aside from showing your customers that you appreciate them by giving them discounts and access to special sales, asking for their feedback is another way to show your contacts that they’re valued. I play fantasy football with my friends. I’m in a handful of leagues. Recently, Yahoo emailed me to tell me that as one of their more active users for fantasy football, they wanted to know if I’d be interested in participating in a survey about their services. Of course I was. I wanted to feel like I had a say in what was happening. They even sweetened the deal by offering a gift card as a token of their gratitude. They remind me that it’s only for me, which gives it that level of exclusivity as well. It’s a simple, plain text email. It doesn’t look great. However, it did get me to complete the survey as they requested. Re-engage Your Lowest Rated Contacts Inactive subscribers happen. There are various reasons a subscribe doesn’t engage with your emails. Perhaps they’re traveling or they’re busy. Maybe they already made a purchase and don’t need your emails any more. Or it could be that they just don’t see the value in what you’re sending. It could be any of those reasons or none of them. Why it happens is a topic for another blog. For now, we’ll focus on what you can to to re-engage them when it happens. Tell Them You’re Going to Remove Them Everyone wants what they can’t have. Telling your subscribers that you’re going to remove them from your list, unless they opt back into your list is a good way to re-engage your inactive subscribers. It may make them realize they do want to hear from you, or let you know that they’ve just been too busy to engage. If you do this, it’s important to toe the line of desperation and creepiness and just let them know that you’ll stop dropping by their inbox unless they say otherwise. This re-engagement email from Sidekick, now known as HubSpot Sales Tools, does a really great job of being friendly and understanding, while staying on brand and not over-stepping. Incentivize Re-engagement Sometimes, it just takes a friendly nudge to re-engage an inactive subscriber. Say something like “we miss you” and offer a small discount to get them in the door. There is a lot of competition in most industries these days. If you’re not staying top of mind, you’re going to be forgetting. Giving a little reminder can help you bring back lost business. Pinkberry does a nice job with this re-engagement email for their loyal customers with a Pinkcard who haven’t been around in a while. That they put an expiration on it, creates a sense of urgency and ensures the customer comes back soon. Additional Re-engagement Strategies Much like rewarding your engaged contacts by listening to them, you can ask for feedback from your inactive ones. Give them a chance to tell you what they’d have liked to be receiving from you, rather than the content they’ve been ignoring. Their passion for what they don’t like can be a lesson to you as well. You can also try to throw a hail mary. After all, they’re already inactive. If they decide to unsubscribe at that point, it will make little difference. Has there been an idea for an email campaign you’ve always wanted to do, but have been too nervous to try? Use it as a re-engagement campaign. Do something bold (yet appropriate) to catch their attention and you may even learn a new tactic you can use with your engaged customers. Wrapping Up Whether you have two or two million subscribers, it’s important to know what not all contacts have the same value to your business. Thankfully, the new Contact Rating System from Benchmark makes it easy for you to see which contacts are engaged (and which ones aren’t).


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The Do’s and Don’ts of Engagement Tracking

The Do’s and Don’ts of Engagement Tracking

Practical Marketer • October 12, 2018

You’ve probably been the beneficiary of engagement tracking before and didn’t even realize it. Have you ever been doing some late night online shopping, but avoid the impulse purchase and go to bed only to wake up the next morning with an email for a discount on the product you were viewing the night before? That’s engagement tracking at work! Email marketing is all about nurturing relationships with your most valuable marketing asset: your contact list. For many of those contacts on your email list, that relationship began at the moment they opted-in through one of your signup forms on your website, social media pages, in-store or at events. It’s important to remember that while you may have a one-size-fits-all signup form on your homepage or elsewhere, that not all subscribers are created equal. There are real people on the other side of those email addresses. Those individuals have their own wants and needs. The problems they seek your products or services to solve will also vary. When it comes to email marketing, relevance is the key to your success. The ability to follow-up with subscribers based on their interests and engagements with your email campaigns and website is how you can achieve relevance and it will help you nurture better relationships. Engagement tracking, that begins at the signup form, will help you follow-up with the right subscriber at the right time, with the right message. When done correctly, engagement tracking will help your subscribers feel seen by you. Their needs will be met. The emails they read will be relevant. Value delivered. However, there are some engagement tracking don’t to add to the mix. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of engagement tracking, as well as how you can do engagement tracking with Benchmark Email: The Do’s of Engagement Tracking Engagement tracking can help you nurture relationships with your customers when done properly. There are some very simple “do’s” that you can put into action that will help those relationships flourish. Do: Be Transparent Transparency begins directly on the signup form. Tell your subscribers what they can expect from your emails right there on the form. This includes the type of content they should expect and how often they should expect to hear it. Let them know that you’re going to send them information related to their interests. Granted, this example from the New York Times is likely for several different lists, but the points still stand. They tell you what kind of content to expect to receive and how often they will receive it. If that’s too much copy to put on your signup form, which it very well might be, you can continue to set expectations in your Welcome Email. If you’re crystal clear about what you’ll be sending your subscribers from the get-go, they won’t be surprised when they receive an email that speaks to their interests thanks to successful engagement tracking. Do: Send with Consistent Frequency It’s an email marketing best practice to send with enough frequency to stay top of mind with your subscribers. You want your company to be the first thing a subscriber thinks about when they’re in need of the types of goods or services you offer. Additionally, if your subscribers haven’t heard from you in a while, it may be odd if they visit a page and an automated communication is triggered. That’s when engagement tracking can start to feel like Big Brother. Here is a graph from databox that shows how often marketers are sending to their list: Do: Consider Your Subscriber’s Experience It’s important, when doing email marketing, to see things from your subscribers perspective. It’s easy to lose sight of things like the number of emails you’re sending and how having more than one automation created can result in an overflow of emails in your subscribers’ inbox. Sometimes, you’re too close to it to see you’re doing it. That’s why it’s helpful to have a friend or coworker who hasn’t helped create all your emails to signup to receive your emails as if they were new subscribers. Ask them questions to see what kind of experience they had with your emails. A potential email overload isn’t the only thing you should look out for on behalf of your customers. You should also create subscriber personas, to get to know who your subscribers are. Consider things like what their needs and wants are, where else they may be spending time online, the car they drive, etc. This will inform you of how to talk to your subscribers and what type of content you should be sending them. With all this information, you can do successful engagement tracking, because you know that you’re servicing your subscribers’ needs and not just your businesses’ desire to sell more. Do: Tell a Story Storytelling is one of the most effective marketing tactics around. The experience from your signup forms, welcome email, newsletters, website and other email communications to work together to tell one complete story. If the signup form is the “once upon a time” each subsequent email is another breadcrumb that leads your subscribe to their “happily ever after.” Let’s take a look at what that fairytale might look like for your business: A website visitor encounters your signup form. They see your promise to send relevant product updates and offers as well as a 10% off discount in exchange for signing up. They enter their information. An automated Welcome Email hits their inbox shortly thereafter. It should provide a warm greeting to them and continue to set expectations for what email communication from your business will be like. The Welcome Email should also include some resources to help them find their way. Information on various products, tutorials, etc. This is what brings them into the rest of the story. If they clicked through to your website and wound up checking out a specific product, you can follow up a few days later with another email sharing a few customer testimonials. Another chapter in the story you’re telling. If they open that email but have not yet made a purchase, you can follow up again with an email with a video showing how others have put that product to use. It continues to paint the picture of what they’re life will look like with that product. If that email gets opened, but it still didn’t do the trick to get the conversion, you can try sending another email reminding them that they have a 10% off discount to put to use. If they finally make a purchase, it’s the happily ever after you’re seeking. The Don’ts of Engagement Tracking Engagement tracking helps you create a one-to-one feel for your marketing. With engagement tracking, you can ensure you’re always sending timely and relevant communications that help to nurture your relationships with your subscribers. However, there are some “don’ts” that come with engagement tracking. Failure to avoid them will have your subscribers feeling like Big Brother is watching. Don’t: Do One-Size-Fits-All Emailing If you’re simply blasting out the same exact promos to your entire list, you’re not sending relevant emails. That one-size-fits-all approach will net you some sales because there is part of your list that message would be relevant to. However, the rest of your list won’t open, or click, on that email. They’ll go inactive, and if left on your list, will result in bounces and ultimately poor email delivery. According to the DMA, more than half of your subscribers will hit unsubscribe due to irrelevant emails: The good news is that you didn’t even need to let those subscribers become inactive in the first place. Follow the do’s listed above to use engagement tracking to send relevant emails to your subscribers. Don’t: Be Creepy When engagement tracking goes wrong, it can feel a bit creepy. Don’t be creepy. Here are a few things you can do to avoid the creep factor with engagement tracking: Don’t say things like “I noticed you…” and “since you click on…” That goes a little too far. You can send the follow-ups that were triggered by what you noticed or know that they clicked on, but don’t tell them that’s why you’re doing it. Use a send delay. Don’t send the follow-up email based on subscriber engagements immediately. They may start to look for the hidden cameras. Send a day or two later, so that they’ve had time to act without your next email, but not too far away that they’ve lost interest or moved on. Avoid leaving an automation running for too long unchecked. It’s important to check in with any engagement tracking-based automation you create. If it’s running for too long, chances for errors creep in. Your user experience may change on your website, or you may create an email at a different step in the journey that covers a similar topic. Things can go wrong or feel creepy when an automation isn’t working as planned. How to do Engagement Tracking with Benchmark Email With Automation Pro, you can do engagement tracking with ease. The first step is to ensure engagement tracking begins at your signup forms. Here’s a helpful FAQ on how to do it. Next, there is a strategy template waiting for you in Automation Pro called “Promote and Target Opens, Clicks and Website Engagement. This template helps you automate the follow-ups to your subscribers based on whether or not they’re interacting with your emails and what pages they’re viewing on your website. Putting this template to use will help you do engagement tracking with ease. If you have any questions, chat, call or email us!


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Illustrating the Career of His Dreams with Armando Veve

Illustrating the Career of His Dreams with Armando Veve

Beyond • October 5, 2018

You don\'t wind up on Forbes 30 Under 30 list by accident. It takes hard work, determination and talent. All three of which Armando Veve has in spades. Armando is a Philadelphia-based artist and illustrator. His work has been featured in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Wired and many more publications. He\'s also been awarded two gold medals from the Society of Illustrators, which is extra special given that it\'s voted on by his peers. It involves a lot of storytelling. It\'s kind of like I\'m writing. I\'m a writer, but I do it through pictures. We discussed how Armando got his start as an Illustrator, some projects he\'s had along the way and advice he has for wannabe illustrators. We also talked about the opportunities he has for his work to come off the page and into art galleries, which creates a new experience for the viewer. Lastly, Aramando clues us in as to what his future might hold. 2:37 - On what it means to be an illustrator 5:16 - Talking about beginning his career as an illustrator 13:24 - The purpose that print publications still serve 21:30 - When he knew his passion was a viable career option and advice for others looking to do it 27:10 - The New York Times cover story he said no to


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Top Integrations to Grow Your List

Top Integrations to Grow Your List

Beyond • September 24, 2018

“The money is in the list. Email is the most valuable channel when it comes to marketing.” - Neil Patel As Neil Patel rightly points out, your contact list is the lifeblood of your email marketing efforts. Growing your list is an important part of that, even though it’s not the size of your list that matters. It’s quality over quantity. Certainly, you’ve seen signup forms on every website homepage, blog page or even eCommerce store you’ve visited across the Web. However, that’s not the only way to grow your list. Each tool or app you’re using for your business can be a new opportunity to grow your list thanks to integration. Growing Your Email List Doesn’t Begin or End with Email After all, email likely isn’t the only touch point or interaction you have with your customers. You need to make sure that all your tools and apps work together to create one positive user experience across all platforms, tools and apps. Email is simply the tool that you can send to large segments of a list to communicate your messages. It can also be used when an automation is triggered based on customer actions. Besides, even before you began email marketing, you likely began amassing a list of contacts through one, or many, of your other business tools and apps. You’d be silly not to take advantage of the work you’ve already done! Use Integrations to Grow Your List If you’re using a CRM tool or any other cloud-based SaaS product to manage your list, you can easily import your contacts to your Benchmark Email account. This has been made easier than ever before with Benchmark Email’s partnership with PieSync thanks to the ability to sync up to 2,000 contacts for free. Let’s take a look at some of the tip integrations to grow your list: Contact Repository Integrations Perhaps you’ve previously been keeping a list of contacts somewhere like iCloud or Google Contacts. You can easily integrate those tools with your Benchmark Email account and import those contacts. Taking these steps will help you do things as simple as seeing who opened your emails and what links they clicked on, among many of the other advantages offered by email marketing. Here are the contact repository integrations currently available with PieSync: Contactlab Marketing Cloud iCloud Office 365 Outlook.com FullContact Microsoft Exchange Google Contacts Nimble eCommerce Integrations We’ve already discussed how email marketing is a very good friend of your eCommerce store. Integrating the two will help you create loyal customers and repeat business. There are all sorts of opportunities for marketing automation when you integrate your email marketing and eCommerce. You can trigger purchase confirmations, review requests, cart abandonment emails and more based on the subscriber’s engagements with your email campaigns and website. Here are the eCommerce integrations currently available with PieSync: Shopify Contactlab Marketing Cloud BigCommerce Helpdesk Integrations Your customer support is another touch point that can help you grow your email list. After all, your interactions with your customers shouldn’t solely exist when they’re encountering an issue or have a question. With a helpful integration and the use of marketing automation, you can follow-up with customers to make sure their issues were solved, to request a review of your customer support or offer additional resources. These are the Helpdesk integrations you can put to use thanks to PieSync: Clarabridge CX Social Crisp Desk Freshdesk Front Groove Help Scout Intercom Kustomer Mojo Helpdesk Teamwork Desk Zendesk CRM Integrations Your CRM should be the ultimate tool for growing your email marketing list. It’s the hub of all the data you collect on your customers and opportunities. Use email marketing to help turn those leads into customers and the ones who do convert to make a purchase into return business. Plus, all the data in your CRM can help you easily segment your contacts for targeted marketing campaigns that will deliver sales. Here are all of the CRM tools available for integration thanks to PieSync: 1CRM Cloud Act! 365 Act! Premium Cloud AllClients amoCRM Apptivo Base CRM Batchbook bexio BigContacts Bitrix24 CRM Bpm’online Capsule CompanyHub ConnectWise Manage Contactlab Marketing Cloud Contactually Copper Drip Efficy CRM EspoCRM Follow Up Boss Freshsales Highrise HubSpot Insightly LeadMaster Less Annoying CRM Livespace CRM Membrain Microsoft Dynamics 365 Nimble Nutshell Odoo Online OnePageCRM Pipedrive Pipelinedeals Pipeliner Podio Propeller CRM Salesflare Salesforce Salesforceiq Salesmate SalesSeek Sellf SugarCRM Teamleader Vtiger CRM Weclapp Workbooks Zoho CRM Other Common Business Tools That Can Help Grow Your List There are numerous tools available to you to help build your email list. If you’re getting an email address as a part of the process with any business tool or app, you can be using that to grow your email list. And you should be doing that. Why waste the efforts you’re making in those apps? You’ve already done the work to get the contact. Put it to use! Here are a few other types of tools you may want to consider integrating with for email marketing: Payment Gateways Document signing Website chat More! Wrapping Up Simply put, if you’re not integrating your email marketing account with as many other business tools and apps as possible, you’re missing opportunities to grow your list. Why leave something on the table? Don’t forget, you can sync up to 2,000 contacts for free thanks to our partnership with PieSync. You can learn more about how to integrate your Benchmark Email account with PieSync, in this helpful FAQ. If you’ve put integration to use for the betterment of your email marketing efforts, we want to hear about it! Share your tips and tricks in the comments below.


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Top Integrations for Email Marketing and eCommerce

Top Integrations for Email Marketing and eCommerce

Beyond • September 17, 2018

Email marketing has a lot of friends in our digital world. One of its best friends is eCommerce. After all, your relationship with your customers shouldn’t end when the first purchase is made. Email marketing can help you engage and interact with your customers after that initial conversion in many productive ways for your customers and your business. Let’s take a look at how you should be doing this. Integrate Your Email Marketing and eCommerce Hopefully, you already know about the eCommerce integrations offered by Benchmark. With our PieSync partnership, we’ve added a few more to the mix: Shopify BigCommerce Contactlab Marketing Cloud What Can You Accomplish with Email Marketing & eCommerce Integrations? As we mentioned before, your customer purchasing something is the beginning of a new communication cycle with consumers. By integrating your email marketing account with an eCommerce store, you can keep growing your relationships with your customers. Here’s what you can accomplish by integrating email marketing and eCommerce: Trigger an Automation An individual making a purchase can be the action that initiates an automation. Let’s take a look at what that might look like: Welcome Series Once a customer buys something, you can send out a confirmation email to thank them for making the purchase. You can make them feel good about their purchase by following up a couple of days later with an email boasting customer testimonials. Now that they’re a little more confident with their purchase, you can follow-up with an email promoting some related products they may want to consider. You may even want to inspire them to get more use of your products by sending an email that demonstrates how others have put your goods to use. Then, if it’s a product that will run out, you can send them an email when it’s time to buy more. If they don’t convert after that one, you can follow up with a small discount to encourage the repeat business. Abandoned Cart Reminder On average, the cart abandonment rate in 2017 was 78.65%. That’s a lot of potential sales left sitting in your cart. If you’re not sending an abandoned cart reminder automation, you’re leaving sales on the table. Don’t do that! Those are high-value leads because they had enough interest in your products to get them that far. By integrating your eCommerce store with your email marketing account, you can trigger an automation to send when someone abandons their shopping cart. Give your customers enough time that it doesn’t feel pushy, but when a cart is abandoned, follow-up with a reminder 12-24 hours later. If they still haven’t purchased the 48-hour mark, follow-up with one last email offering a small discount or free shipping. That’s usually enough to seal the deal. Request a Review Social proof in the form of customer reviews goes a long way toward helping others feel confident enough to buy your goods or services. In fact, 84% of consumers trust an online review as much as one of their friends. So, it’s important that you work to get as many positive online reviews as possible. If you’ve integrated your eCommerce store with your email marketing and can identify loyal customers, you can send them a review request. After all, if they keep coming back for more, they’re probably pretty happy with what you’re selling them. Ask them to tell the world about it! Upsell Offers It is far more difficult to acquire a new customer than it is to sell to an existing one. That’s why an upsell campaign can be successful. If your eCommerce store and email marketing account are integrated, you can create a campaign to upsell to your existing customers. Send a follow-up telling them if they’re enjoying their purchase, there are some related products that may be of interest to them. Do It All with Automation Pro For the campaigns outlined above and several others, there are strategy templates available to you with Benchmark Email’s marketing automation tool, Automation Pro. The entry point for any automation can be when someone is added to a list. You can use PieSync to integrate your eCommerce store with your email marketing account and create a special list for that group. When someone is added to that list, it can trigger any one of a number of strategies available to be created with a template. Here are the strategy templates available to you in Automation Pro: Welcome Series Promo Emails Follow-up Series Abandoned Cart Review Request Feedback Request Wrapping Up A customer making a purchase with your company is simply an opportunity for new email marketing campaigns. Being able to easily integrate your eCommerce store and your email marketing account is a powerful way to generate more sales. Don\'t forget, you can sync up to 2,000 contacts for free thanks to our partnership with PieSync. You can learn more about how to integrate your Benchmark Email account with PieSync, in this helpful FAQ. We’ll be co-hosting a webinar with our friends at PieSync. It’s called “How to Save Time And Quickly Grow Your Most Valuable Marketing Asset: Your List.” Register today. Have you successfully integrated your eCommerce and email marketing? Share your tips or success stories in the comments below!  


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