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Save Time & Automate with the Benchmark Email Zapier Integration

Save Time & Automate with the Benchmark Email Zapier Integration

Beyond • April 4, 2016

“Time is money.” This doesn’t ring any truer than for a business trying to cram in as much time as possible with the least amount of money necessary. Especially for a start-up company, you want to get off to a good start and not lose any customers before you even have a chance to build a long-term relationship with them. That’s why it is so crucial to make sure you have the right tools at your fingertips to handle all interaction with customers. Business motto and marketing strategies are one thing, but if you don’t have the right tools to execute them, then what is the point of having them in the first place, right? One tool that accomplishes that will have a bigger impact on your business than you think. Take Moonclerk’s experience. Moonclerk is a small, bootstrapped startup that provides companies an easy way to accept recurring and one-time online payments. Co-founder Dodd Caldwell was not able to fully automate all of the company’s own recurring billing to its customers. Therefore, he had to resort to checking in a payment management app daily, and then bounce over the Gmail to manually send each customer an email. Something that is time-consuming and repetitive as this is bound to accidentally bypass a couple of customers here and there. Isn’t it easier to just have these two tools automatically sync and merge two steps into one? That’s why Zapier was a lifesaver for Moonclerk. Caldwell incorporated Zapier into his company and set up an integration between the payment management system and the email provider –no coding knowledge necessary. With this new software, customers will now receive an automated email whenever the card is declined or the subscription goes unpaid. What was the result of using Zapier for six months? The company saw less time being wasted by having to go through two different tools, and also saw a 25% reduction in customer churn rate. When it comes to weekly administrative tasks, Caldwell was able to save two hours worth of work. What does this mean for you? That there is no reason why you shouldn’t be using Zapier. Make things easier for yourself and connect any app with your email marketing account thanks to the Benchmark Email Zapier integration to speed up your workflow and improve customer engagement.


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Benchmark Email Google Docs Integration: Organize & Engage

Benchmark Email Google Docs Integration: Organize & Engage

Beyond • February 1, 2016

A lot of companies have to thank Google Doc for unifying all their departments and making communication so much easier and faster. Don’t you appreciate just having to simply click on a couple of buttons to view a document, as oppose to having to scroll through endless chains of emails that constantly get lost in the shuffle? Not just Google Docs, but even Sheets and Slides are used to allow multiple team members to work on a project at the same time. Just recently, Google rolled out their newest update. Sheets and Slides apps for iOS and Android now feature a commenting functionality, in which users can add their comments to the spreadsheets and slides. So wherever they are, working in the office or remotely, or even in a coffee shop, you can simply whip out your mobile device to keep up with projects and add in your two cents. Furthermore, you can even loop people right into the conversations just by typing their names in the comment. That way, they can have a heads up about what is going on with the project without having to sit and stare at all the comments. Very efficient feature to have for a large project. Google Doc itself has a new update, giving users a button to automatically add a comment where they select text. Prior to this, you would have to remember a certain key combination, but now in Docs on your desktop, you just simply highlight the text and when a little button pops up, you can click and comment. Just watch your team’s productivity and communication improve overtime thanks to these new updates. Google Doc truly is one of the pillars of a successful company, and all updates will only help to improve a growing business even more. Another way to do that is to use the Benchmark Email Google Docs integration. All the contacts you have gathered and created in your account can now be incorporated into your email lists –creating new and maintaining relationships with your customers through email marketing!


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dineLA Restaurant Week: Fill Up On Marketing (and Food)

dineLA Restaurant Week: Fill Up On Marketing (and Food)

Beyond • January 25, 2016

There is nothing that unites people within a community together more than the celebration of unique and delicious food. That’s why beyond all the historical landmarks and usual fanfare of the great city of Los Angeles, one of the events hovering on the radar but still culturally significant is dineLA. dineLA Restaurant Week is a consecutive 14-day dining event that takes place throughout the LA County within over 300 restaurants, and offers specialty priced lunch and dinner menus. Not just for cuisine experts and foodies, but it is a chance for all residents to eat at high-end restaurants at a discounted price. In what started as a marketing association run by the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board to highlight Los Angeles as a prime dining location, dineLA now takes place twice a year and donates a portion of its proceeds to charity. Now, we know the trend of taking pictures of your food (it’s actually a lot harder than it looks!) and how even a photo of the perfect dish can attract so many views. So dineLA Restaurant has a lot to work with when it comes to marketing and social media engagement. Let’s take a look at how they have used these platforms to get the crowd ready to get their grub on. Instagram This platform is simply the hub for all food pictures. But nowadays, a plate on a table is not going to cut it anymore. Even food pictures have to have a purpose and a unique angle. For the past few days, dineLA has uploaded photos of food within famous Los Angeles scenery; a glass of champagne at LACMA, a bowl of chips at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Chinese takeout at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The photos align themselves with the purpose of dineLA, which is to showcase Los Angeles as one of the best cities to dine in. So viewers will not only salivate at the food, but also remember that it is only in LA that will they get to experience this. This is an excellent example in keeping with the brand for marketing. #dineLA Restaurant Week is back (Jan. 18-31). Menus start at $15 for lunch and $29 for dinner at over 300 restaurants throughout L.A. Check out the link in our bio for more info and to make your reservation. Cheers to Restaurant Week starting tomorrow! 📷: @asenseofhuber #dineLA #discoverLA #LAstory A photo posted by #dineLA (@dinela) on Jan 17, 2016 at 6:53pm PST #dineLA Restaurant Week is back (Jan. 18-31). Menus start at $15 for lunch and $29 for dinner at over 300 restaurants throughout L.A. Check out the link in our bio for more info and to make your reservation. 📷: @asenseofhuber #dineLA #discoverLA #LAstory A photo posted by #dineLA (@dinela) on Jan 16, 2016 at 3:46pm PST #dineLA Restaurant Week is back (Jan. 18-31). Menus start at $15 for lunch and $29 for dinner at over 300 restaurants throughout L.A. Check out the link in our bio for more info and to make your reservation. #Oscar nominations came out today, but #dineLA Restaurant Week is always sure to be a winner. 📷: @asenseofhuber #dineLA #discoverLA #LAstory @chinesetheatres A photo posted by #dineLA (@dinela) on Jan 14, 2016 at 9:58am PST Twitter dineLA has partnered with over 300 restaurants, so the marketing should involve everyone associated with the event. If unique and delicious foods are what draw in a crowd, then they have certainly used that to their advantage in each tweet. As each restaurant rolls out what specialty items will be on the menu, dineLA retweets and shares those photos on their account, and this fulfills two purposes. One is to aid in marketing for said restaurant and direct more views to their accounts. Second, it amps up the excitement and buzz for the food and helps the customers plan out what places they want to hit up. And because food is everything. .@dinela has begun! Join us at Caulfield\'s for a $20 two course lunch & a $39 three course dinner. #dineLA pic.twitter.com/8KZxZHpfWD — Caulfield\'s (@CaulfieldsBH) January 18, 2016 It\'s @dineLA \'s #RestaurantWeek! RSVP for a fabulous meal at Mama Shelter prepared by Top Chef @giswellman! pic.twitter.com/OzW8BpUfir — Mama Shelter LA (@MamaShelter_LA) January 18, 2016  Customer Incentives A good event is where customers attend and leave feeling satisfied. A successful event is where the customers attend and is so satisfied that they make plans to come back again…very soon. So restaurants must create incentives that will draw them in again. dineLA has provided a quick cheat sheet for restaurants on how to reward customers for eating at their restaurant and give them a reason to come back in the future. This includes: Bringing in their receipt from Restaurant Week at a later date to get a free appetizer or discount off their next meal “Like” their Facebook page or upload a photo of their meal and receive a discount card for their next visit. As these methods benefit the restaurant in the future, note that they used Restaurant Week as part of the methods. Marketing-wise, you have to milk the cow for what it’s worth. Even a receipt can be handy! So really map out all the ways an event can still be utilized for the future. With all its social media engagement and branding, plus delicious food, dineLA is looking to be a great success this month!


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Keep Up With Image Trends Thanks To The Benchmark Email Flickr Integration

Beyond • January 22, 2016

Humans are visual creatures and any company that uses this knowledge to their advantage in marketing will be a successful one. Especially with digital marketing, there are more than enough ways to use images and graphics to stimulate the viewers and grab their attention. Just like how trends are always changing within the digital marketing world, in terms of content, social media platforms, ads, etc., images too are always evolving to match the trends of the year. Think back to the types of images used ten years and now … vast difference right? In 2016, it is a whole new ball game when it comes to choosing the right images for your marketing. Images no longer are just random objects placed on a table aimlessly, or three people in business suits shaking hands. Even a family of four lounging in their sunny backyard with their golden retriever is still too distant and reserved for what audiences are craving to see now. It is common knowledge that people want to connect on a deeper level and see themselves in the images. 2016 is taking that concept to a more artistic and transcendental level. Now that this year has just started, let’s take a look at what are some trends for images. Film photography. A sharp eye can see the difference between a cookie-cutter perfectly staged studio photo, and one that is taken spontaneously. The latter is what people are drawn to. The trend in the past few years have been about grabbing authentic shots, but 2016 is calling for even the equipment used to take the shot to be the original film photography. There is a certain rawness in tone and depth in the photo, which can only be captured through film, and that is one of the biggest trends we will be seeing this year. Point of view. Nothing can get you more up close and personal in a photo more than almost actually being in it. It makes you wonder why this trend wasn’t as strong in the past. Take that example of the family of four in their sunny backyard. Seeing them from a distance playing Frisbee with their dog is like being a neighbor peering over the fence at them. “Wow, that’s nice. Good for them.” How about an upward shot of a Frisbee in the air and right below is the golden retriever running off? That puts the viewer right into the photo and therefore has a better connection. “Good boy, Rover! Go get the Frisbee!” Multiple patterns. Digital marketing by itself can be too structured or too mechanical. It was never really looked at as a creative industry until the importance of using engaging images has been stressed on in recent years. Remember, you are trying to market to humans, so you have to capture their attention through use of colors and patterns. The trend last year was all about minimalism and simplicity. While that trend will still slide on over to the new year, 2016 is calling to bring back colors galore and multiple textures. So now that you have all the right images for your marketing plans, where are you going to store them? With so many awesome new images to use, you will need a photo-sharing which will contain tons of storage space, allows ease of sharing, and organization. Flickr has all those features and more to help you add engaging photos to your marketing. Integrate your Flickr account with your Benchmark Email account to personalize your email marketing that will tell a story about who you are and what your business does. With a few clicks of your mouse, you can share your Flickr photos with your friends and subscribers, promote company events, and connect with your audience on a deeper, more human level.


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Ecommerce & Email Marketing Are Best Friends with the Benchmark Email Shopify Integration

Ecommerce & Email Marketing Are Best Friends with the Benchmark Email Shopify Integration

Beyond • January 14, 2016

We all like things to be quick, simple, and safe … especially when going shopping. Shopping at the mall used to be a treat, and browsing around trying on clothes or checking out equipment could pass as a favorite hobby for some. These days, shopping has turned into something of a blood sport. Have you seen those Youtube clips of crowds on Black Friday? Very brutal. That’s why Cyber Monday is now slowly taking the throne as the biggest shopping day of the year. People would much rather enjoy sitting at home in their PJs and sipping coffee while shopping than brave the rambunctious crowd and risk getting trampled over. While online shopping is gaining popularity, there are still some aspects to it that consumers are still not happy with. Yes you are safe at home, but doing things online can still run the risks of technical issues that go awry. Some common ones are: Inability to see the item full range. Sure an image of a model wearing the dress is helpful but it’s still a little tricky to visualize how it would look with just a flat image. Lack of customer service. Yes, online shopping is a pleasant solitary experience, but we still have to ask questions! It is frustrating for a customer to want to ask about shipping, discounts, or return policy if they cannot find the information on the site and there is no one to ask. General tech malfunctions. Website freezing up, lost data, server error, etc. Whereas going to a physical store to shop is simply to select item, purchase, then leave, buying online comes with the risks of many tech issues. As an e-commerce business owner, you don’t want your customers to go through all that. That’s why first things first, you have to make sure the software you are using has been proven as a reliable and successful program. Shopify has been consistently ranked as a top e-commerce platform for years and for good reason. With Shopify, customers will be able to rotate images by 90, 180 or 270-degree angles so they can get a better view of the product. Shopify also has several apps to integrate customer support and live chat into your store. Also, this software has set up monitors that detect intrusions and hacker attempts, and are always updating their security. They are also certified PCI compliant, having the top standard in protecting customer credit card information. So when you are ready to give your customers the best and smoothest e-commerce experience, try out Shopify. Combine that with the power of email marketing with the Benchmark Email Shopify integration and your business will become unstoppable!


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Marketing Mania: Star Wars

Marketing Mania: Star Wars

Beyond • January 11, 2016

It feels like 90% of people on this planet have already watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It is one of the biggest films to hit theaters and die hard fans of all generations are preparing mentally and physically to push themselves through the throng of other Star Wars fanatics into the theater seats and then repeat the cycle for the next few days. With a loyal global fan base such as this, Disney would be crazy to not take this advantage of this mayhem to do some intense marketing ... and so they did. Marketing for the movie actually started a year ago with an 88-second teaser to rev up the anticipation, and then two full-length trailers after that. Like breadcrumbs leading to the gingerbread house, each TV spot got subsequently longer and revealed a tidbit more of the movie plot. Then the marketing kicked into high gear. Within all the talk show rounds, interviews in Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair magazines, and events such as Comic-Con and Star Wars celebration, they unveiled more and more film details, but cunningly enough to not give the whole plot away. Timing is everything for promoting a film, and Star Wars was to fall nicely right before the holiday season so you can imagine the flood of Star Wars merchandise and clothing at toy stores and retailers. Black Friday who? It’s all about “Force Friday!” Being able to partner with Disney during this crucial time is a victory, as we have seen with big brands such as Covergirl, Duracell, Subway and Verizon with their limited edition products and ads that deliver exclusive content from the film. Then there is social media. Usually on these platforms, fans would be combusting with excitement over the film, sharing theories, fan art, and etc. with each other. Now, the Disney company carefully curated the content to be delivered each day that will reveal pieces of the story and created hot trending topics… #WhereIsLukeSkyWalker? With a huge franchise as this, one would think that there wouldn’t need to be much promotion on Disney’s part, because after all, everyone already knows Disney and everyone already knows Star Wars. Through the years of anticipation, fans are craving to know what’s going to happen in the new film. So building marketing strategies around the mysterious plot is how Disney succeeded for this marketing mania.


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Benchmark Email Freshbooks Integration: A Holiday Gift That Keeps on Giving

Benchmark Email Freshbooks Integration: A Holiday Gift That Keeps on Giving

Beyond • December 15, 2015

Christmas time is coming soon and there are shopping mayhems occurring in stores and online. The shopping spirit just keeps getting bigger year after year and we are bombarded with sales left and right. So you can imagine the heavy traffic of revenue coming in and out between business and customers. As a business, you want to provide the best shopping experience for your customers. The competition between companies to give out the best holiday deals or create heavier buzz through social media is strong, so you have to amp up your game in order to stand out and give customers what they are looking for. So when revamping your site for the holiday season, do a thorough sweep of the entire website to make sure every link is working properly, every banner is clear and in the correct position, and most importantly, make sure that the check out is running smoothly. Just imagine the herd of people at Walmart or Target trying to pile their purchases onto the cashier conveyor belt, and all of a sudden the belts just stopped working. Now carts are clashing and tempers are rising fast. Now picture that happening to your customers when they are ready to make their purchase online but all of a sudden the site crashed or something went awry when typing in their credit card number. Nothing is more frustrating that finding all the goodies you want to buy but now you can’t because of some technical malfunction. So double and triple check it! Now on your end, there will be a lot of revenue and transactions to deal with. Despite the hectic nature of holiday shopping, you don’t want to make that be a reason to take your time sorting out invoices or even as an excuse for careless mistakes. Now more than ever is an important time you have a effective cloud accounting system that will make every transaction smooth and speedy. That’s why Freshbooks is a must have for the holiday season (and for all seasons of course!). With a cloud system, you rest easy that every record will be saved and is easily accessible and that logging expenses will be kept simple and organized. Consider it a effective and beneficial gift for yourself and your customers this holiday season. Make it the gift that keeps on giving by using the Benchmark Email Freshbooks integration.


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Marketing Mania: Lego Slippers

Marketing Mania: Lego Slippers

Beyond • November 26, 2015

There are many things in this world that can cause us much physical pain, and stepping barefoot on a piece of Lego is pretty up there on the pain assessment scale. Well parents can finally rejoice because the Lego Company has heard their cries of pain and they just created the first ever Lego slippers. Together with French PR firm, Brand Station, these slippers come equipped with extra heavy duty padding in the insoles to protect the bottom on your feet. It is the biggest relief in past 80 years of Lego history, right? Well, not so fast. These precious slippers are only a limited edition of just 1,500 pairs, created as a special promotion for the holidays. To those who wish to snag a pair must visit the Lego France website and create their own wish list in order to enter to win. Yes, meaning that they must also be residents of France too. You got to give them much kudos for this promotion. There were a lot of clever steps in terms of marketing. First, they took a universal issue that has plagued so many of us for so many years and found a solution to it. That’s what consumers look for when searching for a product or service –can this resolve this huge problem I have? Lego slippers that allow you to walk from across a room without getting pierced in the flesh are definite necessities in the market. Next is exclusivity. If you want your product to be highly sought after, it has to be extra special and in limited amount. You see that a lot with retails stores during a blowout sale, “Last Chance … Only 4 left,” etc. This puts a sense of urgency in the consumer that they must get it now. Lastly, the key is tying it back to the brand. The concept of Lego slippers is great, but remember that those slippers aren’t the company’s purpose. The purpose is to sell more Legos! That’s why part of the promotion is that parents have to visit the website and create a Christmas wish list. By circling back to the website, it is a passive-aggressive gentle reminder that they have to start shopping for Christmas presents, and hey they just happen to be on the website! Time to do some Lego shopping!


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Benchmark is App-Happy Thanks to Our Zapier Integration

Benchmark is App-Happy Thanks to Our Zapier Integration

Beyond • November 19, 2015

Is there such thing as App Appreciation Day? If there isn’t, then there should be one! We live in a fast-paced tech age where apps make the business world go round. So if you want your company to succeed and catch up with the rest big players in the industry, then get your app on. We at Benchmark are very app-happy. We are not just saying that because we are an email marketing company, but because all business small and big will greatly benefit from apps. Here are some that we love: Gmail – something we all know, love, and have. Gmail has been ranked as the top email service for businesses for their intricate features that makes communicating multiple ways a breeze, searching for old emails easy peasy, and personalization which allows you to organize your inbox to your personal taste. GoToWebinar – Hosting a webinar to demonstrate your product is a terrific marketing strategy for plenty of reasons; you can record your webinar and post on several platforms to expand its reach, share valuable content and show viewers step by step visually how to use the product, engage and answer questions directly, etc. GoToWebinar allows you to manage your webinar with ease and even convert leads to sales. Eventbrite – Hosting an event is hard enough, but having to take the time to promote it, create tickets, and manage sales makes it even harder. Eventbrite saves you all that trouble by implementing everything into three easy steps. You can also simply plug the registration form onto your website. Once finished, you can then post on your social media pages to further promote the event. Wufoo – Collecting data from online surveys and invitations is a crucial part is discovering what your audience wants and needs, and thus improving your product just for them. Wufoo provides an easy way to building contact forms and surveys, share it, and receive real-time report on their progress. LiveChat – Chatting directly with a customer service rep is the newest and most popular way to ask questions to the company. That’s why LiveChat is a necessity for your business, with features such as file sharing, transcripts, after-hours forms, and daily summary reports. With so many apps to improve your business, what better way than to integrate one with your Benchmark account for a powerful boost in your email marketing? Try the Benchmark Email Zapier integration and see for yourself!


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Incentivize Subscribers: Benchmark Email Justuno Integration

Incentivize Subscribers: Benchmark Email Justuno Integration

Beyond • October 28, 2015

“Free,” “Discount,” “Coupons,” and “50% off” are some of our favorite words … and they are yours too. It’s like music to our ears, or eyes, when we see a sign offering a massive discount where you can purchase the items you love at a marked down price. Don’t you just love that emotional high you get when you score something amazing for free? Well turns out, there is a deep psychology root as to why we do. Let’s take a look like the most second most happiest place on Earth: Costco. Sure, Costco offers great bulk items and low prices, but what is the hugest draw to their store? Samples! It really is the highlight of the Costco experience and who doesn’t love walking around each station trying aged salami on whole grain crackers, or sweet kernel corn? Legend says that some people strategically plan their lunchtime during their Costco trip, making their rounds to each booth once or twice to equate a full meal. Another one says a man actually brought a woman there on a date. It’s the power of samples. People think they are lucky enough to eat for free, which they are, but Costco is the one benefitting from this too. Studies have shown that samples increases sales by 2,000 percent and sways customers to purchase items they never intended to in the first place. An effect of samples is it creates a sense of loyalty within the customers to the store. They give you a sample; therefore you should probably buy something. Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist at Duke University, says, “Reciprocity is a very, very strong instinct. If somebody does something for you…you really feel a rather surprisingly strong obligation to do something back for them.” He also adds that whatever the sample you taste, you will feel a sudden craving for more it. That’s when you are converted into a sale as you put that box of frozen ravioli into your cart. So with the power of “free,” how would you use this in your online marketing strategies? Offer discounts and samples directly on your website! With the Justuno app, you have access to a suite of tools in which customers can receive discounts just by “Liking” on Facebook, Tweeting, joining a mailing list, etc. It’s a fantastic way to grab their attention, grow your email list and convert sales. You can thanks to the Benchmark Email Justuno integration. Try it with your Benchmark Email account for free!


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