Most Recent Posts

Email Newsletter Awards: Best Post-Event Email

Beyond • September 16, 2011

Have you ever held an important event and ended up with no-shows? As a business, what do you do next? For Made In Museum, a company that makes colorful art cube puzzles, the answer is to send a visually stunning email newsletter showing guests exactly what they missed. Thanks to the positive tone and beautiful layout of their newsletter, Made In Museum wins our best post-event email award. As a bit of backstory, MIM had a booth at last month\'s New York International Gift Fair, which is one of the most important trade shows for connecting gift buyers with sellers. MIM staffers knew that not everyone would be there to view the new designs, which included cubes featuring sumo art and wildlife images, so they sent out a post-event newsletter showcasing the latest styles and a bright, clear picture of the company\'s show booth. The post-trade show newsletter does two things. One, it reminds buyers that the company has new designs available, most likely leading to post-event purchases. Two, it reminds buyers that MIM will most likely be at the same event next year, so guests can mark their calendars and make plans to see the goods in person. Giving your customers a nudge when they\'ve missed something special takes real skill; and it\'s easy to come across as condescending, miffed and even desperate. MIM got things just right with their newsletter, so they\'re a solid winner for our best post-event newsletter award. Check out Made In Museum’s full email newsletter campaign in the Benchmark Email Community!


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Beyond Benchmark: Mastering Email Marketing and Google+

Beyond • September 8, 2011

Have you ever sat back in your chair, fingers tented, thinking to yourself “Gee, I wonder what Benchmark\'s top-notch writing staff is doing outside of the Benchmark Email blog?” If you have - or even if you haven\'t - here\'s a breakdown of what our super scribes did this past August when they wandered outside of the confines of this site. Hal Licino on Practical Ecommerce Hal Licino, our resident email marketing genius, schooled online sellers and Practical Ecommerce readers with a piece on the top 7 ways to master when to send your emails. The column goes over everything from providing advance notice to tracking delivery times to ditching trigger-based reminders. The old-school theory is to send in the morning, when subscribers are usually going through their work email inboxes. However, with smartphones, subscribers on the other side of the world and other variables, good scheduling requires more-precise planning. Learn The Top 7 Ways to Master Email Marketing Timing. Denise Keller on Noobpreneur Each spring, summer, fall and winter, you, like so many other email marketers, probably wonder how to make newsletter and social media campaigns relevant to the current season. Knowing this, Denise Keller, our COO, told Noobpreneur readers how they could take an average email marketing and social campaign and make it seasonal in simple, easy ways. According to Keller, there\'s no need to throw down lots of dough to get a new template or kill hours reinventing the wheel. Can the clichés, climatize your content and discover The Top 10 Tips to Seasonalize Your Email and Social Media Marketing. Denise Keller on Business Insider Denise Keller also hits one out of the park with a piece in Business Insider\'s coveted War Room. With the constant stream of news on email marketing and social media, it\'s difficult to determine how to do good email marketing in the current climate. Thankfully, Keller broke down what\'s important in the now, with references to Google+, legislation and the tablet market. The piece gives each and every email marketer a good look on what to focus on now and in the future. Get the scoop on The Quickest Way to Turn into Spam. We\'ve got tons of stuff planned for September, from podcast interviews to extra-helpful articles on how to do email marketing right.


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Email Newsletter Award: Temoc Morfin Wins Most Inspired

Beyond • August 3, 2011

In the book Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You\'ll Ever Need, writer Blake Snyder says that there are really only 10 plots for movies, including the ever-reliable best friends fall in love plot and the overused man-thrust-into-unusual-situation-and-must-rise-to-the-occasion storyline. Unfortunately, many politicians fall into the same type of trap, using the boring town hall meeting, ribbon-cutting ceremony and prayer breakfast to fill up their calendars. But not former Chicago Alderman Témoc Morfin, who jumped out of the box with his “What\'s Wrong with this Picture?” community photo contest. Between the simple layout and the concept itself, Morfin wins our Most Inspired Political Newsletter award. The “What\'s Wrong with this Picture?” photo contest, which took place earlier this year, was much more than the usual community political event, because it encouraged residents to take pictures of things in the Chicago suburb of Pilson that concerned them. This included everything from a photo of trash lining a sidewalk to one of a massive plume rising from a smoke stack. The awards ceremony highlighted the best of these photos, but also raised awareness on how far leadership needed to go to make things right. To get more people to attend the event, Team Morfin understood that the layout could not look like the same \'ol, same \'ol political event email newsletter. So they chose a clean-yet-dynamic layout similar to one advertising a film festival. Black and white were the main colors, framed by a film strip peppered with photos from the contest. With Morfin\'s orange, blue and green logo as the only real color in the newsletter, it really stood out and left no doubt that the politician was the one who ran the contest. Morin is apparently locked in a recount with one of his political opponents, and the outcome of whether or not he\'ll become Alderman is in question. However, even if he loses, he can at least walk away knowing that we found his newsletter interesting, so much so that it took home our Most Inspired Political Newsletter Award. Check out the full campaign in our Benchmark Email Community!


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Beyond Benchmark Email: The Entrepreneur’s Delight

Beyond • August 2, 2011

Just being an entrepreneur is tough work, but promoting your entrepreneurial enterprise? Even tougher. This month our friendly neighborhood writers tackled some of the things that keep small business owners up at night. So if you\'ve found yourself staring at the ceiling at 2 AM, the following blog posts will ease your mind. Denise Keller on Noobpreneur As the first of many planned blog posts for Noobpreneur, COO Denise Keller wrote about the power of the drip campaign. Did you know that drip campaign emails have an 80% higher open rate than single email sends? If you run your own business (or are thinking of starting one), drip campaigns, when done right, can give you a powerful promotional edge. Denise tells you How to Benefit from the Power of the Drip Email Campaign. Denise Keller on Young Entrepreneur Last month Denise Keller also wrote her very first post for Young Entrepreneur, reviewing the ups and downs of email lists, Twitter and Facebook. How are social media and email marketing getting along? If your email list is large you\'ll have more Facebook likes, but less Twitter followers. Is there any rhyme or reason to this anomaly? Yes, there most certainly is, and Denise breaks it all down with The Upside Down Impact of Email List Size on Facebook & Twitter Response. Hal Licino on Practical Ecommerce With social media and mobile devices taking center stage with businesses big and small, it\'s no wonder that pundits galore claim email marketing is dead, dead, dead. Well, we believe the rumors about email\'s demise are greatly exaggerated, and our in-house expert extraordinaire, Hal Licino, laid down some nice numbers in a piece for Practical Ecommerce that explains how off the mark those predictions really are. Ask the question, Is Email Marketing Dead? Not to the Mobile Masses. Curt Keller on Imedia Connection Is there any similarity between a medical supplies company and an upscale hair salon? What about a French cafe and a sports supplies shop? While these businesses couldn\'t be any more different from each other, they can all benefit from a single roadmap for good email marketing, brought to you courtesy of our CEO Curt Keller. Curt\'s column for Imedia Connection went over the essential parts of an email marketing plan for your business, from striving to be relevant to keeping your list clean. He’ll give you An Outline for the Successful Email Marketing of Any Business. Hal Licino on Search Engine Journal What do your unsubscribes say about your email marketing campaigns? Does every unsubscribe mean that you run terrible campaigns, your product is bad or your company untrustworthy? Not at all. Hal Licino\'s piece for Search Engine Journal covered what you can glean from your unsubscribes, and how you can adjust your campaigns to prevent new ones. More at: What the Top 7 Unsubscribe Comments Teach You about Your SEO Emails. Overall it\'s been a very busy month for the Benchmark Email team, with lots of entrepreneurial topics taking center stage on top-notch websites for small business. Our trusty team has lots more planned for August, so watch this space!


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Beyond Benchmark Email: Ride with the Pilgrim on the 405

Beyond • June 20, 2011

It\'s been a busy month for Benchmark Email, with team members showing up on websites, blogs and even radio shows! Here\'s a rundown on what happened within the last 30 days: Denise Keller on Pilgrim on the 405 To start, Denise Keller, our beloved COO, was interviewed on one of the top internet radio shows in Southern California, Pilgrim on the 405. Denise not only went over what Benchmark Email is, but what types of marketing automation Benchmark uses for everything from communication between internal staff members to handling the support needs of clients. Have a listen (Denise comes in at minute 34): Pilgrim Talks: Dave Kinney and Denise Keller. Customer Service on the Hire Your Virtual Assistant Blog It\'s been a busy month for Denise because she was also featured on Hire Your Virtual Assistant where she talks about going the extra mile for a client. According to Denise, going one step further for a client means all the difference between okay customer service and stellar support. Desktop vs. Laptop Email Viewing on Allbusiness.com Meanwhile, CEO Curt Keller wrote a news-breaking column for Allbusiness.com on how desktop email viewing is matching up against a market where laptops, tablets and smartphones are all the rage. Are your clients going to give up viewing your email campaigns on their desktops? Read this great piece and find out that Staggering Mobile Email Growth Doesn’t Dent Desktop Readership. Email Marketing Polls on Customer Think Guru-in-residence Daniel Cassady has plenty to say this month on how you can improve your email marketing polls. Are your polls and surveys getting lackluster responses? Is the data you get unusable because too many people are commenting on too many different things? If you’re email poll-challenged, help yourself to some great advice on Customer Think with Daniel’s 5 Important Tips for Your Email Marketing Poll. Jump Start Your Email Campaigns on Betternetworker.com Are your email campaigns losing their flair? Are you stuck writing dull copy for a less-than-enthused audience? Yo Noguchi\'s article on jump starting your email campaigns may be just what you need to get out of the email marketing doldrums. Don\'t believe it? Read it for yourself: 5 Tips for Jump Starting Your Email Marketing Writing.


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Beyond Benchmark Email: Preheaders, Phishing and Google Analytics

Beyond • May 6, 2011

Make no mistake, the Benchmark writing squad is bus-y! But when they\'re not cooking up content for this blog, they\'re lending expertise to sites across the internets. To keep you in the know on this, we\'re running a monthly recap of outside articles, blog posts and columns in all their glory. Here\'s the first installment of Beyond Benchmark, where we list important outside content and links where you can read it. The Importance of Preheaders on The Email Guide Have you ever spent time on your newsletter pre-header, adjusting it to improve your email campaigns? Probably not, which is why COO Denise Keller brings it with an A+ column on the importance of this little section of email real estate. The piece, published on The Email Guide, got high marks from readers and takes email campaign management to an entirely new level. You can read this eye-opening piece by clicking the link: The Importance & Impact of the Email Preheader. Fend Off Phishing Attacks on iMedia Connection Our CEO Curt Keller is a fountain of knowledge, so when he blogs about phishing attacks and other scams, the audience pays attention. This piece for the award-winning site iMedia Connection details how you can use your business login page to fend off phishing attacks. With so many email addresses falling into the wrong hands, and phishing attacks becoming more and more sophisticated, How to Fend off Phishing Attacks with Your Business Login Page, arms you with invaluable info on protecting your info. Panda/Farmer Algorithm on Search Engine Journal Hal Licino is more than a Benchmark Email writer, he\'s a regular email marketing Yoda. Last month the force was with him big-time and he penned an extremely popular Search Engine Journal piece on how Google\'s Panda Farmer Algorithm could affect email marketing. It\'s an important answer to an important question, especially since the vast majority of people are wondering how this new method will affect websites rather than email campaigns. Read this fascinating column by clicking the link: How Google\'s Panda / Farmer Algorithm Could Affect Email Marketing. Email Marketing with Google Analytics on Search Engine People Writer Daniel Cassady has a knack for bringing new perspectives to the table, and his recent column for Search Engine People breaks down an important, timely topic in a direct, realistic way. Focusing on Google Analytics, his guest blog post, Email Marketing: 4 Great Things Google Analytics Can Tell You shows what a working knowledge of Google can do for your email marketing campaigns. We\'ve all heard how important Google Analytics are, but this piece concretely explains why. We\'ll be back in a month with another episode of Beyond Benchmark, and we\'ve got lots of stuff in the pipeline - so keep an eye on this space!


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Email Newsletter Awards: Best Fashion Newsletter

Email Newsletter Awards: Best Fashion Newsletter

Beyond • April 20, 2011

First and foremost, we don\'t speak Greek, unless you count ordering homemade moussaka at the local taverna. But one thing we\'ve learned in this business is that a good email newsletter layout transcends language, which is why we\'re giving our Best Fashion Newsletter prize to La Redoute\'s Greek branch stores. When it comes to newsletter layouts, La Redoute\'s has it all, from an elegant, clean-looking template, to the well-planned use of videos and images, to the decidedly uncluttered social networking bar at the bottom. The fact that the model featured in the newsletter is stunning is beside the point, because while she definitely sells the product, it\'s the layout and smart use of various elements that are most pleasing to the eye. Despite the visual nature of fashion, we\'ve learned that crafting a good-looking newsletter showcasing clothes, handbags or shoes is much harder than it looks. There\'s a fine line between being disciplined with your media and cluttering up your email, and we\'ve seen many a fashion outlet crash and burn due to newsletters crammed with too much stuff. Thankfully, La Redoute\'s newsletter works as a shining example of a fashion email done right, and we believe our Best Fashion Newsletter Award is more than well-deserved. Check out La Redoute\'s full campaign in our Benchmark Email Community!


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Email Newsletter Awards: Best Event Promotion

Email Newsletter Awards: Best Event Promotion

Beyond • April 6, 2011

We can think of dozens of ways to promote a dance workshop via email newsletter, and we\'ll admit that using the words “Justin Bieber” probably make it easier to get people in the door. But the Justin Bieber shout out isn\'t why we chose the Sunshine Studios newsletter for our Best Event Promotion award: it\'s the clean layout, disciplined use of text and simple directions for landing a spot at a coveted event. As a bit of background, Sunshine Studios is a UK-based dance and performing arts company with studios in Manchester, Liverpool and other places. The business routinely sends out newsletters about upcoming workshops, which focus on everything from ballet to break dancing. When a major dance instructor drops in to teach a class, it\'s a big deal, so email is used to electrify the studio\'s base. The email we\'ve highlighted has all the effective elements needed to promote an event. Exciting photos. A hot font. Lots of white space and a section that tells you who, what, where, when and why. And even though “The Biebs” gives this email an added dose of potency, this invite would stand alone even without the teen\'s star power, which is why this newsletter wins our Best Event Promotion honors. Check out the full Sunshine Studios campaign in our Benchmark Email Community!


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Creating Dynamic Drip Campaigns

Creating Dynamic Drip Campaigns

Beyond • April 4, 2011

Autoresponders are also known as \"drip\" campaigns. Why? Because once a customer enters their info into a List Builder/sign up box, the \"dripping\" starts, sending them a string of different emails over a set amount of time. A typical Benchmark Email drip campaign might start with an email welcoming a customer to a website. The second drip email, sent one week later, might showcase specific products that a customer is interested in. The third email, sent yet another week later, might offer a 50% off coupon on those products. As a feature, autoresponders are both highly customizable and easy to manage. Once you set them up, the emails are sent automatically and the results are trackable in real time. Benchmark\'s autoresponder feature is located under the Email tab on the dashboard. (You can create a drip campaign even with a Free Trial Plan.) If you\'re ready to set up your autoresponder, just follow these steps: 1) Click the Create An Autoresponder Button 2)Fill out the information much like you would for an email campaign. 3) Decide which kind of autoresponder you want to create. If the autoresponder is for a new subscriber, the email will go out as soon as their address is added to your contact list. These emails can also be staggered to coincide with weekly or monthly reminders, deals, surveys, polls, sales pitch sequences - really, the uses are almost limitless. You can also send an Annual Email to go out for a birthday or anniversary, yearly sale, etc. One Off Emails send when the current day matches the month, day and year of a chosen date field (for subscription/membership renewals and sales follow ups based on entered purchase dates). 4) Choose an Email Template from the Template Categories. 5) At the top of the Editor are the Subject Line and Autoresponder Days (the number of days after a user has filled out your sign up box). The days can be set at any number between 0 and 365. Create multiple autoresponders for a full-fledged drip campaign. Autoresponders are a great way to make sure that all of your customers or subscribers are receiving equal satisfaction. Mailing consistency is a major factor in establishing brand reputation and your subscribers will be pleased to receive your timely attention.


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