While the social aspect of marketing has been at the forefront, email marketing is still a highly effective form of marketing. People check their email more than once a day and utilize it as their main form of contact. However, to reap the benefits you have to choose the best layout for your campaign intent. This means avoiding the use of a standard template. BounceCreative.com suggests, “If your leads can’t distinguish your email marketing template from your competitors’ email marketing templates, what makes you think they will remember you when they are ready to make a purchase?” There are three main layout forms to consider. Editorial If your email campaign requires more informative text than promotional photos and links, editorial will be the layout for you. However, email marketing campaigns often fail because the newsletters are not appealing to customers; as far as they’re concerned, it’s just another spam email. So, be sure to create a template with at least two columns to split up the text; this makes it more appealing and less daunting. There are two types of editorial layouts. Short – This is beneficial for quick announcements: giveaways, short term sales or new products. It contains minimal text, with vibrant colors and photos taking dominance. Long – For a monthly newsletter, long editorial is the most common format. Break up content, however, with photos, links, etc. Promotional If your aim is to create buzz around your products, then you’ll want to utilize a promotional layout. A promotional campaign will benefit from short, vibrant layouts. This will not only enhance the products you’re promoting but also make the email appealing to your eager-to-delete customers. There are two ways to tackle a promotional layout. Branded – While all your emails should be well branded, be sure that the colors and style of a promo newsletter is tied tightly to your brand. You want your products to stick out as your products, not blend in with the sea of other promotional emails. A Call to Action – Make your call to action the focus; it should be large and prominent. To make the most of an overtly promotional email, you have to get your customers moving. Send them to your Facebook page to get a discount, for example. Catalog A great way to take advantage of a large email campaign is to infuse products, catalog style, into each email. Not only does this create more awareness of new and old products, but it encourages your busy customers to purchase then and there. The bare bones of this layout will be grid-based – breaking up the photos and content to make it easily digested. Targeted – A catalog is an excellent way to target certain customers. Create a catalog email for your young, female customers, and a separate one for your middle aged men. Match products with customers for better conversion, and cater the overall style to theirs. Campaign Specific – If you’re running a specific promotion or campaign, design a layout around that. Avoid columns and go for a grid style; product on the left, short clip of text on the right. Creating a layout that stands out from the rest will be the best way to see ROI. While you can utilize all these layouts at any point in your campaign, make sure you optimize each one by pairing it with the right content.
Working in an office, you get to know and start to prefer certain tools. Whether it’s your desktop calendar that keeps your life in order or the document management software that keeps your projects organized, there is always one thing you rely on to get your job done right. I personally rely heavily on Gmail. It sounds simple enough – an email platform. But for me it’s so much more than simply an email platform – it is my favorite and most important tool in doing my work each and every day. From document sharing to staying up to date with coworkers, I have everything I need, and it’s free. Simple Communication Staying in touch with coworkers is imperative in an ever-moving office environment. And at a time when there’s a high premium placed on productivity and time management, chatting with coworkers online saves time and effort. While there are a number of communication tools that offices can employ as a means to communicate, G-chat is my favorite. But what is the greatest benefit? It’s built right into Gmail. When I miss a chat, or my computer boots me offline, the conversation comes to my inbox. I don’t worry about losing important information via chat because they’re all archived like an email. Let’s face it; you can’t get away from your email. As a mainstay on my browser at all times of the day, it’s easy for me to carry on conversations while getting important emails in and out. Seamless Sharing Staying on the same page can be difficult when using computer installed software for document organization. However, being in the cloud makes this a non-issue. Even better - using Google Docs. For upgraded Gmail users it’s now your Google “Drive,” and labeled as such. Sharing documents through your Gmail account makes the collaboration process seamless. Invite as many users as you need, and each person can be assigned as “can edit” or “can view,” allowing you to regulate the sharing and editing responsibilities. Download all documents onto your computer and into a number of file formats: Excel sheet, PDF, document, plain text and more. Edit and save in real time. If working on a group project, you can see the edits being made by other users – making collaboration from different parts of the office easy. Easy Google+ Access Finally, if your business is on Google+ you know the importance of being present throughout the day; as a network for sharing and engaging, you want to maintain relationships, comments and sharing. Being an offshoot of Gmail, it’s easy to stay plugged in and engaged at all times. View notifications directly from your email, bringing all your important business relationships into one place. Post to your G+ account directly from your inbox with a simple click. When every aspect of your business life is integrated in one place, it makes the work day simple and productive. Get important documents, maintain business relationships and keep your social media up to date without ever leaving your email account. Benchmark FTW Don\'t miss your chance to win a Kindle Fire. Each comment, Tweet and ReTweet of a Benchmark FTW post gives you a shot at winning. Check out the full details on the Benchmark FTW series and contest.