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Marketing Mania: Scream Queens

Marketing Mania: Scream Queens

Beyond • October 26, 2015

When you gather a host of the biggest young Hollywood superstars into one television show, you will be guaranteed a humongous hit. Scream Queens, FOX’s newest horror comedy show, premiered on September 22nd, and has already broken records on several mediums of entertainment. The show centers on a series of murder mysteries that involves the Kappa Kappa Tau sorority, and stars Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, Abigail Preslin, Keke Palmer, and with guest stars Ariana Grande and Nick Jonas. The fact that these young stars dominate social media and have a hoard of fans following their every move is the key to the show’s rapid success. Initially, the show’s premiere drew in 4 million viewers and gained a 1.7 star rating. Seems mediocre at first glance, but let’s look at the whole picture. First of all, the show’s target audience is clearly for the millennials; the 18-34 youth who are just as hip and tech-savvy as the show’s cast. So you can imagine all the marketing campaigns that were pushed before and during its premiere, and even occurring now. With each of the star’s promotions through their personal Instagram accounts with hashtags and call-to-actions to follow Scream Queen’s official Instagram account, the latter racked up over 300,000 followers and counting. The classic combination of fashionable girls and archetypal horror elements makes for a guilty pleasure, and very engaging visuals for social media. As Nick Cicero, strategist at Brave Ventures stated, “something that is so young and visual, like Scream Queens, by pure nature of the show, it’s going to follow a totally new path where Scream Queens can use Instagram images and video in a different way than other shows may be able to.” Besides Instagram, Twitter was used to create much buzz around the show, with the show’s cast hosting Q & A sessions and viewers holding their own hashtag-ed conversations around the show. Despite the overhaul of marketing and promotion for the show, why did it pull in such weak numbers and ratings? A huge part of it was because of how their target audiences simply choose to watch their favorite shows. It’s more common for them to watch shows through ways other than television. With digital platforms such as Fox Now and Hulu, viewers can watch at their most convenient time. Once those numbers are considered, it changes the whole story. Three days after its premiere, numbers soared by 80%; increasing to 7.3 million viewers. It was also reported that 2 million tuned in for the rerun, and the show even bested Empire’s 2014 premiere in video on demand and streaming viewership. Activity on Twitter also blew up during the three-day window, with tweets centered on Scream Queens seen 32 million times. Another victory for Glee creator, Ryan Murphy, for sure. Dana Walden of Fox Television Group says it best, \"Scream Queens is a model for contemporary viewership. Today’s numbers clearly demonstrate that not only is the show being watched heavily across multiple platforms, but those viewers watch it with urgency and want to be part of the global conversation before the next episode airs.”


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5 Reasons Why Your Email Campaign is Hitting The “Junk” Folder

5 Reasons Why Your Email Campaign is Hitting The “Junk” Folder

Practical Marketer • September 4, 2015

You can have something amazing to say in every weekly email update. You can have the greatest content team producing stunning email marketing content. You can have the best target list of email subscribers. Yet, there’s one major glitch you might not even be aware of: spam triggers. Recently, I spoke with a few companies that didn’t understand why their email campaigns to a list of opted-in subscribers had such marginally low click-open rates. As it turns out, each campaign was going into the spam folder. Here’s why that happens. Failed Subject Lines Your subject line is the first impression you give an email server of the type of content you’re sending out. However, if you’re subject line is too “animated” with the use excessive exclamation marks, then it’s going to trigger the spam. Same goes for subject lines that include symbols, the word “free” and/or the letter “X.” Each of those trigger junk mail filters for spam or inappropriate content. Frustrating Navigation No matter how great your email campaign is, someone people are just going to want to unsubscribe. However, if you don’t have a clear and easy way to guide them to an unsubscribe link – or if you don’t even include a link – frustrated readers will just mark you as spam. You’re better off having someone unsubscribe than having them mark your email as spam. Faulty Email Servers Certain email servers have more sensitive spam triggers than others, which means that they’re more inclined to toss your campaign into a slush pile. How an email server treats email content will depend on the server. There’s another more challenging face to this problem: you ultimately have zero control of other people’s email servers. Trapped by Large Visuals The trend in email campaigns is to have visually rich content that sprinkles in language selectively and has redirect links. To do this, you need to use a template. Some novice email marketers will design on large image and have that embedded as the email marketing content. This doesn’t work. The reason why is because spam filters are specifically looking out for this type of email content because it’s usually where suspect content is hidden. So if you’re sending visuals – great, you’re onto something there. But take the time to format a proper template to guide your design so you can escape the junk mail filters. Email Flood Another problem you could be facing is that you’re just sending out too many emails in one go, which also triggers a spam alert. This problem is particularly relevant if you’re not using an email marketing software that can help organize your campaign distributions. Despite the challenges faced in meeting your email marketing click-open goals, there are steps you can take the rescue your email campaign from the “junk” folder. Talk to your email campaign provider to see why they feel you’re having this problem. Depending on the campaign platform, it could either that you’re sending mass emails or that your dealing with a new domain. When you’re getting to the bottom of the problem, realize that you’re dealing with a bit of a Rubik cute and you’re going to need to play around with a few variables before you figure it out. However, getting to the bottom of the problem is crucial if you plan on creating effective campaigns that engage and convert your audience.


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Mobile Eyetracking in Email Marketing

Mobile Eyetracking in Email Marketing

Beyond • July 31, 2015

A while back, the good people at Edisonda reached out to us and asked if Benchmark Email would be interested in partnering on a study focused on mobile eyetracking in email marketing. As nearly 70% of all emails are opened on mobile these days, we knew it was as important as ever for a study such as this to take place. We couldn’t wait to see the results! Edisonda used Benchmark Email’s tools and templates for this study, along with some rad glasses from SensoMotoric Instruments that track how the eye reads emails on mobile. For the study, each email campaign was presented to the user for 15 seconds. They were allowed to freely scroll through the email. Edisonda found valuable data on three key aspects of email marketing: text, visual (design) and layout. The results showed the effects of changes to: Length of paragraphs Where text is placed Content of images Logo placement CTAs According to Litmus, 80% of people will delete an email that doesn\'t look good on a mobile device. To avoid being deleted, see the results from the report along with heat maps of how your subscribers eyes will view email on mobile. You can download the report here, or view it below. Download the Edisonda Mobile Eyetracking in Email Marketing Report. Mobile Eyetracking in Email Marketing from Benchmark Email


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Support Update: How to Copy Mailing Lists

Support Update: How to Copy Mailing Lists

Beyond • December 24, 2010

The Problem Let\'s face it, sometimes this email stuff is a piece of cake. Sometimes it\'s rocket science. And sometimes the only thing that separates the two is a quantum of time or sleep your brain has been denied. When that happens it doesn\'t matter whether this stuff is cake or rockets. You just need to know how to make it work. That\'s why I write the support updates. And that\'s why we\'re talking about copying lists. The copy list feature is an integral part of the Benchmark Email software but we occasionally get calls from users who can\'t quite find it. Follow along and we\'ll solve this enigmatic geography. The Fix Log into your account Mouse-over the arrow next to the Email icon Select Contacts from the drop-down menu Click the list name of the one you want to copy over Under Contact List Activities, select Copy List Select the dial next to New List or Existing (and select the desired list from the drop-down menu) Click Submit


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Reach Out to Everyone with These Happy Holiday Templates

Reach Out to Everyone with These Happy Holiday Templates

Beyond • December 17, 2010

Season\'s Greetings. Happy Holidays. Everyone knows there are holidays going on this time of year. We have time off work, people travel home to see family and friends, and there are office parties. In today\'s politically correct world, we are told not to offend people by saying Merry Christmas or Happy Chanukah. Instead, we should say Happy Holidays or Season\'s Greetings. That way, we aren\'t pretending like there isn\'t something special going on. It\'s a special time of year for most people. Failure to acknowledge that fact is a missed opportunity for a business. Your best bet is to treat it like elementary school where everyone is a winner and nobody is left out. Unless you are in a highly specialized industry, your subscribers likely come from all walks of life. They will probably be celebrating something during the month of December. If they\'re like me, they\'ll be looking for the best and cheapest holiday deals. Wish your subscribers a Happy Holidays, and show off those great holiday promotions. Free Benchmark Happy Holiday Templates from Benchmark Email View all Email Templates Sample subject lines: Seasons greetings from [your company] Happy holidays and seasons greetings Enjoy your holidays and these savings Have a merry and happy holidays Spreading holiday cheer with these specials Check out more December and holiday email templates by following the link.  


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Email Marketing About Town – My Quiznos Promo No-Show

Email Marketing About Town – My Quiznos Promo No-Show

Beyond • November 3, 2010

Last week on my lunch break, I stopped into the Quiznos down the street from our offices. As I waited for my sandwich to make its way through the toaster, I noticed a display advertising their Q-Club. The sign touted $1 off a regular sub for singing up. All I had to do was text \"qclub\" and my email address to the number listed. Easy enough. I sent the text in before starting in on my sandwich and received a text back immediately. The text welcomed me to the Q-Club and told me to expect an email with my discount within 24 hours. They also gave me an option to re-up and receive text updates as well. No thanks. This was on a Thursday. Friday came and went with no email promotion. So did the weekend. Monday passed and still no Q-Club coupon. I went back to Quiznos on Tuesday, having given up on Q-Club at this point. I just wanted a sandwich. Oddly enough, there was no more display in the restaurant. Curious, I came back to the office and went to Quiznos\' website. They still advertised the Q-Club on the website, but the offer was different. Now they were offering a free small sub or half a toasty favorite with the purchase of chips and a regular fountain drink. That seemed even better than $1 off, so I signed up through the website. This time, I received an email from Quiznos almost immediately welcoming me to the Q-Club. It told me to expect offers in my inbox and to click on the link to receive my coupon. Problem is, the coupon was for the $1 off a sub, not the new offer of a free small sub. Come on, Quiznos! I get that Quiznos is a national chain with hundreds, if not thousands of locations. Perhaps different locations run different promotions, but I don\'t see how they can advertise something on their website and not follow through with it. There is a lesson to be learned here. All communication channels - whether it be your website, email or social networks - need to have a consistent message. I\'m not saying that I dislike Quiznos now, but I may head to Subway if they follow through with their discounts and offers. Don\'t let that happen to your company.


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Which Pricing Option is Best for You?

Beyond • January 14, 2010

Benchmark Email offers two pricing models. Here’s how you can decide which one gives you the best value. Emails-Sent Pricing This is our standard and most popular pricing model. Pricing is based on the number of emails you send. You can upload multiple lists of any size. You select a monthly plan based on the total number of emails you expect to send each month. Plans start at only $9.95 for 600 emails a month. List-Size Pricing Pricing is based on the number of contacts in your list. You select a monthly plan based on the size of your list. The list-size pricing model allows you to email to your list multiple times in a given month for a flat fee. If you need to send each week, this could be a good option for you. (We do limit the number of times you can send to that list to 7x.) Plans start at $18.95 for lists with up to 1,000 contacts.


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Five Ways to Avoid Email Spam Filters

Beyond • October 21, 2009

Email marketing has a lot of advantages, the biggest benefit being that email is free and convenient. The down side to this is that the ease of email has led to an explosion of spam, and therefore the creation of the spam filter. Most unfortunately, these filters tend to block even legitimate email. So if you find your emails are being blocked, read on. Take a look at five great ways to avoid those email spam filters. 1. Never use spam words in your email There are a lot of words and symbols that are classified as ‘spam’ and these should be avoided at all cost. Words such as ‘viagra’, numerous dollar signs, multiple exclamation marks and even sentences in capital are considered spam. It is very important that you do not use such words in the subject line of your email. 2. Always safeguard your customer list Your customer list should be protected at all times. You must look after your list as per the terms mentioned in your privacy policy. Remember, people have given you their information on the basis of trust. You need to honor this trust. Never disclose or sell your list to anyone unless you have stated that you will do so in your policy. Violating your policy could lead to penalties. 3. Place an unsubscribe link in your email It is important that all your email communication contain an unsubscribe link for the benefit of your recipients. This is usually provided by all the leading Email Service Providers like Benchmark Email, etc. However, you should ensure that your link works properly by testing it yourself. If a recipient clicks on the unsubscribe link you must ensure that the person is removed from your subscription list instantly. 4. Make use of double opt-in forms Although single opt-ins can be used, double opt-in is a much better alternative. In the single opt-in process, a person who wishes to subscribe needs to provide his name and email address and confirm that he wants your emails. When it comes to double opt-in, the person completes the single opt-in process and then clicks on a verification link that is sent to him via email. The verification process used in double opt-in makes it more trustworthy and reduces the chance of your email being called spam. 5. Pay attention to all aspects of your email Your email should maintain a constant ‘From’ field and the ‘To’ field should always be personalized. When it comes to HTML emails, try to avoid using javascript, embedded forms and even hidden text and make sure all your links have the ‘http://’ prefix. Request your readers to add your email address to their ‘whitelist’ or address book.


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