Series Posts: Beyond

Benchmark Email at RISE

Benchmark Email at RISE

Beyond • July 22, 2015

Benchmark Email is thrilled to announce that we will have a booth at RISE, a new tech conference aiming to give leaders of enterprise a place to gather and display the ways in which their companies are changing the way we live. This very special event is hosted by the team behind Web Summit and we are excited to be a part of it. Rise takes place July 31st-August 1st 2015 and will be held at the Hong Kong Convention Centre. There will be speakers from Amazon and Google at the event as well as dozens of other CEOs and founders of many incredible companies. Benchmark will be holding court at our booth talking email marketing both days. We\'re looking forward to meeting so many amazing individuals and companies.


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Rocking with Crunchyroll’s Miles Thomas

Rocking with Crunchyroll’s Miles Thomas

Beyond • July 21, 2015

Miles Thomas was a fan of anime long before joining the team at Crunchyroll. One of the biggest streaming services around, rivaling Netflix, Crunchyroll has a robust roster of anime shows available. Miles had some advice for others looking to pursue their passions and it was a treat to talk with him.


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Rounding up the Best Email Designs for Retail, Business & Organizations

Rounding up the Best Email Designs for Retail, Business & Organizations

Beyond • July 20, 2015

Now that we’ve gotten a solid understand the basics of what your email campaigns should look like in order to be conversion-friendly, the next step is how to go one step further and create email designs for your unique industry. The top three tiers of industries include retail, business and organizations. Here, we break down how to approach email marketing designs for each one. Best Email Template Designs for Retail How you design your retail email marketing campaigns will depend heavily on your demographic. Millennials will want out of the box thinking, while anything before Generation X will prefer a more traditional approach. For example, consider two national shoe retailers: Naturalizer and TOMS. While a younger demographic that is frequently on their feet may rely on a Naturalizer shoe, the brand is really catered toward a more mature audience. What bridges their mature demographic with their 20 something year old that will purchase their product, is a need to opt for a practical shoe. Naturalizer’s email marketing reflects that clean lines, categorized info and easy calls to action that are still youthful in design. The layout gives you quick access points for shopping, and is in fact design to replicate a website shopping experience. You enter their email and you’ve entered their story. And like any good email marketing campaign from a retailer, there’s an incentive to act: the $10 coupon plus free shipping offer. There’s a good chance the coupon code is also tied to that specific email marketing campaign to help track conversions. Equally as practical, our other example here is TOMS. TOMS are comfortable but that’s not why you buy them. The demographic is completely different, which is why this is a great example. With each TOMS purchase, you’re buying into a piece of their culture. In an MTV Insights conversation with TOMS’ cofounder, Blake Mycoskie, revealed the “DIY collaborative mindset of the millennial generation … [and] how the entire brand is playing upon the millennial currency of the experience.” TOMS’ email campaigns reflect that experience. They take a more creative approach that looks like more like an Instagram photo than a traditional email marketing campaign. Again, their audience is not just looking to buy a product; they’re looking to buy an experience. The email campaign does just that by tapping into your imagination and showing you how to pair their products with one of the busiest seasons of the year – wedding season. Best Email Template Designs for Business Businesses should approach their email marketing in a slightly different way. Rather than featuring a product, their task is to prove value and create multiple points for calls to action. The most stunning business newsletter I’ve seen is from marketing agency in San Diego called Tribus Media. Their email marketing format is also designed to read like a website, but includes a very strong content marketing strategy design to guide prospective customers to key areas of information that help with the sales cycle. After two key points of conversation designed to pique curiosity and sell, their template funnels down to reaffirm authority and then encourage a conversation. Best Email Template Designs for Organizations The one thing organizations tend to do is be content heavy. That’s a mistake. Organizations need to be even more creative, exciting and methodical in who they communicate their messages – especially because of the lack immediate gratification their work tends to offer. So with an organization, you’re not setting a product or a service – you’re selling an experience, or an association. In that regards, organizations can learn the most from millennial marketing in terms of cultivating experience through multimedia messaging. Here are some gorgeous examples that do just that: Doltone House and Four Pillars Gin. Though the industries are different, the takeaway is the same. Be breathtaking. Even though were speaking here in terms of templates, as a marketer you should never think in terms of templates. A template isn’t supposed to be mold. Rather, it’s designed to act as a framework for your ideas, to help your team organize and present content in a meaningful way. A template design can take or either a very creative look or it can have more structure. Whichever route you decide to take for your emails, a great rule of thumb is to have several templates ready to go. You’re going to want a template for standard weekly newsletters, one for quick memos or announcements, another for quarterly emails, holiday campaigns and one for events or highly conversion-oriented campaigns. And, every once in a while, shake it all up and try something totally new to keep your audience interested and on their toes.


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Benchmark Email at the Seattle Small Business Expo + Tips & Tweets

Benchmark Email at the Seattle Small Business Expo + Tips & Tweets

Beyond • July 15, 2015

On Thursday, July 16th Benchmark Email will be at the Seattle Small Business Expo. If you\'re in the area, we\'d love it if you came and said hello! We\'re booth #316. Plus, Daniel Miller will be delivery a workshop at 11:15 AM called \"Generate the Highest ROI with Email Marketing.\" If you cannot make it there in the morning, at 3:30 he\'ll be back with a How-To Demo called \"How to Effectively Market Through Email.\" In anticipation of the Seattle Small Business Expo, we reached out to some of our favorite small businesses in the area. We sought to find out what makes Seattle unique and the tips to succeed in that market. We got some great responses. Check them out! @BenchmarkEmail For us, it\'s been all about transparency with our supply chain, farmers, and partners — Homegrown (@homegrownian) July 10, 2015 @BenchmarkEmail ah, you flatter + thank-you. We\'re for sustainable + original style.We resell #secondhand goods w/ focus on #amercianmade — Citizen Rosebud (@citizenrosebudz) July 10, 2015 @BenchmarkEmail High Quality, 100% Handcrafted, Raw Earthy Bohemian Gypsy Jewelry and Amazing Customer Focus and Service Makes Me Stand Out! — Mamie Stubbs (@MadeByMame) July 9, 2015 @BenchmarkEmail Hey there! We have a very strict company policy of sleeping at night. :) — HighYa (@HighYaReviews) July 6, 2015


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The Holy Grail of Designing Your Email Templates for Conversion

Beyond • July 15, 2015

The ultimate goal of any email marketing campaign is to drive conversion, which is why your email templates are critical to achieving this goal. Consider the following 10 fail-proof tips the Holy Grail of email templates design. Dump the Links. Go for the Buttons The mistake a lot of people make is to stick with the old tired trends. For digital media, websites used to have links guiding people to points of interest. Now it’s buttons. However, email marketing hasn’t quite caught on and the same old strategies are still being employed in email templates. So instead of a link, try having a button instead. It’s more visually appealing and it’s more engaging. When designing your template, some people will prefer designing in Photoshop while others will prefer code. Whenever possible, go for code. HTML buttons will download even if the image doesn’t, which happens more often than not since not all users allow for auto image downloads. Squint Test Last but not least, there’s the squint test. It’s just about as simple as it sounds: squint your eyes to see which parts of the email template stand out the most. Your call to actions should be the most noticeable when you’re squinting. Squinting allows for the same “quick glance” view that most users have when they’re scanning through emails. Think of the seven second rule that websites live by: you have 7 seconds to entice your reader. If you can’t manage to rope them in within seven seconds, then you’ve lost them. The audience is a little more discerning for email marketing campaigns. You’re lucky if you have about half that time, particularly in light of the many emails users still need to get through to reach inbox zero. Follow the Picture You may have heard of logos that have subliminal designs in them design to get you to associate their brand with a direction or a message. Think of the “happy face” that’s created in Amazon’s logo, which also guides you from “A to Z,” which is just about what they cover – everything from A to Z. A picture is more than just a thousand words. A picture, whether in your logo or in your email marketing campaign, can direct a user to what you want them to see. It can act as an arrow. Take the example here by Alex White, who shows you how the picture of a baby in a retail campaign, is actually serving a dual purpose. Even in a squint test, you can clearly see what the baby is looking at –which is what you’re going to be looking at too. The face that images can be used in such a strategic way also underscores a point we’ve made several times here: images are a crucial component of your marketing strategy. The image you select can empower or deflate your campaign long before anyone gets to the content. On that note, the layout and design and equally as important. A great image with a poor design is a defeating move. However, great imagery with a powerful design (and compelling content), is going to get you that conversion.


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Indiegogo Day & NightDrive Eyewear

Indiegogo Day & NightDrive Eyewear

Beyond • July 14, 2015

John Galley may refer to himself as a technology turkey and doesn\'t fancy himself an inventor, but he saw a problem and figured out the best possible way to solve it. In realizing he could use some assistance to drive at night, he researched the best possible product to help him. Not finding a satisfying solution, he created his own in NightDrive Eyewear. He took his project to Indiegogo and succeeded in getting his night driving glasses with interchangeable lenses crowdfunded. Galley had a ton of amazing advice to offer people looking to go the Indiegogo route or with crowdfunding in general. There tips are not to be missed. Listen and enjoy!


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Zoho Integration for Benchmark Email

Zoho Integration for Benchmark Email

Beyond • July 13, 2015

Every company has several departments: sales, content, design, etc. It’s not just for organization sake that a company is separated in this way, but it is because each department has a specific role and that they have in the company. Despite the different roles that they play, each department still has to connect with one another in order to have the company run smoothly and thrive. Imagine the same situation for all of your company’s online data. Before, you probably had various different apps that you bought separately, each from different brands and for different departments, and then you had to take so much time to configure each one to allow it to work with other apps. That doesn’t sound like an easy process and that’s because it isn’t!Sometimes each department just prefers using specific apps, but unfortunately, not every app will get along. The only solution to this would be one project management system that will contain all the apps that your office needs. Call it the company mother ship. In other words, it is the web-based online suite that contains the vitals tools for your business including: word processing, spreadsheets, note-taking, CRM, invoicing, etc. Way more convenient and way more functional to use. Take for example, Raw Engineering, a web and mobile application development firm. With up to 30 users working on 10 projects, they were in dire need of a one-stop-shop program. As CEO Nishant Patel puts it, “Other products are good in specific areas, but they didn\'t integrate as well with third-party apps like Gmail. And they weren\'t providing us with an end-to-end solution. From an admin perspective, it created a nightmare that had us managing three or four different web apps. Zoho Projects brought it all together for us in one solution that\'s really simple, fast, and responsive – easy to use and easy to administer.” Along with Raw Engineering, tons of other companies have experienced the huge advantages of Zoho, not to mention less headaches, misplaced data, and other fumbles. If you want your internal office to run seamlessly and each department to work in harmony, then it will only make sense to use a software that will do the same thing. Plus seamlessly integrate Zoho with your email marketing, thanks to the Benchmark Email Zoho integration.


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Autoresponders: More Time of Delivery Options

Autoresponders: More Time of Delivery Options

Beyond • July 9, 2015

Autoresponders are one of the most powerful tools in the email marketers arsenal. They allow you to stay top of mind with your subscribers with less time spent. You set them up at the start and allow them to do the work for you. Benchmark Email’s latest update has made our autoresponders more effective than ever before. You can be certain your subscribers are receiving your messages when you want them to thanks to more options to control the send times of our autoresponders. You can schedule autoresponders on the Edit Autoresponder Sequence page, which is when you choose the behavior of a given autoresponder. In this section you will write your Subject Line, craft the Preview Text and then select the days and time you would like the autoresponder to send. As always, it’s important to pay attention to your reports and test your send times. That way, you’ll know the best times to schedule your autoresponders. The biggest ROI from email marketing comes when you’re able to use all the information available to you.


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How to Harness the Power of Emojis in Email Marketing

How to Harness the Power of Emojis in Email Marketing

Beyond • July 8, 2015

With all the noise in today’s inbox, each email often looks the same. Marketers have struggled to find ways to break through and to get their email campaigns opened. However, a recent trend has seen special symbols AKA emojis in our email subject lines to capture audience\'s attention. For those wondering, emojis are the graphic ideogram, first started in Japan that have taken over social media, texting and even marketing conversations. With the boom in opens on mobile, the use of Emojis in email helps to convey something which words cannot, i.e. emotion to the readers. Your business can also harness the power of emoji by addressing these 3 questions: 1. Who is your target audience? Knowing your audience means knowing their needs. Emojis are not appropriate for every business and are mostly used when it is a business to customer (B2C) communication. Research your subscribers before you shoot an emoji rich campaign. Use of emojis has been tested and shown that they do increase your email open rates, but it also depends on your industry. Moreover, including emojis in your conversation makes you look more approachable online. 2. Which emojis will make or break your email? To make sure you’re on target, choose the right emoji for the right campaign. Be sure it makes sense and don’t overuse it in an email. Using the right emoji in your campaign makes you friendly and competent with your customers. Business related emails when paired with emoticons often sound less negative and increases the level of engagement. 3. What are the different platforms on which your emails are opened? Emojis appear differently across popular email clients. If an email client doesn\'t support a character, the recipient will see a ☐ character instead. For example, in desktop chrome the subject line with emojis will appear as blocks but when you will open the same email on mobile it will appear fine. It has been found that the emoji didn\'t appear properly in Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013\'s notification popups but, generally iOS and Android both have good emoji support. That is the reason, Twitter and WordPress have started replacing emoji Unicode characters with images to ensure support everywhere. Contributing to the development of the emoji community, in the last year Twitter has also started open sourcing their emojis for everyone. Hence, if your customers are opening most of your emails on mobile, then it is worth including emojis to spice up your email text. The bottom line is emoji can make your emails stand out in an overwhelmed and overcrowded inbox. Once you have determined your right emoji, use the A/B testing feature to judge which campaign will work best for your subscribers. The best way you communicate to your customers is always evolving and you need to analyze what works best for your business.


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You Can Dance If You Want To … at Dance With Me Studios

You Can Dance If You Want To … at Dance With Me Studios

Beyond • July 7, 2015

Alex Samusevich co-founded Dance With Me Studios with Maksim Chmerkovskiy of Dancing with the Stars. He took a lifelong passion for dance and turned it into a business that also allowed him to share it with others. What started as a conversation about being able to pursue ones dreams in business and in life that was uplifting and inspirational turned into a look at using what you have, creating great content and doing it all with a DIY approach. Alex\'s love for his craft and his business are infectious. What they were able to create by realizing the talent they had on hand is truly impressive. Listen and enjoy.


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