Series Posts: Beyond

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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Tips for Writing High Conversion Email Subject Lines

Tips for Writing High Conversion Email Subject Lines

Beyond • July 2, 2015

The one thing that’s probably harder than writing high conversion email content, is writing high conversion email subject lines. Subject lines can be a little tricky, even for a veteran writer. Yet, unlike email content, which can vary based on what you’re trying to convey and to who, email subject lines are actually a lot easier to write. The perfect email subject line will factor in a three part equation that considers messaging, keywords and character count. Keeping it Concise Versus Keeping it Focused Though we do want to keep a short subject line, a short subject line is useless if it fails to convey your message. Richard Lindner of Digital Marketer says, “A shorter subject line will never overcome poor messaging.” Richard also talks about the “second” subject line, or the “preview.” He adds, “Don’t forget about the second subject line, or preview description. In most cases you have more characters and the ability to personalize or add more copy for your subscribers, telling them why they should open your mail. This is the most under-utilized and ignored portion of almost every email marketer’s assets.” The preview is the small bit of copy that offers a sneak preview into your content. Most email platforms allow you to customize that preview. Richard gives a great example of what that can look like. Use Keywords in Subject Lines People think in terms of keywords more now than they used to. Having one or two keywords in the subject line is a great way to quickly show value and relevance to your audience. However, keywords in subject lines offers another great benefit, and that’s the ability to search for your emails more easily. Most users hold onto emails, particularly in content heavy industries where emails act as a sort of information archive. For example, if I want to see what the email conversation was for the last five years on a certain subject, say for example “Summer,” then I can just search for that keyword and all the email marketing campaigns with the subject line “Summer” will pop up. Better yet, if a certain email marketing campaign has religiously been keyword-oriented, then their subject lines will offer quick points of reference to various summer campaigns, events, sales, initiatives and more. For example, I can run an email search for the keyword “Foreign students.” Of course, using a keyword in a subject line doesn’t need to be boring. You can still optimize that copy to make it more friendly, more casual, or creative in some other way; you just need to get that keyword in there once. So the next question is … exactly how long should your subject line be? Not Too Short, Not Too Long According to a Digital Marketer blog post on the ideal length of a post, email subject lines should be between 28-39 characters. Here’s why: “subject lines containing 28-39 characters get an open rate of 12.2% and click rate of 4% on average. You should also factor in that with most people being on mobile, shorter characters is even more critical. Lindner reminds us, “Mobile has WAY fewer characters. Focus on your message and you’ll get the open.”


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Tips for Writing High Conversion Email Content

Tips for Writing High Conversion Email Content

Beyond • July 1, 2015

Unless you’re a professional writer and a content strategist, you’ve probably come face to face with the dread of writing high-conversion emails for your email marketing campaigns. The first step is knowing how to approach your email subject line. Once you’ve mastered high conversion subject lines, the next step is learning how to write high conversion email content. Though how you approach content will depend on what you’re promoting and to whom, there are several time-tested practices that do not change no matter who your audience is. Writing for Mobile Most users will be reading your email content on their mobile device. In fact, an email infographic by Who is Hosting This, titled “How to Write Better Emails,” gives some tangible figures: 47% of email is opened on a mobile device. 30% of consumers read email exclusively on a mobile device. 68% of Yahoo and Gmail email is opened on a mobile device. For you, this means gearing email content for mobile. A good rule of thumb for mobile email content is to limit your verbiage to about 150 words. That rule stands even when users are downloading the email template and graphics. Your readers are going to want to know why they should further download the full email – and the 150 words is designed to make that sell quickly. According to Who is Hosting This’ infographic, there’s another reason you should keep email content short in light of the high mobile use: smaller screens affect readability. Keeping mobile in mind, you should also give readers the option of click on a link to fully view the email in their browser, which offers greater navigation and an email app would. It’s an Email, Not an Essay There are people who feel frustrated with emails because they don’t know what to say. On the other end of the spectrum, there are people who say too much. Whether you’re writing an email or a newsletter campaign, the goal is to share enough content in the email and ultimately lead them to your website or landing page. You don’t want to give away everything in one email – and you certainly don’t want to write an essay or dissertation, which only causes even the most interested of people to have their eyes glaze over a bit. If you do feel the need to say a lot, then break up your content like you would web content, with targeted sub-headers that offer the value in each bite sized chunk of content. Focus on One Person in the Audience Those with a fear of public speaking are taught to focus on just one person in the audience to help overcome their stage fright. The same rule applies for email. Email content that’s geared like a conversation and written as if it just one person, is far more effective than a blanket statement. People are going to feel like you’re personally reaching out to them. Psychologically speaking, we respond more favorably if it seems like the email is just for us. And your ability to write purposeful and engaging emails can be found through using your natural voice. This means that when you’re emailing, get more granular in how you think about that content. That email is first and foremost coming from you; you’re not hiding behind some agency or corporation. The three tips here all revolve around the end reader. By writing for mobile, you’re considering how they’re receiving that information. By being concise, you’re being thoughtful to how many other distractions are on their plate. And finally, but writing personally, you’re approaching them in a more meaningful and direct way that highlights your value for them as an individual.


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Pogo with Vurtego on Indiegogo

Pogo with Vurtego on Indiegogo

Beyond • June 30, 2015

This isn\'t just an Indiegogo success story ... even though it most certainly is that. It\'s also a lifelong dream come true, fueled by the right pieces falling into place and a whole lot of fun. Ian Britt tell us how the desire to create the perfect pogo stick has gone from hobby to a career.


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Grow Your Business, eCommerce With The Benchmark Email Shopify Integration

Grow Your Business, eCommerce With The Benchmark Email Shopify Integration

Beyond • June 29, 2015

Every company has some sort of tech wiz or go-to computer person to handle all things computer-related … that is if the company is already established and can afford to have their own tech guy. When you are starting out your small business for the first time, you are forced to wear almost the hats: owner, designer, accountant, administration, sales, and yes, even the tech guy. Being the business owner, you already know the general design of how you want your online store to look, all the daily administrative tasks that are needed, all the marketing strategies that will showcase your products in an optimal way, and of course, the money that is coming in and out of your company. Dealing with the back-end of your online store is different story. It is already tough juggling all those other tasks, so who has time to learn how to build a website from scratch? Well those who utilize Shopify don’t have to. Shopify is a fully managed commerce platform that allows you to build an online business with ease. Its features include managing products, inventory, orders, discounts, customer service and more. It basically wears all the hats for you, including the tech hat that never really fit right in the first place. Take Johnny Cupcakes for example. Johnny Cupcakes is a clothing store founded in 2001 by Johnny Earle, and the store was running on a custom-built site, which had a tendency to crash due to the traffic coming from each product release. All the crashing halted once the company made the switch to Shopify. As executive Justin Hiltz stated, “We’ve switched to Shopify and now have zero issues with releases. It shows that a company of our size can release things every other week with giant influxes of traffic and all of it goes smoothly.” Sometimes, Shopify is used to expand an already established business and delivered its well-beloved products to the masses. Harris Farm Markets was founded in 1971 as a single specialty store in Sydney, Australia, and has since then grown to about 24 stores. Then in July 2013, Harris Farris launched their Shopify store in order to deliver their produce across the city. Angus Harris, the co-CEO of Harris, states, “ Our Shopify site is simple and easy for our customers to use. We offer the best customer experience in our category of the market….including one-hour delivery windows, same-day delivery of premium fruit and vegetables, and a satisfaction guaranteed.” Along with that, Harris also experienced a growth rate of 20% quarterly, with 85,000 unique visitors each month. So whether it’s for a new small business owner or an established company, Shopify fulfills all needs to run your business smoothly. Combine that with the power of email marketing-- using the Benchmark Email Shopify Integration--and your business will become unstoppable!


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Best Vlogging Techniques

Best Vlogging Techniques

Beyond • June 27, 2015

Editor\'s note: Today we have a post from video blogger, Renae Christine. She\'s here to provide you with some of the best blogging techniques. Enjoy!


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Top 10 Tips From YouTube Hosts

Top 10 Tips From YouTube Hosts

Beyond • June 26, 2015

This week we had former Big Brother contestant and current web series host of The Weather Channel\'s Brain Storm and his own Nickipedia … Nick Uhas! He offered some amazing advice on following the path presented to you and taking opportunities as they come. We decided to ask some of our other favorite YouTube hosts for their best tips and advice, as well as some things people might not know about doing what they do. Here are some of our favorites: @BenchmarkEmail It\'s all about having a platform where one can express his/her views and opinions with everyone and anyone! It\'s powerful :D — Shimon Das (@shimonips) June 23, 2015 @BenchmarkEmail be patient, create value, connect with your audience, don\'t chase numbers and have fun while growing & learning — Roberto Blake (@robertoblake) June 22, 2015 @BenchmarkEmail thank you! \"Be so good they can\'t ignore you\", never ever give up, stay humble, listen, treat fans like gold, & give back :) — Jenny Kelley (@MissJennyKelley) June 24, 2015 @BenchmarkEmail Deadlines are your best friend and your worst enemy (moreso your best friend) — Alex Hluch (@thealexhluch) June 24, 2015 @BenchmarkEmail Consistency and branding is really important from the start. Having quality equipment / software is a great plus too. — Shane - Shibby (@Shibby2142) June 24, 2015 @BenchmarkEmail I make a list of topics I\'m interested in, then I try to figure out how I would explain that to a fellow friend. — Samuel Molina (@FuKuy) June 23, 2015 @BenchmarkEmail I work, sleep & eat with a small notebook and jot down everything that inspires me. Eventually the ideas start to arrive. — Mark Montano (@MarkMontano) June 23, 2015 @BenchmarkEmail People who watch don\'t know how easy it is to become a YouTube creator. They think it\'s difficult but it\'s not — Ileane Smith (@Ileane) June 22, 2015 @BenchmarkEmail Thanks! Just be yourself, create your unique niche for your channel and engage with your viewers. :) — Austin Null (@thenivenulls) June 22, 2015 What hasn\'t been done, what\'s awesome, who\'s awesome, let\'s all be awesome together! Average is boring😉 #GOTEAM https://t.co/DlVFdRzNEZ — Nicole Arbour (@NicoleArbour) June 19, 2015 Finally, a bonus tip. OK OK … maybe this one was a little tongue in cheek. @BenchmarkEmail Always respond to Twitter @replies from companies or brands asking for advice. — Jeffrey Wisenbaugh (@KoolJeffrey) June 24, 2015 In case you missed this week\'s episode of the Heart of Business with Nick Uhas: Beginnings, Big Brother and Beyond.


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Sounds Good: Choosing The Right Mic For Your Video

Sounds Good: Choosing The Right Mic For Your Video

Beyond • June 26, 2015

  News Flash: Onboard cam mics should never be used. Every pro videographer worth their salt recommends against onboard mics, and you should listen to their advice unless you really don’t have any other option. Although you shouldn’t plug a microphone every time your cat jumps to catch a fly, you should definitely use a better one when recording marketing videos. One of the most critical question that faces all marketing video producers is which microphone should you choose? Some of the flaws of the built in microphone are: Omnidirectional is horrible - Almost all on-board microphones record sound coming every direction around the cam. Although this could be useful sometimes, it will really hurt your business or formal video when you record sound coming from all over the room, bouncing from all the walls. This leads to increase in unwanted sound noise. Mic should be closer than lens - The microphone should be placed close to the sound source (usually a person speaking). The built-in microphones have been primarily put for the person holding the camera to talk to (usually narrating), not to have the subject put far away from you. Because of the distance between the individual doing the speaking and the microphone, you end up with additional room noise. Just like your picture focuses on the subject, your audio should be focused on him too. Hi quality cam but low quality mic - Even though the microphones are improving every day, the on-board ones are still lacking in quality compared to a dedicated microphone. This is mostly noticeable on HDSLR cameras. The low quality microphone can distort your audio, resulting in voice that sounds unnatural and flat. These are the primary reasons you should buy a cam that has an external mic jack. This will still allow you to record both the audio and video on the same device. Not only will you have less work while recording, you will also get rid of the hassle of synchronizing them together later on. Now that you have decided that you need a microphone, how do you know what microphone should you buy? There are three basic types of microphones used for shooting videos: Shotgun Microphone – This microphone eliminates all the flaws of the on-board mic. It can be placed very close to the speaker but still stay out of frame. The audio quality it provides is excellent, even with the mid-range shotgun microphones. The microphone is extremely directional, making sure you focus the audio on precisely the sounds you want to record, instead of recording everything. Handheld Microphone – This is the standard stick that reporters or singers on stage hold. Its advantages come from being small, easy to use and fast. All that it takes you to record someone’s voice is to point it at them. Change of subject? Just point it somewhere else fast. They are also pretty inexpensive for what they offer. But the cons come with its presence. You cannot hide the microphone from the frame without taking a very weird angle and it usually has to stay directly in front of the speaker in order to capture the sound correctly. Lavalier Microphone – This is one of the most versatile microphones available. Also known as a lapel mic, a lav mic or a clip-on mic, it is usually attached to your shirt. Since most of them are wireless and require no holding, it allows you to walk around and do any kind of gestures you want. This comes at the cost of having a poor sound quality while still paying a lot for them. But they are still very useful and should be a part of every videographer’s microphone kit. With this info you’ll have an easier time making the decision of your microphone. Most video marketing producers might need all three of them. If you are a bit more specific, you might get away with one kind of a microphone and then rent others whenever you need them. You’ll find that every city has a decent rental outfit, and you’ll need them as great equipment is the first step to great videos.


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