Series Posts: Beyond

Benchmark Email Zoho Integration

Benchmark Email Zoho Integration

Beyond • February 19, 2015

So you finally took the plunge and you are ready to start your own online business. Congrats! It can be an exciting, yet sometimes bumpy, but still exciting journey. With all these advanced technology and improved strategies, you have all the resources you need to grow your online business. So assuming all you have on your computer is Google Chrome, Word, and some games here and there, it is time to go shopping for softwares and apps to help you start your online business! Yes, there is a good amount of things you need to have on your computer that are necessary for your business: Word processor, CRM, spreadsheets, and so much more. The challenging part, however, is that these programs are often times sold individually and within their own brand. It’s pretty costly to purchase each product from the same brand, and it’s probably even difficult to find all at one time. In the event that you buy each product from different brands, imagine trying to install them all in one computer. It’s like trying to pop a square Tupperware lid onto a round Tupperware bowl (if that makes sense). You can try pressing them down and forcing them to fit, but ultimately it’s going to pop right off because they are not meant to fit. Same goes for certain programs. Fortunately for you and other new online business owners, Zoho has every programs and apps you need in one. It is a suite of online applications that you can sign up for and access online. These services in tracking customers, hosting emails, collaborating on documents, managing projects, are all designed to work together seamlessly. Of course, if you want to add in an extra plugin, you can go ahead and plug it into Zoho’s integrated system. With the Benchmark Email Zoho Integration, you can easily import your Zoho contacts directly into your Benchmark Email account, with no extra setup or downloads required. Nothing is more important to starting an online business than having a good email marketing strategy to create good relationships and expanding your brand name to other potential customers. Here is how to get started: Log in to your Benchmark account Click on the My Account tab Click on the Integration panel and scroll down to the Zoho CRM section Input your Zoho username and password and click Connect Go to the Lists tab and click Create New List Choose the \"Import Contacts from a File\" option and click Save & Add Contacts Click the \"Click here\" link under \"Upload Your File\" Click the Zoho panel in the list that appears Click the Import List button Done!


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The Perks of Digital News with The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur

The Perks of Digital News with The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur

Beyond • February 17, 2015

The Young Turks is the world\'s largest online news show. So, we had to invite host, Cenk Uygur, to the world\'s greatest podcast that is called The Heart of Business. We talk digital, social media, personal branding, trust in the media and so much more. Plus, Claude managed to escape with minimal fan boy embarrassment. Cenk Uygur may have had to use one of the questions in his Reddit video AMA (Ask Me Anything) to explain once and for all how to say his name, but it’s not one to be forgotten. The Turkish born news staple has made a name for himself and lived the American Dream. Listen and enjoy!


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Benchmark Email Zapier Integration

Benchmark Email Zapier Integration

Beyond • February 12, 2015

Take a glance at your desktop. How many app icons do you see? 1, 2, 3…50? Let’s see, there’s Google Docs, Evernote, Salesforce, Twitter, Everbrite, Benchmark Easy List, and more. All these apps are necessary for your business, and each own has their own specific function to carry out. Wouldn’t it be great if you can somehow merge one with another so they can work together at the same time? It would be so convenient and has benefits of both applications. Well that is where the Benchmark Email Zapier integration comes in! Zapier is a nifty program that syncs two complementary apps together so that you can utilize both at the same time! No need to bring in an expensive developer to do all the coding for you that will take who knows how long. Zapier will streamline all your online activities in two simple steps. When an activity occurs in one app, it will automatically trigger the other app. For example, let’s say that you want to integrate your Eventbrite app with your Benchmark app. With Zap, each new attendee on your Eventbrite account will automatically be added onto a contact list on your Benchmark account. Got some GoTo Webinar attendees that you would like to continue a relationship with? You can also connect their contact information straight to your Benchmark account too. It’s an easy two-step process where there is a trigger and action. When something happens in the first app (trigger), it will then prompt the second app to act. What’s also great about Zapier is that you can monitor every activity through the main dashboard, and also change which app should be a trigger or an action. You can watch data flow from one app to another without having to haul in some more bulky and time-consuming coding. There are more than 250 apps you can integrate with, and all of them can incorporate with Benchmark email marketing to further your business. As we all know, email marketing is the best way to increase your business. So whichever followers you want to target, be sure that they are well inputted into your Benchmark account. After you sign up for your Zapier account, go to the main dashboard and choose the Make a New Zap button. Use the drop-downs to choose which app you want for your Trigger, and which one for Action. Next you\'ll choose which account for the trigger and action app you want to use. The drop-down will have all the account connections you\'ve made for that app, plus the option to add a new account connection. This next step will let you set up filters so that not all the instances of your trigger will trigger your zap. Some triggers have pre-existing filters you\'ll choose from a drop-down. You can also choose a custom filter. You\'ll create the object that will be added to the action app each time your zap triggers. by clicking the \"Insert Fields\" button on the right of a field, you\'ll bring up a list of fields you can include in your zap. After choosing a field, a placeholder for that field will be inserted, like \"email\" in the above screenshot. The last thing to do is give your zap a name. This only matters for identifying your zap in the dashboard. After that, you can click to \"Turn Zap On\" and your zap will be On!


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Getting the Content Job Done with KISSmetrics’ Sean Work

Getting the Content Job Done with KISSmetrics’ Sean Work

Beyond • February 11, 2015

KISSmetrics has long had one of the best and most popular blogs we enjoy here at Benchmark Email. That is due in no small part to Sean Work. So, we had to have him on to pick his brain on a great content strategy. We also talked about how great of a tool KISSmetrics is and the importance of its analytics. We learned a lot and I’m sure you will too. Content, like that shared on the KISSmetrics blog, is more quality over quantity. It’s an important lesson to learn. Listen and enjoy and maybe pick up a new trick or two for your business’ blog. Sean’s inspirational book for this week: Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull


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Social Media Integrations with Zapier

Social Media Integrations with Zapier

Beyond • February 9, 2015

It surprises me every time I hear the question, “should I be doing email marketing or social media?” Sure, I’m close enough to the subject to be taken aback that a business wouldn’t already be doing one or both. The answer I always give, is that it is not a matter of either/or. The answer is all of the above. Benchmark has long offered awesome social media integrations. Our new super integration with Zapier allows for even more. Now you can use your email to boost your social media efforts and vice versa. Let’s take a closer look at some of the things you could do. LinkedIn With the LinkedIn integration, you can automatically invite your contacts to connect with you on LinkedIn. That means you can extend your reach past your email list and onto LinkedIn. Now your subscribers will see your latest updates on one of your social networking channels as well. Then they may like it, share it and it could reach into their connections on LinkedIn as well. Flex that power!


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Benchmark Email Unbounce Integration

Benchmark Email Unbounce Integration

Beyond • February 5, 2015

The more is merrier or less is more? When it comes to your business website, it is definitely the more the merrier! If you are building your company website for the first time, of course you have to start with the basics: About us, List of Products/Services, Staff, Contact. As your business grows, there are going to be, and should be, a lot more extra deals and specials you can give to your customers. That is where landing pages come in. A landing page is not only a better way to promote your new deals, but it also increases your brand awareness on the web. Unbounce software is quick and easy to follow. It is a drag and drop page builder so there is no need to know HTML, because who has time to learn all that?! All you need to do it select the fields that you want and fill in with images, copy, video, etc. You can also add social widgets so customers can click to your Facebook or Twitter pages. Using email marketing in conjunction to your new landing pages is like the cheese to your macaroni. Email marketing is the best method to use to start and maintain a relationship with your customers. By adding a simple sign-box box to your landing page, your customers can sign up for a mailing list and will be automatically added to your Benchmark account, under its own contact list. From here, you can create and send email campaigns just for them. The key to growing your business through email marketing is having the campaign that has the appropriate content for that audience. If they receive an email that sounds too vague and general, they will most likely write it off as spam and in the trash in goes. With a contact list that is just for those that signed up through Unbounce, you can offer special deals or specific content that is just for them, therefore gaining their trust and solidifying your relationships. With the integration between Unbounce and Benchmark, your new subbies that came from your Unbounce-created landing page will instantly will added to a contact list on your Benchmark account for, you guessed it, even better email marketing efforts! Log in to your Benchmark account Click on Integration under My Account Scroll down to Unbounce Select your List to receive Unbounce subscribers When you click on the desired list, it will automatically generate a URL in the box for Step Two. Copy this URL. Login to your Unbounce account. Go to your Page Overview. Click on WebHook: POST to URL under Basic Integrations on the right-hand side. Paste your URL in the box and select Continue.


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Benchmark Email’s Super Integration With Zapier

Benchmark Email’s Super Integration With Zapier

Beyond • February 4, 2015

In every great comic book, our heroes have an origin story. The bioengineered spider that bites the boy or a being from another planet. Benchmark Email has recently acquired some super powers of our own. This is thanks to a new ability to integrate your account with tools such as Eventbrite, PayPal, GoToWebinar and more. That’s our super garb in place of a cape and tights ... or Mjölnir. So what brought upon these new powers? It’s all made possible thanks to a super integration with Zapier. What is Zapier? Well, it’s a company helps to make you an email marketing hero by connecting you with more than 300 websites and tools that you\'re all ready using for your business. Integrating with Eventbrite You can create a Zap, which is what Zapier calls its integrations, to have your event attendees added to an email list. This allows you to do follow up with ease. Now you can let them know about upcoming events, share slides and photos from past events and keep your business top of mind. Integrating with PayPal With this Zap, you can have an action in your Benchmark Email account trigger a payment in PayPal. You can also have a payment in PayPal add that contact to a list for you. This could be useful with autoresponders. A payment can trigger a thank you email, or even set up email reminders for future payments. Integrating with GoToWebinar This is super useful for adding webinar attendees to an email list. Much like the the Eventbrite email, you can follow up with your attendees, send slides from the webinar and let them know about new webinars you will be offering down the line. This helps to get the most out of your webinars ... giving them powers of their own. How to Integrate with Zapier Sign up for a free 14 day trial on Zapier to try it out. If you like it, you can sign up for a paid account. Create a Zap, which is a task made up of two things: a Trigger and an Action. Each Zap involves the web services. One serving as the Trigger and one serving as the Action. Take your new email marketing super powers out for a spin.


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Interviewing the Interviewer: Danielle Robay

Interviewing the Interviewer: Danielle Robay

Beyond • February 3, 2015

Danielle Robay joined us on the Heart of Business to dish on what it takes to be an entertainment reporter. How did she get the gig? Persistence prevails. She shared tips on what makes a great interviewer how the digital age has affected her job. It’s a great listen for anyone looking to pursue a similar career path, but there’s great life and business lessons for all. It’s really an excellent episode for anyone that has a passion in life and wants to make that their career. Danielle took an unconventional combination in politics and pop culture and found a way to make it work. She’s an inspiration to all of us. Listen and enjoy!


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Innovation in Thought Leadership a Coveted 2015 Business Goal

Innovation in Thought Leadership a Coveted 2015 Business Goal

Beyond • January 29, 2015

If innovation is the ability to think and create differently, then the 2015 business challenge is to push it out of business practices and into the realm of business campaigns. In the New Year, it’s not just good enough to be innovative in your day-to-day business – nor is it enough to innovate internally with business practices in either creativity or productivity. The new frontier of innovation is thought leadership. It’s about pushing outside of your business to see how you can be creative and think differently as a thought leader. Enter Frances Mazur, owner of Mazur Group, a Los Angeles-based executive recruiting firm for the beauty industry. Recently featured in the February 2015 issue of Success. Mazur created a conference called Beauty Biz Roundtable that not only gives her access to a wider pool of recruits, but it also created “added value for clients in the form of speaking opportunities [and] elevated industry presences.” For Mazur, thought leadership is about creating an industry rather than just being in it – which is what her conference does. It’s an anchor and a direct line that not only cultivates the Mazur Group as a leader, but which also serves a practical business purpose. But Mazur isn’t the only one getting a jump start in innovative thought leadership. Castlewood Treatment Center, which treats eating disorders, already pushed the thought leadership envelope in late 2014. They started by breakthrough campaign called #NoFilter, the idea behind it being to encourage social shares of your true authentic filter-free self. Even though neither the campaign nor the hashtag is specifically eating disorder related, the association is a powerful one that has spearheaded Castlewood as a thought leader in eating disorder awareness, alongside the social factors that trigger or cause relapse – such as societal obsession with “perfection” and impossible standards. With #NoFilter, Castlewood dominates conversation in a real setting with real people, getting both social shares and dialogue on a subject they’re passionate about raising awareness for. The campaign wins because it’s not self-promotional; rather, it promotes social knowledge and acceptance effortlessly through being present on the social media channels that people already flock to. On the subject of going to where people are rather than trying to get them to come to you - which by the way is why email marketing works - another innovative thought leadership success story is found in Greenpeace USA. As featured in the winter issue of Fast Company, Greenpeace’s new executive director Annie Leonard, confesses to arriving at a similar realization. In an article titled “Sustainable Storytelling,” Ariel Schwartz writes how “nearly a decade ago, Leonard was giving a presentation at the Rockwood Leadership Institute” that really drove the point home when it comes to effective communication. Leonard continues the story, “I used my most data-filled, technical, sophisticated jargon…at the end, one guy – who was really smart – said, ‘I have no idea what just said.’ I realized you have to talk to people where they’re at, not where you’re at.” Enter sustainable storytelling. Leonard took the innovative trend of storytelling and used it to drive a point home with her audience and get a major world-renown company to stop doing business with another major world-renowned company….and without ever having to petition for it. Leonard got Lego to “end its relationship with Shell after a Greenpeace-produced video of toy polar bears drowning in oil went viral.” No arms were twisted and no polar bears were hurt in the making of that video – but it still got a juggernaut corporation to pay attention and act favorably. And that’s really what innovative thought leadership is about. It’s not just a question of whether you have the podium and the attention of the audience – it’s about what you do with that attention.


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In 2015, the Challenge is Increasing Productivity without Losing Your Soul

In 2015, the Challenge is Increasing Productivity without Losing Your Soul

Beyond • January 28, 2015

We’ve all heard the tired workplace phrases like “optimize your time” and “prioritize your tasks,” and you’ve especially heard this if you’re in a bustling start up with a mountain of work teetering toward an avalanche. The challenge we’re faced with is to perform the impossible, to prioritize our time and optimize tasks when there just aren’t enough work hours in the day. If you factor in meetings, fielding questions, answering email and so on, the fact remains that you have a pretty limited bandwidth in which to actually work. And with productivity being a relentless buzzword in 2015 as it was in 2014, the question I predict that is going to run the gauntlet this year is: how do you increase productivity without losing your soul? “Losing your soul” is an important risk to mention. We can all increase productivity. We can show up to work earlier, stay later, eat lunch at our desk, web surf a little less, socialize with our peers less...and have a little less soul at the end of the day. The fact is you shouldn’t have to consistently and unreasonably come in earlier each day or stay later. This is important time you need to yourself, to pursue your passions or spend time with your family to unplug and recharge. You shouldn’t have to eat lunch at your desk. It’s important to get out of the office, get some fresh air, and be in a different physical space for a while – which is also why I’m suspect of any company that offers free lunch when we all really need that time away. Moving on, web surfing is an important task breaker that gives micro mental escapes from a series of tasks. It’s a privilege, that when treated with respect, shouldn’t be an issue for productivity. The 10 or 15 minutes you might save in a day when not web browsing isn’t worth what you’re losing out on – which is a chance to introduce a new thought or idea to your mind in the form of small creative interruptions that actually trigger productivity. It’s the same as getting up from your desk to walk around the building for a while – it’s something your mind needs … which brings us to socializing. Socializing with your peers is important for team building and creating rapport. Again, when done within reason, it shouldn’t take away that much time for your day. So we’re back at the question of how do you ‘optimize’ your day without sacrificing these small treasures that are part of creating a positive workplace environment. The dilemma for any company facing this problem is in finding a way to increase individual productivity without turning your workplace into a machine in which each person is little more than a cog. Across the good handful of companies I’ve worked with on consulted for, by far the most successful, effective and relaxed environments were those that offered limited task interruption. The ideal combination was an open work space (an open floor concept that encourages collaboration and synergy, but one in which there were set times for interruptions). This means that questions for team members were saved for meetings and project discussions were also saved for either email communication or meetings. The approach is successful for one key reason and that’s the limited level of interruption such an arrangement is able to ensure. You can read those emails at your leisure when you’re done with a task and meetings are something that can be planned for. Conversely, when each time a team member had to stop and address an outside question or task, they were set behind on their ongoing task by anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, which doesn’t include the time it takes to mentally “get back into” what you were doing before. If productivity is the name of the game in 2015, find out what interruptions your employees are facing on daily basis and put an end to it. And if your team suffers from group think – something I discussed in an earlier blog post this week – then opt for an anonymous online survey by Survey Monkey. This way you’ll get real answers (and possibly even suggestions for solutions) without anyone being put on the spot or throwing others under the bus.


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