Leading CRM and Email Marketing SaaS Providers, Hatchbuck, Benchmark, Merge

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Leading CRM and Email Marketing SaaS Providers, Hatchbuck, Benchmark, Merge

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The Top 15 Suggestions To Make Your Emails Pop!

The Top 15 Suggestions To Make Your Emails Pop!

Beyond • January 26, 2010

Email marketers are always looking for ways to increase impact, so here are the top 15 suggestions for fairly simple inclusions and tweaks to get those response rates up. Dont Rite Laik Dis - An inordenate number of marketing emails contain grammar, punctuation and spelling errors which turns readers off and devalues your companys image. (OK, now find the six errors in that sentence! Answers next week.) Set Your Point Size To Fit Your Demographic - Younger readers appreciate 10 point or smaller type as it fits more information onto a monitor, but older users prefer 13 point or larger to suit their eyesight. Keep It Positive - The news is depressing enough, so avoid references to recession, politics, war, and the pervading malaise of our age. You want to associate your brand to happy, good times and feelings. Incentives Work... - When your customer asks the question \"what\'s in it for me\" ensure that you have prizes, discounts, and other hooks to pull in the reader and get them interested. ...So Do Deadlines - When you\'re offering an incentive never keep it open-ended. A short deadline in the immediate future will motivate the reader to respond positively. Encourage Contribution - Many of your customers would love to have something they\'ve created publicly associated with your company. Why not have an online poem contest, or an art show, or photo exhibition connected with your brand? Consistency Wins - It is imperative to keep delivering relevant and informative content on an ongoing basis. If your emails alternate between pearls of wisdom and sheer filler, your readers will tune out. Let\'s Face It: Sex & Food Sells - It has to be the oldest trick in the advertiser\'s handbook, but relevant, attractive images of sensual individuals, and lip-smacking images of delectable food are going to stop readers in their tracks far more than a photo of a hard drive or an electric drill. Use Subheads - Your emails should never be monolithic blocks of type. Most readers just skim through them, so make sure that you have headings that grab their attention. Give Them A Break - Your readers don\'t want to hear from you more often than their family. Throttle down your frequency to build anticipation. Say Hi Through Social Media - Invite your readers to interact with your brand through social media, but make sure that the content is unthreatening and never high pressure. Social Media is not Advertising Media. Keep It Seasonal - There\'s always some special occasion around the corner, and it is advantageous to flavor your emails with references to the day but without making the message seem corny or cheap. Avoid Triple Plays - $$$, ..., !!!, and ??? are email marketing poison. If you have to emphasize your content in this manner, it betrays a fundamental lack of overall creativity. Keep The Audio Relevant - Many computer users keep mp3s or internet radio playing during the times they read their emails, so if you have to include an audio file make sure that it really rocks! Skip the Muzak and synths, and hire a Top 40 Star to record a jingle. What\'s Your Name - Are your emails From: Info, or Order Dept., or Customer Service? Why aren\'t they from Brian, or Sally, or Iqbal? And why not go the extra step and associate your customer\'s surname with a contact name from their own national background?


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The Light At The End Of The Tunnel: It May Not Be A Train

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel: It May Not Be A Train

Beyond • January 18, 2010

There is no doubt that the recession has bottomed out and an uneasy and ragged recovery may be slowly gathering steam. However, there are a number of economists who remain convinced that this will be a double dip recession, and that the light at the end of the tunnel is indeed a train... ready to flatten recovery hopes like Wile E. Coyote. How will email marketing fare? The Greatest Ad Spending Decline Since The Depression The advertising spending statistics are coming in for 2009 and they are not pretty. According to TNS Media Intelligence, the amount spent on all forms of advertising last year dropped by 14.7%, while Interpublic Group\'s Magna estimates the drop at 16.1%. Whatever the exact statistic, it represents the single greatest percentage of advertising spending decline since the days of the Great Depression. Although some countries like the United Kingdom are already seeing an upswing in ad spending, the industry prognosticators are calling for a 2010 in the USA which will be either flat or down a bit more: 2.6% further decrease according to ZenithOptimedia, and 4.3% according to Group M. Online Advertising Will Soon Overtake Newspapers It is important to note that these statistics and forecasts involve advertising as a whole, incorporating newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, outdoor and cinema as well as online ad spending. When we break out the online factors we find that although the graph is as jagged as mountain range, the overall trend is upwards even through the most disastrous advertising year in nearly a century. ZenithOptimedia is calling for an overall online advertising growth of 9.5% in 2010, with paid online search ads zooming forwards at an enviable 15% rate. Although the internet was responsible for 12.9% of total ad expenditures in 2009, this percentage is expected to reach 16.2% in 2012, a total of over $77.5 billion. One of the most amazing trends is that by 2012, online advertising will roughly equal newspaper advertising which was long seen as the monolith in the ad business. Tremendous Growth In Online Advertising: 2008 to 2012 The growth of the various aspects of online advertising between 2008 and 2012 is definitely anticipated to be spectacular: Display: From $16.2 billion in 2008 to $24.4 billion in 2012 Classified: From $9.4 billion in 2008 to $12.3 billion in 2012 Paid Search: From $23.6 billion in 2008 to $40.8 billion in 2012 The Internet Is The Teflon Champion In The Recession Online advertising seems to have become the teflon champion in the advertising spectrum. While the long established traditional media crumble before our eyes, the economists\' gloom and doom seem to have no effect on the daily progress of the internet advertising industry. There is no doubt that the future belongs to internet advertising, and email marketing is a critical part of this vital online mix. Even the powerhouse internet advertising segments like paid search cannot compare with the individualization and personalization possible in email marketing. The Difference Between A Personal Letter & A Billboard An email can reach consumers in ways that banner ads never will. Consider it as the difference between a personal letter and a billboard. A personal letter is a message to an individual about items that are of specific interest to them, based on who they are and what they do, while a billboard is only meant to appeal to the lowest common denominator amidst the cars speeding by on the Interstate. That is why wise email marketers know that to thrive through even a double dip recession, personalization is the key to success. The more you can custom tailor your messages strictly to the individual, their likes, their dislikes, their interests and their passions, the more the light at the end of the tunnel will shine brightly with no train in sight.


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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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Running Windows Live Mail’s SmartScreen Gauntlet

Beyond • January 12, 2010

Microsoft\'s Windows Live Mail SmartScreen ratings are now being at least partially determined by a panel of actual users. If even a small number of these users perceive your email marketing message as spam, your entire program could be canned. There are ways, however, to improve your odds. A World-Class Cheat Many years ago when broadcast television was still a major force and Nielsen ratings alone determined the expenditure of billions of dollars, a Los Angeles television station got caught with its hand in the cookie jar. It seems that a particularly devilish programming director figured out the best way to boost his station\'s ratings was to air a special series of news reports during Sweeps Week: about Nielsen families! Of course the Nielsen families tuned in to watch reports about themselves and the station\'s ratings skyrocketed. Thumbs Up Or Down On Millions Of Messages Although the media world has changed since then, plus ça change... The practice of basing wide audience patterns on very small allegedly representative samplings is being still implemented today. Microsoft has set up their Windows Live Sender Reputation Panelists to classify over a quarter of a million email marketing messages per day as to whether they are junk or not. As in any focus group tyranny where a tiny statistical sampling has enormous ramifications, the future prospects of an entire organization end up being determined by a handful of anonymous average Joes, the mood they\'re in, and what side of the bed they got out of that morning. Joe\'s girlfriend dumped him last night? Your entire email marketing program gets dumped today. The System Can\'t Be Gamed. Right? Microsoft claims that this independent input into their SmartScreen ratings is not skewable and of course they\'re wrong. Software monoliths have always been at the mercy of the junior sized ankle biters who conduct devastating hit and run guerilla attacks against their \"unbreakables.\" Place yourself in the \"creative\" mindset of that L.A. program director and you\'ll come up with many ways to appeal to these \"impartial\" panelists, albeit in a black-hat and fully unethical manner. Legitimate Ways To Maximize Your Odds There are \"legitimate\" ways to if not outright game the panel, at least improve your chances of getting lovelorn Joe from dumping your whole program in the spam heap. Permission Reminding - Joe has a life (or did anyway) so he may not be immediately aware of how he opted-in, by an email subscription form, print or store response, etc. Your message should reinforce the fact that it is permissioned right up top and emphatically. Brand Recognition - Joe has to be aware of your brand, so make sure he can recognize it at a glance. Get around image suppression by featuring your brand name prominently even in the From and Subject line if you possibly can. Respect Joe - Keying your message to Joe\'s demographics and past behavior will build relevance into your thumbs up rate. Joe is less likely to toss your message if it refers to a service or product line he has already shown interest in, and if it is presented in a way that is respectful of his demographic and sensibilities. Screaming, flashing, dancing \"BUY NOW!!!\" exhortations will grease your slide to the spam can. Panelist Appeal Is Good Practice Anyway As it turns out the basic white-hat ways to help your messages pass through the SmartScreen gauntlet are the same ones that will ensure success for any email marketing program. Apply them across the board and you won\'t have to resort to black-hatting Microsoft\'s panel.


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Use Polls to Gather Visitor Feedback

Use Polls to Gather Visitor Feedback

Beyond • January 8, 2010

Benchmark Email’s Survey Poll feature provides a simple and effective way to create an online poll on your web site. Polls are important because they can provide a way for your web site visitors to share ideas and vote on topics of your choosing. Here\'s how your site will benefit: Customizable and Easy-to-Use Web Polls to gather feedback from web site visitors Track Poll Results in Real-time and quickly learn what people are thinking Get Instant Results to your polls and view historical reports from past polls Creating online polls is easy. Select the POLLS button under the Email tab and start creating your poll. You can define the question, answers and voting button. As you are building your poll, you will see a Preview of it on the right side making it easy to edit on the fly. You can define fonts, colors and borders all with a few clicks. Once you have finished, the system will create the code to paste on your website. It\'s that easy. You can check your real-time poll results in the Reports section. This powerful feature is already included in your Benchmark Email account and there is no additional fee. So Poll away!


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A Surprising Low-Tech Alternative To Video Emails

A Surprising Low-Tech Alternative To Video Emails

Beyond • January 4, 2010

Your customers have become accustomed to receiving instant online gratification, so when they open up your snazzy video email and it starts re-buffering, more than 4 out of 5 of them check out before the stream starts up again. However, from the dawn of the internet age (the prehistoric 9600 baud CompuServe to be exact) comes a remarkably suitable ol\' skool solution: Animated GIFs. Don\'t Let Megabytes Byte You Many broadband connections slow down drastically at various times of the day and online traffic jams can happen anywhere and anytime. The unpredictability of your email\'s video stream doesn\'t just impact the viewer. If half a million people all open your video email in the same hour, you\'ve effectively run a DOS attack on your own servers. Video Killed The Email-o Star Motion sells, and email marketers are not about to go back to the Still Age. Yet there is a way out of video bandwidth torment without resorting to static images... and it is the Animated GIF. What individual GIFs can do that other image formats like JPGs can\'t is to be loaded like a \"movie projector\" sequence in a browser or viewer, and in much smaller file sizes than most Flash or video. Animated GIFs is not a replacement for 30 frame per second video, but if you try to match your message to the medium you can derive some truly impressive results. What Animated GIFs Can Do Simple 2-D animations are best: a motion manga looks great Loop infinitely until the user clicks them off. Save you a ton of bandwidth: A properly optimized Animated GIF can be one tenth the file size of similar video. Never buffer or stall. Cost you a lot less to produce than sending a per diem video crew to the top of Mount Fuji. Embed anywhere without a border or player. What Animated GIFs Can\'t Do Play 3-D and live action. Provide truly smooth motion, fades, and morphs: You have to increase the frames per second rate to where the file size grows unacceptably. Be resized. It can only play once or loop: it does not provide any user controls. Animated GIF Tips Make sure the first and last frames contain the gist of your message. Although most browsers and email clients have no trouble with the format, a few will show only the start or end frame. Keep the animation at under 10 frames per second. You might think \"flip cards\" but if you structure the motion properly, that speed does not seem jerky at all. Keep it sparse. Animated GIFs don\'t share video\'s compression algorithms, so the less actual picture information you have on each image, the smaller the file size will be. Avoid backgrounds. Keeping an Animated GIF with a white background atop a white background is best. The motion will seem to come right off the page, and you\'ll save oodles of bandwidth. Dealing With Art Dept. Shock Your designer or agency might think you\'ve lost your marbles when you ask them for an Animated GIF, but remind them that the mighty Adobe Photoshop CS4 has a new and very powerful Animated GIF capability which is turning on a whole new generation of web artists. There is no need to frustrate your customers or blow up your servers in order to provide motion in your email. Experiment with Animated GIFs and you may find that it\'s the compromise solution you\'ve been looking for.


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Demographic Keying: A Scalpel, Not A Chainsaw

Demographic Keying: A Scalpel, Not A Chainsaw

Beyond • December 22, 2009

The average web user enters their birthday into forms hundreds or thousands of times, yet rarely do they receive a birthday card from a marketer. Email marketers should understand that demographically keyed email marketing should go far beyond even commemorating birthdays, but to derive as much leverage as possible from the standard and behavioral data collected from the customer. Some Demographics Are Diametrically Opposite If customer A is a 70 year old female and customer B is a 20 year old male, it is fairly evident that the only thing they share is the number of chromosomes. The interests, preferences, and even the attention span of the two customers is diametrically opposite. If an email marketer does not adequately differentiate between the two and \"batch & blasts\" them both, it is likely neither customer is going to respond as strongly as they should have, had the message been properly keyed to their demographic. Megan Fox vs. Pat Boone It is important to not look at demographic keying in a strictly superficial fashion. It\'s obvious that the products pitched should vary: A state of the art do-everything mobile phone for the young man and an ultra-basic mobile with extra large buttons for the older woman. However, leveraging demographic keying goes beyond the age-specificity of the product to the entire essence of the message. If you really want to grab the young male, have the email feature a celebrity endorsement by Megan Fox, but if you truly want the older woman to react positively, the celebrity should be Pat Boone. Focus On Your Customer\'s Teen Years Demographic Keying is a scalpel not a chainsaw. The stratification of age groups is much more finely grained than just: \"kids, teens, young adults, middle aged, senior citizens.\" A 60 year old man might get teary eyed if your email plays an audio file by The Association or Spanky & Our Gang, but might consider ABBA or Donna Summer a turnoff. It seems that many people \"pattern\" to what they were predominantly exposed to in their mid teens, so if you want to find the right hook for any age group, just check their birth years and add 16. Research what the prevailing trends were that year in culture, entertainment, and current events, then craft your email marketing program to incorporate those trends while honoring them. Properly keying in to some of these triggers present in society when your customer was 16 years old can drive response rates: Popular movies, TV shows & music Highly significant current events Styles: automotive, fashion, architectural Prominent foods & beverages Personalities, celebrities & athletes Crises, natural disasters, conflicts Don\'t Stereotype A fine balance must be achieved where the demographic is noted but not stereotyped. If the older female\'s message resembles a still from Leave It To Beaver, and the young male\'s looks like a frame from Avatar, the marketer has exaggerated. Not all 70 year old women attend quilting bees and not all 20 year old males go clubbing. Subtlety should be the key. The customer must believe that perhaps each of your customers are receiving the same email, and think \"oh look, this really suits me!\" Email marketing has to evolve from an equalizing steamroller to a nurturer of micro-markets. Recognizing and celebrating the demographic stratification present in your customer base is the first step towards implementing greater email marketing sensitivity.


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Using List Segments to Target your Audience

Using List Segments to Target your Audience

Beyond • December 22, 2009

Benchmark Email\'s List Segments is a powerful, easy to use feature that lets you zero in and directly connect with your desired audience. Segmenting your lists allows you to:   Extract a group of contacts based on any field in your Contact list (sign-up date, zip code, customer type, etc.). Improve response rates with relevant messages and offers. Styles: automotive, fashion, architectural Test offers, subject lines and messages to see which gets the best results before sending to your entire list. Mail smarter! You can decide how detailed (or not) you want to get. Let’s take a look at how it works: Under the Lists tab, click on Segments and Create New Segment. Then choose for which Contact List you want to create a Segment. (Your original list will remain unchanged.) You have two filter options to segment your list. Date Added You can filter contacts based on the date when a contact joins or is added to your list. Just select the condition from the drop down box and then enter the date range. Subscriber Field Any subscriber information from your Contact List (e.g. zip code, email, state or customer type) can be the basis for a segment. If you want to be super specific, you can identify up to 10 filters for a segment. There is no limit to the number of segments you can have. This powerful feature will help you be a better, smarter email marketer. And it’s already in included in your account. So Segment away!


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New Feature: Email to Multiple Lists in One Campaign

New Feature: Email to Multiple Lists in One Campaign

Beyond • December 16, 2009

We have great news for our Benchmark Email users who want to send to multiple lists at one time. In Step 2, when building your email, you now have the option to pick multiple lists by clicking on the check boxes. Our system will automatically remove duplicate email addresses. This is a big time saver for those users that have been sending the same message to multiple lists. Also, don\'t forget to check out our great holiday email templates.


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The Convergence Of Email With Social Marketing

The Convergence Of Email With Social Marketing

Beyond • December 15, 2009

The hot topic a few years ago was \"convergence\" of interactive mediums like the internet and passive audience mediums like television. Well, it seems that convergence has come and gone, and now online marketers have to face yet another convergence: this time one between conventional email marketing and social networking promotion. Email = Formal, Social Networking = Casual Social networking\'s growth may be considered inverse to that of email, as the 140 character twit gradually replaces many users\' formal inbox. However, the two paradigms will generally continue to co-exist and settle into more sustainable forms. Social networking will gravitate towards the more casual, sound-bite type of applications while email remains the formal long-form, comprehensive vector. Social Networking Adds Value To Email Marketing The primary reasons why a marketer should aspire to have their email converge with social networking is to take advantage of the value that the networks can bring to the success of your program. Personal endorsement: When your customers display your message in their own spaces, it constitutes a personal endorsement to their social circle. This is the 21st century equivalent of word of mouth, the perennially successful marketing process. Reader involvement: By encouraging interest in your brand within a social context, your message will be seen to be relevant and thus will be anticipated when it shows up in the inbox, making it far more likely to be acted upon. List Building: Attracting new participants to your email marketing program increases your email list by gradual accretion. Beating the SWYN Automaton Odds Much has been written about how SWYN (Share With Your Network) is replacing the far less successful FTAF (Forward To A Friend), yet it is not sufficient to simply toss in a few social network links at the bottom of an email. Your customers are not automatons who can be relied on pushing a SWYN button the statistical average of 1.75% of times received. The reader has to find the information compelling and relevant enough to be motivated to share it. What does the message contain that is shareable, not overall but to that specific individual and their social circle? Is a sportscar group going to be more interested in a special discount on a GPS system or on a dishwasher? Your message has to have exceptional merit to be deemed worthy of sharing. A daily barrage of $5 off this hard drive today replacing yesterday\'s sale of $5 off its stablemate will only desensitize the reader. In order to get excited enough to share an offer, your customer has to be wowed by it. Successful SWYN emails contain truly exclusive \"insider-only\" content and are measured in a frequency of months, not hours. Logic & Relevance Are The SWYN Keys The networks listed in a SWYN feature need also be made relevant. If your message regards a special discount on maternity wear, does it need to have a link to Digg, a site that deals in primarily technology and political news? The placement of the SWYN is important as well. Why line them all up like neglected little soldiers at the bottom of the email when they can be integrated in a logical and relevant fashion within the message itself? More than ever before, marketers have to walk a mile in their customers\' moccasins and embrace their individual motivations. Successful marketing historically began as a conversation, then became a \"one-to-everybody\" spot on Ed Sullivan or the SuperBowl, and now is back to being a conversation.


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Support Update: The Skype Conundrum

Support Update: The Skype Conundrum

Beyond • December 6, 2009

It\'s a wide array of digital tools that comprise our office toolbox, and Skype, a boon to estranged co-workers, is at the top of the pile. But if you\'ve noticed a bug with Skype\'s auto-fill function, rest easy; you\'re not alone. This one\'s a simple fix. The Problem A client, let\'s call him Bob, is creating an email list. When he gets to his customer\'s contact information, he wants to enter a telephone number. But as he types the number, the box automatically inserts a Skype contact option. This might not be so bad, except the number does not translate through his test emails. In fact, it just repeats the Skype multiple times, highlighted, with random characters appearing next to the phone numbers like some sort of hieroglyphic train wreck. Obviously, Bob (and the rest of us) would like to enter contact numbers without this hassle. The Fix I have good news and bad news. The good news is, this isn\'t a Benchmark malfunction. The bad news: you need to reinstall Skype. Originally, there was a check box choice when Skype was downloaded that could prevent this issue. But the problem can easily be solved by following the instructions below. Step 1 Uninstall Skype. Once you\'ve gone through that process, reinstall it, and uncheck the Google boxes. Step 2 Continue the download. Step 3 Once you\'ve downloaded Skype, go to your Skype Options and click on the Advanced Settings tab. There is now an option to remove Skype highlighting for phone numbers. Just uncheck the box that says \"Use Skype to call callto: links on the web.\" Skype should no longer automatically insert the numbers and you, and Bob, are back in action.


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Email Marketing for Black Friday

Email Marketing for Black Friday

Beyond • November 25, 2009

Black Friday marks the zenith of the year\'s email marketing, and many customers are barraged by countless offers in their inboxes. In order to stand out from the crowd, the savvy email marketer has to ensure that their Black Friday campaign is both innovative and effective. Retailers Hope To Salvage A Slow 2009 In this economy the opportunity to purchase products at deep discounts is the impetus for countless thousands of consumers to line up for hours before a store\'s opening, or to wait patiently at their computers for midnight on Black Friday in order to jump on the outrageous deals being offered. By strongly promoting deeply slashed loss leader products retailers hope to draw customers and pray that they can be redirected to another product with a better margin. With both WalMart and Target selling 32\" flatscreens for an unprecedented price below $250, this Black Friday is shaping up to be the most competitive ever. Quality Trumps Quantity The primary error many email marketers make during the holiday season is that they drastically increase the frequency of their sending. Although this strategy can yield limited short term results, it also leads unsubscribing consumers. In order to differentiate your email from the rest of the Black Friday avalanche, a quality email which is fully relevant to that particular consumer based on their previous purchases and preferences will draw a much greater response than the usual generic coupon. Many consumers dread facing the elbowing and jostling of stores on Black Friday, so they prefer to shop from the comfort of their home computer. Providing these individuals with special Web-only offers keyed to their previous behavior is an effective way to yield positive results. People usually review their inboxes while eating lunch at their desk, so email marketers prefer to schedule their emails to be delivered at that time. Any Black Friday emails which are set to be delivered on Thanksgiving should be instead be scheduled for early morning or late evening, as most people will be engaged in holiday at other times on Thursday. Almost 70% Of Your Emails Arrive Image-Less Many marketers\' emails show up in inboxes as nothing more than a pile of little red Xs, as over two-thirds of all ISPs have their email defaults set to block all images. Ensure your email is comprehensible with and without the images being viewed so that your essential message will still be communicated. All relevant text should be in HTML headings and body Before approving the email make sure to see it image-less Ensure each image tag is clearly labelled Link Your Email To Real-Time Inventory Since marketing efforts on Black Friday focus on the availability of Door Crashers, many emails push items that are already sold out by the time the customer reads them. Link the email to a real time updated promotion residing on your website, so when you\'ve sold out of iWidgets you can push the iThingies you still have in stock. Black Friday emails are overwhelmingly promotional, so stand out by limiting your pitch copy to no more than one quarter of the email, leaving the balance for content that engages the reader, such as quizzes, polls, and quirky editorial content. Urologists use code words when they exchange email as any of the phrases used by erectile dysfunction marketers automatically trigger spam filters. Never use any of the common phrases in your HTML that will provoke a one way trip to the Junk Box. Apply these email techniques and your results from Black Friday will translate into a Rosy Monday bank balance.


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How Email Marketing Will Evolve In 2010

How Email Marketing Will Evolve In 2010

Beyond • November 24, 2009

The trends we likely will see in the 2010 will include an increase in catering to the swiftly changing choices of individuals who can determine where, when, and how they read messages. With the continuing proliferation of computer-cell phone crossovers, the traditional paradigm of the \"computer user reading email\" will apply less and less in the future. Capturing A Fleeting Consumer 2010\'s consumer is on the go, and the email marketer must keep up with their changing lifestyles. The savvy email marketer of 2010 will provide a selection of information channels such as RSS feeds which the customer can select, or better yet, are pre-selected for them based on their individual preferences. The customer of 2010 demands relevance, thus the \"batch & blast\" and \"spray & pray\" techniques of the past will become totally extinct. Enabling the customer to shape and manage the incoming communication is a key point to this relevance. Quality will continue to trump quantity, and email marketers who are able to comprehend lifecycle and trigger behaviors will benefit greatly. Your Customer Is Your Friend, Not Your Target It will be ever more important to build consumer trust through total transparency and provide for their opt-in preferences. Once they are welcomed, then expectations must be fulfilled, and keep updating to fit their requirements. If the relationship sours, there should be valid alternatives to unsubscribing, again in order to suit the client. As many as 7 out of 10 individuals are long term opportunities, so the commitment to providing customized information in 2010 and beyond must be for the long haul. Drip campaigns can produce a three fold greater CTR, thus will become one of the primary B2B vectors in 2010. Say It In 140 Characters 2010 has been touted by some as the year that email will evolve into a multitude of innovative forms, overtaken by the explosion in communications channel choices and preferences such as: mobile applications & SMS webinars, webcasts & podcasts RSS feeds social networks ...and of course Twitter. The Twitter phenomenon is extremely important in the development of any email marketing campaign in 2010, as the generation which has been brought up on texting is about to enter the workforce: bringing with them their terse, dense, short word blasts, or Tweets. Providing a successful marketing message in 140 characters or less will prove to be the great art of 2010. A 2010 Viral Email Pandemic Given that more than 50% of the entire human race has a text-capable mobile telephone, the potential for this medium dwarfs the conventional \"email on a PC\" market. Therefore, the email marketer of 2010 must provide messages which render properly on full browsers, mobile browsers, and the basic text screens of the low-end cellulars. A pandemic of viral emails can be expected in 2010 as email marketers must develop new ways to encourage their recipients to pass along to family, friends, and their \"extended family\" in social networks. It will be increasingly important to ensure that these messages can be customized by the \"pass-alonger\" by providing capabilities to have endorsements or comments added. The basics of proper email marketing will become even more important in 2010, thus behavior-based customization of messages; creative low pressure subject lines; clear, display-flexible, user-focused email design; and genuine personality bordering on hip quirkiness, will be the keys to success in 2010 and beyond.


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Holiday Email Marketing Strategy Made Easy

Beyond • November 16, 2009

The time has come for you to start working on your holiday strategy! Most successfulholiday marketing takes place in advance of the holiday season. Usually holiday marketing begins gently towards the end of July and gathers momentum by the start of October. November and December see the maximum volume of holiday marketing. When it comes to the strategy behind holiday email marketing, remember that the foundation of this strategy is based on relevancy and frequency. You need to ensure that you provide your customers with relevant offers that interest them on an often enough basis. Target your customers effectively. Analyze the previous purchasing behavior of your customers and inform them of related offers and schemes. So plan your holiday email marketing now and take a look at some simple steps to get your strategy in place! 1. Identify products The first step for your strategy would be to identify and decide upon the products that you want to promote this year. Then decide on the months that they will be promoted on. 2. Define offers and time frames Your promotional offers need to be defined, following which the time frames for them need to be fixed. Get your best offers out in the open way in advance of the holiday season. This allows customers to avail of these offers before they have spent their budgets. 3. Segment your list Use list segmentation as frequently as you can. Track your preference center, read and click rates and analyze past purchases to effectively target your audience. 4. Plot your calendar Your deployment calendar must be planned in a smart way. Study the best and worst performers of your previous campaigns and adapt your strategy accordingly. Follow what worked best the last time and stick to the dates scheduled in your calendar. 5. Effectively design your creative Your creative should be designed in a way that generates the best performance possible. Place your CTA above the fold as well as in the pre-header. This successfully informs people about the content in your email. These five simple steps are sure to get you on the right track with regards to your holiday email marketing strategy. Need a branding facelift? Check out our new holiday email templates.


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