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Holiday Email Marketing Strategies

Holiday Email Marketing Strategies

Beyond • September 8, 2009

The holiday season is a great time to step up your email marketing efforts and tighten the loyalty strings of all your subscribers. So make sure you don’t miss out on the perfect opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your subscribers - follow our great holiday email marketing tips and leave your competitors holding onto their empty stockings! Tip 1: The early bird gets the worm The prelude to the holiday season marks the start of festive excitement. With chilly weather comes the desire to make wish lists and buy presents. It is no coincidence that the start of holiday weather also marks the start of decorations, flyers and other prequels to the approaching holiday season. By promoting your goods for the upcoming holiday in advance, you get the chance to reach out to customers when they have the time, money and motivation to buy from you. This is the period where you can get the most out of shoppers, so be sure to cash in on this early bird opportunity. Tip 2: Avoid the urge to overmail In today’s age of extreme competition it is easy to see why you would want to send constant and frequent holiday emails. After all, you don’t want to chance getting left behind. However, it would be wise to remember that it is human tendency to shy away from anything that seems too eager and goes in for a hard sell. Frequent holiday emails will most likely be followed by a quick unsubscribe and an even quicker spam complaint. So if you want to keep your subscribers, make sure you don’t irritate them with too many emails. Tip 3: Cash in on vouchers, gift cards and certificates Offering vouchers and gift cards may seem like small sales but they add up to a good tenth of all holiday expenditure. Also, purchases of gift cards and certificates tend to be exchanged and returned much less frequently than actual products. Another good thing about such gifts is that they appeal to a whole segment of subscribers - your last minute shoppers! Vouchers are the perfect gift for those who have waited till the last second to buy something; with a gift certificate these shoppers are able to hand something to their loved ones even at the last moment. Tip 4: Contribute to a charity Tap into the holiday spirit and contribute towards a charity. You can inform your subscribers that a percentage of your sales will go towards this charitable organization and provide them with details regarding this donation in your emails. Donating towards a good cause has a two fold effect; it lets you contribute towards a worthy cause and also draws in consumers as it appeals to their holiday spirit. Tip 5: Analyze your previous results and plan accordingly Take a look at your strategies and results for the previous years. It would also be helpful to make a note of your competitors’ past strategies and how these worked for them. You can then plan out your strategy and goals for the upcoming festive season, based on the successes and failures of the past. Factors that you can focus on here would be the type and frequency of communication, the success of your template design and ways to ensure that your campaign is ready to be launched in time. Tip 6: Send surveys to discover preferences Surveys are a great way to discover consumer preferences and interests. Once you discover where their interests lie you will be able to target your subscribers with effective email messages that are sure to get you great results. You can even request your subscribers to provide you with customer reviews and feedback. Surveys and feedback provide you with answers to important questions such as what your subscribers are most keen to hear about, do they want to carry out their holiday shopping with you and how often do they expect you to send them holiday email marketing messages. This helps to draw a framework on which your marketing strategy can be built. Tip 7: Plan your email marketing strategy Planning your strategy would include profiling your subscribers and coming up with marketing messages that would appeal best to each segment group. Once you decide what to say, you should come up with a plan on when to say it and how frequently. Make time for messages of appreciation and decide the optimum time to introduce new gifts, upcoming sales and important countdowns. A good idea would be to get hold of a calendar and plot the dates on which you plan to send introductory and follow up emails. Tip 8: Test till you know what works best Testing your holiday email messages is an important way to realize what works best for you. By testing your emails you can fine tune your campaign and hit upon a winning formula for success. Testing allows you to tweak your messages so each delivery makes the maximum impact. It also gives you keen insight into how you can make an impression on your subscribers. It allows you to come up with the most impressive template design and discover the optimum time to start your campaign. Testing lets you reach out to your subscribers in unique yet extremely effective ways that appeal to them (one great way to reach them is through contests and free gifts). Testing also provides you with important statistics such as your bounce and conversion rate. This allows you to keep track of your progress and helps you adjust your deliveries to maximize your results. Tip 9: Continue with your campaign post holiday season The end of the holiday season doesn’t mean the end of your email marketing. On the contrary, this is the best time to tie up your holiday loose ends and draw customers back into your shop for post holiday shopping! This period is perfect for pushing voucher redemptions, cross selling goods and even marketing product upgrades. You can also use this time to make a note of the highs and lows of your overall performance and learn from your experience. The holiday season is a time of festivity, goodwill and joyous shopping! Everyone has something they would like to buy - it is YOUR job to sell it to them! Can you think of any more simple tips to boost holiday profits? Do let us know! In the meantime , check out our new holiday email templates


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6 Mobile Marketing Layout Tips for Your PTA Newsletter

Beyond • September 7, 2009

Last week we covered designing your PTA email newsletter for laptops and computers. Today we’ll break down the best way to design for mobile devices and smartphones. Many parents and teachers are pressed for time and, like many of us, are utilizing their smartphones on the go. If not already, your PTA newsletter must start to adopt a mobile-friendly layout and design to appeal to the increasing amount of mobile users. A mobile layout should be aesthetically pleasing but, more importantly, needs to effectively provide content to subscribers. 1. Strengthen the Subject Line The word count on headlines crafted for mobile viewing are constructed with less words, specifically for the purposes of faster consumption. Often, they come out to less than five words but still convey an accurate sense of what the content is about without compromising accountability. Keep in mind that with the confined parameters given in mobile emails, you have that much less of an opportunity to use wordplay as a way to seduce readers. Make sure each word serves a specific purpose, is attractive to readers and stays on point. 2. Clear Intent The same guidelines as those of the subject line apply to the bulk of your content in the columns of the newsletter. Mobile devices are often used on the go and smaller screen sizes make readers spend less time actually taking in the content. Make your intentions clear right from the beginning and place them where they will get noticed immediately. 3. Plain Text Version Start to include plain text copies of every HTML message you send for those subscribers with mobile readers that don’t support HTML. This will eliminate any potential issues your subscribers may have with the new design. 4. Space Out Links Keep the links in your email newsletter spaced out to make it easier for readers to click. Imagine the frustration of subscribers who try again and again to press a link on their tiny mobile devices. Organize links without clutter to ensure that subscribers can click them with ease, then go the extra mile by making sure your links direct to a mobile-friendly page. By now, many content managers offer mobile displays that automatically turn on when they detect a smart phone browser - so half the job is already done. All you have to do is check! 5. Double Check Different Devices Do some research ahead of time to find out what your newsletter will look like on all the popular mobile devices. For instance, a message that’s clear on an iPhone doesn’t always look the same on a Blackberry and vice versa. This may mean adjusting contrasts between the background and font or simply providing the option for subscribers to “view online” if their phone won’t display your newsletter correctly. 6. Tag Your Images If your newsletter includes images, make sure you include an alternative tag to describe what the image is. (You should be doing this for any HTML content you create - mobile readers aren’t the only users who may not be able to see your images.) Do not stuff the tag full of keywords! Use it for what it was meant for: to briefly describe what the image is in a way that lets your reader make sense of it when the image isn’t visible. Many devices can display your images correctly, but not all of them will, so it’s smart to use alternative texts to make sure every reader gets the message that the image was supposed to convey. For parents on the go and teachers with overcrowded classrooms, it seems the use of mobile emailing is gaining more and more users. The real challenge is designing emails that are visually pleasing without compromising functionality.


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Celebrate Grandparents Day with an Email Marketing Template

Beyond • September 6, 2009

Most of my redeeming qualities come from my grandmothers. They taught me manners and how to treat people. My love of good food stems from the incredible feasts they would prepare for my entire family on the holidays or just because it was a day of the week that ended in y. I’ve lost both of my grandfathers and it has made the relationship with my grandmothers that much more important. I still talk to them both weekly, if not more often. My decent fashion sense (some of my coworkers may laugh due to my standard work uniform of jeans and a t-shirt, but I promise I clean up nicely) comes from my Grandma Lorraine. To this day she still picks out all my clothes when we go shopping together. I also talk sports with her all of the time. During the Bulls dynasty in the 90s, she went all the time with her neighbor who has 3rd row center court season tickets. We suffered through the years after the Bulls championships together when they were one of the worst teams in basketball and rejoiced in their recent resurgence. She means the world to me and she’s still the first person I call when I have good news. My Grandma Charlene is equally important. She is responsible for culturing me. Growing up, she and my grandfather would take me to museums, the zoo and the aquarium. They wanted me to explore the world, sample the cuisines, see the art. After my grandfather passed away when I was in college, she continued with those desires. We’ve traveled at every opportunity she could get. She took me to Hawaii for graduating from college. September 11 is National Grandparents Day (yes, this date is important for other reasons, too). I’m sure many of you feel as strongly as I do about your grandparents. Even if they have passed. Send an email campaign for National Grandparents Day and warm the hearts of your subscribers. Honor your grandparents in a way they deserve. If they’ve done for you what mine have for me, they’ve more than earned it. Benchmark has email newsletter templates for any occasion, and you can check them out by following the link to our custom newsletter page.


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Online Marketing & Branding: How to Market Your White Paper

Beyond • September 1, 2009

A white paper is a wonderful marketing tool that’s perfect for any industry that doesn’t have a web savvy audience/client list. But they can be tricky. In my experience, people who write them tend to be in-the-box thinkers or experts in their field that know nothing about marketing. Unfortunately, their white paper also gets treated that way. Instead of treating your white paper like a document, treat it like a product. Try these tips on for size and let me know how it worked out for you and your company! Social Media Buzz – PR rule number 1 is that you should always create a buzz starting with your own pool of contacts. If you have a white paper, use all social media outlets to plug your paper. Your best bet is to create customized Facebook landing page. Facebook Markup Language (FBML) is a free app that you attach to your fan page. You can post HTML code into it so that when someone goes to your FB page they get directed to an introduction and (the opportunity) to sign up for your white paper before they’re shuffling through your wall. Syndication – You can also syndicate your white paper on hot syndication sites. Try out some of the following: Find White Papers, IndustryWeek, KnowledgeStorm, NetLine’s TradePub, RetailWire, TechTarget. I also recommend checking out Michael Stelzner’s Writing White Papers. It was gifted to me a few years ago and I’ve used it several times while writing my own white papers. It’s a great easy-to-read guide that doesn’t treat its reader like an idiot – as is often the case with guide books. Where to Distribute – Connect with media outlets, journalists and bloggers/blogs that cover your white paper topic. Offer it to them as a source and introduce yourself and your business. Even if they don’t use your paper, they know a good white paper takes serious know how and experience; they will either use your paper down the road by sharing it with others or quoting you, or at the very least you’ll have opened the door to developing a positive relationship with a valuable contact. Tweak Your Message – If your white paper can answer a few questions or address different audiences, then share your document with different industries and pools of people. Be sure to include a detailed cover letter introducing the problem and how your paper offers a niche solution. Set It Apart – Your white paper should have a prominent place on your web page. Ideally it should have its own call to action/marketing landing page that readers can arrive upon when clicking on the link. From there your white paper should be embedded as a downloadable PDF. You should also have your tech guy require users to submit their email, website, name and phone number so you can track your new audience, follow up with them and add them to your mailing list (upon approval of course). Be the Expert You Claim You Are – Marketing your white paper sometimes takes that extra step. Despite your best efforts, you may have to go the extra mile and offer publications your expert opinion with byline articles. Byline articles let you share your experience and use the publication to reach a new audience that you may otherwise have never reached. It’s a valuable and under utilized marketing tool. Never underestimate a good white paper. Some companies have easily reaped tens to hundreds of thousand of dollars from clients who sourced them through their white paper.


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8 simple and effective email marketing tips

8 simple and effective email marketing tips

Beyond • August 28, 2009

Email marketing can lead to phenomenal results – provided you follow some basic rules when you run your email marketing campaign. If you are interested in carrying out successful email marketing, read ahead! Avoid the mistakes made by most email marketers and take a look at these simple and effective email marketing tips! Take a look at some of the trouble you are headed for: Tip 1: Provide a clear call to action A lot of times email marketers get so caught up in making their newsletters and marketing messages look attractive and compelling that they lose sight of their goal. They end up creating a beautifully designed marketing message that conveys absolutely nothing. The reader notices its aesthetic beauty and feels inspired to so something – but unfortunately there is absolutely no call to action! The marketing newsletter or message fails to guide the reader in terms of what the reader is supposed to do. Should the reader click on something? Should he follow a particular link? Where should he place his order? These are all important questions that need to be answered right at the start of the message. The focal point of an email marketing message is that it should spell out clearly what the reader of the message is meant to do, and how the reader should do it. It is also important that readers are made aware of what they will gain when they click through. This can be explained as simply as placing a ‘click here for 35% off on your next purchase’ link. Tip 2: Give the preview pane due importance MS Outlook and other huge email clients provide readers with a preview of the email that has been selected in their inbox. The preview pane shows the reader the extreme top of your email message. For this reason it is vital that the top part of your email is exciting, interesting, attention grabbing and successfully induces the recipient to read further. Tip 3: Benefit from the power of personalization Personalization is one of the simplest tools for increasing your reading and click thru rates. Think of it this way; if you were out in public somewhere and you heard someone shouting, “Hey, You!” would you bother to turn around and acknowledge the shouter? No, you wouldn’t. However, if that person shouted, “Hey, (your name)!” you would certainly turn around as you would think the person calling out your name knows you. This principle holds true when it comes to emails. It has been seen that simply starting an email with the reader’s name can increase reading and click-thru rates significantly. So, benefit from this fact and always personalize your emails. Tip 4: Place sign-up boxes on each page of your website One of the easiest ways to increase your list is to get more people to sign up for your newsletter. This may sound like a case of easier said than done, but if you have a website, this goal really is very easy to achieve. All you have to do is ensure that you place a sign-up box on each and every page of your website, instead of just on your homepage. The reason for this is that not everyone accesses your website from your homepage; a lot of people happen to come across a random page of your website and may not know what or where your homepage is. Such people should be able to easily sign-up regardless of which page of your website they are on. You should also see to it that the sign-up process is short and extremely simple; this motivates visitors to sign-up faster. Tip 5: Provide people with an incentive to sign up People are reluctant to sign up for newsletters as this involves giving away their email address. Nobody wants to be a victim of spam and people prefer to be cautious and protect their email addresses by simply not signing up. Your job is to motivate such people to part with their address by providing them with an excellent newsletter as well as a little extra something - a bonus. White papers and detailed case studies for those who have already subscribed are great bonuses. New subscribers can be temped with a special newsletter edition or a humorous Winamp skin. These are just suggestions; there are plenty of other options when it comes to offering a bonus. However, it is important to keep in mind that whatever the bonus is, it should be relevant to your newsletter. Tip 6: Send at least a monthly newsletter An email is a passing phenomenon. It is something that needs to be constantly conveyed to its readers on a fairly frequent basis. Failure to send your newsletter often enough will result in disaster; your subscribers could easily forget you, you could lose your readers to your competitors and your emails may be considered spam. Tip 7: Always send newsletters on time It is important that your newsletter is always punctual. It is not enough that you send a weekly newsletter once a week or a monthly newsletter once a month. You need to ensure that it goes out on the right day at the right time. Let’s say you have a weekly newsletter that you sent out on Friday at 4 p.m. You need to ensure that your newsletter reaches your recipients inbox every week, on Friday and at 4 p.m. This will prove to your readers that you can be trusted. Tip 8: Place your email signature everywhere It does not matter who you are sending your email to; what matters is that your website URL as well as your email address is an inseparable part of your signature and makes its presence in every single one of your emails. Providing these details in your email signature is instant advertising and effectively lets all those who get your emails know that you are online – they let people know that you exist.If you pay attention to these tips, you are sure to get better results for your email marketing efforts. So make sure you put these tips into practice when you embark on your email marketing journey!


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Email Marketing: Avoid Sending to an Old Email List

Email Marketing: Avoid Sending to an Old Email List

Beyond • August 28, 2009

It is very common for companies to slowly and steadily gather email addresses on their websites from the very first day. The problem here is they are so busy collecting these addresses that they fail to use them. The reasons for not contacting those email addresses immediately could range from companies not knowing how to send marketing messages to not having the time to contact their addresses. Whatever the reason, these companies tend to hold on to their collection and do nothing - till one fine day, a year or more later. At some point in the future these companies suddenly wake up and decide to inaugurate their massive collection of addresses, compiled lovingly through the years. Unfortunately, when they start emailing their list they do not get back very loving replies. Why? Because the email addresses, and the permission that was given with them, has an expiry period. After holding on to addresses for more than 12 months and doing nothing, you no longer have the right to send these addresses your campaign newsletters. If you do suddenly blast them with newsletters – you are heading for some serious trouble. Take a look at some of the trouble you are headed for: You will get accused of sending spam Your customers visited your store, bought something and left. Some of them signed up to your email list. Now 12 months later you set up a brilliant email marketing system and send them sudden and frequent newsletters. Will they be happy to receive your numerous newsletters? Would they remember ever visiting your store? The answer to both is No. The recipients of your newsletters would in all likelihood wonder who you are and how you got their email address, and then complain that you are sending them spam. This is also the right path to getting blacklisted. Your mails will rapidly bounce back When you send newsletters to email addresses that are more than 12 months old you will notice that a lot of your mails come bouncing back. There are a lot of reasons for this: The email address may no longer exist: When this happens you should remove the address from your list. Unfortunately, if too many messages bounce you may not have the time to rectify your list as your Internet service provider may think you are sending spam and take action. To remain above the blacklist radar you need to ensure that you do not exceed a bounce rate of 10%. The address has been redirected: This could happen when a person switches jobs, or when an account is cancelled. In either case, there is a good chance that someone new will receive your newsletter. This new person has no idea that the person the newsletter was intended for had subscribed to it; this person will therefore complain that the newsletter is spam. The address has become a spam trap: Addresses that are very old are sometimes turned into spam traps. These are dangerous as sending marketing mails to these addresses have a huge adverse affect on deliverability and result in making your email service provider quite irritated. You may get blacklisted After being accused of sending spam and having your emails bounce back you now discover that you have been blacklisted by all the big Internet service providers (ISPs). This is due to a combination of people forgetting that they had signed up for your newsletter, people changing their email addresses and you walking into spam traps. Most of these issues may not be your fault, but the end result is that your mails have been bouncing and people have been making spam complaints. To your ISPs, you are using a list that is old, dirty or has been bought. This leads to your ISPs blocking you which in turn leads to your email service provider shutting down your account. So the basic fact is, if you want to save yourself the head ache of going through all these issues, make sure you clean your list regularly and remove all old and outdated email addresses. If you must use email addresses that are older than 12 months, make sure you re-introduce yourself and remind the recipient how you got their email address. You can also ask them to either sign up again, or you can ask them to use the unsubscribe link in your very first mail, if they are no longer interested. This helps getting rid of those addresses that can cause you problems later on.


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Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Beyond • August 22, 2009

Email marketing, if carried out in the right way, is extremely economical and can provide you with some spectacular results. Best email marketing results require a moral, and extensively detailed plan to be in place. Setting this plan in place usually takes up a substantial amount of thought and energy; this is something a lot of email marketers fail to give consideration to. To avoid making typical beginner mistakes, take a look at our list of common email marketing mistakes. 1. Marketing without permission Sending emails without the explicit permission of your recipients makes you a spam sender. This is illegal and is an excellent way to destroy your reputation. There are a lot of email marketers out there who take the easy and wrong way out; they purchase email lists, or create lists unethically by compiling them from the Internet. The first step for you as an email marketer is to gather permission from your customers. This step should be carried out before you start pumping in money and effort in your marketing endeavour. Getting permission is not all that difficult and goes a long way in reducing your spam complaints and legal issues, increasing deliverability and vastly improving your open and click through rates. For tips on increasing your list, click here. 2. Ineffective List Creation Your email list is critical for successfully managing your email campaign. In fact, your list is so important that it is what determines the success or failure of your campaign. True, it is not always the easiest thing to choose the perfect list. However, there are a number of tried and tested techniques that should work well for you. At the same time, there are certain common mistakes that are made frequently by email marketers and should be avoided at all costs. For instance, using outdated email lists that have been collecting dust for over a year will provide you with nothing but inactive emails. Similarly, renting shady lists will simply result in you illegally sending out spam mails; this could lead to you getting caught as a spammer and you would then have to pay the consequences. Another common mistake is bringing back to life inactive house lists; this is another sure fire way to be labelled a spammer. Avoid these mistakes at all costs. 3. Bad subject lines As an email marketer, your goal is to get your recipients to not only open your email but also to read its content. Your subject line plays a huge role in making this goal a reality. Unfortunately, many email marketers fail to see the correlation between an effective subject line and a great response rate. Many times the subject line is a last minute effort and at times it is even left as an empty field. It is not a question of filling in the subject line; your heading must be relevant, effective and something that grabs the attention of the recipient. Your subject line must give the recipient a feel for the content of your email. Keep your heading simple and honest; avoid trying to hard sell your email with subjects such as “Huge Discount”. 4. Going for one time sales rather than relationships The mistake here is that email marketers tend to use email explosions to carry out their campaigns. Launching emails at unknown recipients is a complete waste of effort. What must be understood is that a successful email campaign is one that is targeted at the right people and slowly but surely builds a long term relationship. Sending out emails to random people is about as subtle as throwing a bomb; all you will be left with is a destruction zone. You need to work on those people who have given you the green flag in terms of permission; these people want to read what you send them, are interested in providing you feedback and are a good investment in terms of time and effort as they have the potential to become long lasting relationships. So don’t bomb your recipients; build them up. 5. Failing to test your campaign Unfortunately a lot of email marketers realise too late that their marketing strategy could have been vastly improved upon before launching it full scale. This is because they tend to launch their campaigns without any prior testing. The result? Absolutely no response. This is a shame especially since email newsletters are such a prime method of testing different options. Try out different subjects; change your content around, experiment with images and pictures and test them all out on a sample group. Once you see what combination gets the best result, that’s when you should start sending your emails out to your entire email list.


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Using a website Poll to build traffic

Using a website Poll to build traffic

Beyond • August 22, 2009

There are a number of effective ways to stir up traffic on a website. Some of the most frequently used methods include creating a contention, a heated debate or starting a discussion on issues. The underlying factor of all these methods revolves around emotion. This does not mean that websites need to post insulting or vulgar content on their sites; the aim here is to invoke visitors’ interest, inform them about new and interesting thoughts and opinions and draw them into the discussion that is taking part on your site by playing on their genuine interest. 1. So when it comes to polls, what type of questions should you ask? The best type of question to ask is those that do not have a right or wrong answer. These are perfect for starting interesting and intense debates which will draw in a lot of different opinions, views and thoughts. Such questions are great for starting continuing discussions as they are open to all types of interpretation. You can also provide your visitors with a specific scenario and then ask them what they would do in such a situation. Such questions are great for generating a full scale debate. 2. Let your visitors take the reins Give your visitors the lead when it comes to your website. Website polls are a superb way to get their opinions on what their preferences are when it comes to blog posts, pictures, videos or even exciting challenges. Avoid open ended questions; provide your visitors with a variety of alternatives that they can select from. Try and make your options as fascinating and out of the box as possible; uniqueness draws a lot more attention than normal boring options! 3. Use polls to test products It is not an easy or inexpensive task to test how well your product will sell. However with polls you can benefit by asking your visitors targeted and explicit questions as well as questions designed to give you important feedback. This will give you a good idea of what they expect from your product and will help to significantly lower your risk. Asking visitors questions like would they would prefer a pink umbrella to a purple one gives you valuable information when it comes to selling your product. Once the basic questions have been answered you can evaluate your feedback and create more defined questions. The answers to your questions can then be tested in other ways to ascertain their accuracy; the final feedback can then be used. 4. Follow up on your poll Always let your visitors know what’s going on with your poll. If you have placed a debatable question on your poll, ensure that you place a sensible and intriguing comment that responds to it within a short span of time. Similarly, if you asked your visitors for feedback with regards to a particular product, be sure to inform them about the results of their feedback and how you are going to use their responses. Whatever contributions your visitors have made in terms of answers, feedback and opinions, you need to let them know the effect that their responses have had. This helps your visitors feel like they are a part of your experience and makes them feel like they have a bond with you and your website. 5. Start your own poll now! Don’t take our word for it. Create a poll for yourself and watch it take off! Our website poll is: Free! Can be created in minutes! Requires no coding or installation! It’s extremely easy to use and is absolutely worth a shot! So try it out now!


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20 New HTML Email Templates

20 New HTML Email Templates

Beyond • August 14, 2009

At Benchmark, we do not believe in staying idle. Constantly creating, improving and adding to our already vast range of HTML Email Templates is our mission. When it comes to existing templates we continuously re-design and improve on them. At the same time we strive to create new and innovative templates that satisfy your growing requirements! So take a look at our latest range of HTML Email Templates! Here are a few samples from our latest batch: Email Newsletters: Our Email Newsletters have been specially designed to fulfill all your marketing needs! Take a look at our innovative templates such as Wavy, Customer Win-Back, Webinar and Vibrant. View all Newsletter Templates Seasonal Email Templates: At Benchmark we are proud to say that we have a template for every season! Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter - we have the perfect Seasonal Email Template to satisfy your requirements! View all Seasonal Email Templates Travel Newsletters: Are you looking for templates specially created with travel in mind? Are you interested in newsletters that cater to tour promotions and more? Try out our Travel Newsletters! They are sure to be a perfect fit for your travel needs! View all Travel Newsletters Templates In keeping with the Benchmark mission, our highly skilled design team will be devoting all its time and efforts towards a full fledged effort to update our templates on a frequent basis. Don’t miss out on our latest templates – stay tuned to the gallery template to find out what’s new! If you have any particular template requirement do let us know! We welcome any suggestion for future templates – just contact us at support@benchmarkemail.com.


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Writing Compelling Email Marketing Copy

Writing Compelling Email Marketing Copy

Beyond • August 10, 2009

Coming up with effective email marketing copy can be a frustrating experience. The formula that sells is a blend of getting your readers to understand your offer and giving them a clear way to get back to you. To successfully create the perfect formula, here are some tried and tested tips you should be aware of before you begin writing copy! 1 Picture your audience Always keep your target audience in mind. Give your audience a bit of background; picture how they spend their day, what’s important to them, their age, what they have bought from you and their reasons for doing so. This makes your copy relevant and targeted. 2. Follow an objective When you have an objective in mind, you can provide your readers with a clear view about your offers. Your objective should come across casually but firmly and not seem overly formal. Write about your products and services the way you would speak about it with a friend. 3. Explain the benefits One of the most important tips for writing great copy is to highlight the benefits of your offerings. Enlist all the ways in which your offer benefits readers and ensure these advantages stand out in your copy. Your readers are spending precious time to read what you have to say; you have to let them know that it is worth their while. 4. Use subheads and bullets Nobody is interested in reading a page long sermon about what you have to offer. Get to the point, and get there fast. Subheads are a great way to make readers focus on important details. Bullets allow readers to get a quick idea of what you are selling. With subheads and bullets, readers are able to quickly get an idea of what you are talking about by simply glancing at your marketing copy. 5. Use effective Subject Line Pay attention to your subject lines and your headlines. Make sure your subject line communicates your email message precisely. Keep it short and sweet. Ensure your headline is a real attention grabber. Remember, your heading is what compels your reader to read further. Tip: create your subject line and heading after you have finished your email body for better results. 6. Make use of testimonials Customer quotes and testimonials are an excellent way to sell what you are offering! Make sure the customer quote that you include explains why the customer loves your product or service. Also include your customer’s name and other relevant details, as this makes your testimonial more credible. 7. Be unique In this competitive era, the uniqueness of your offering plays a large role in your success. A run of the mill offer will not interest your readers. The more unique your offer is, the more it will intrigue and excite your readers. So make sure your offerings are distinct, one of a kind and stand out. 8. Be positive When writing marketing copy, avoid using words such as \'hope\', \'ish\', \'try\' and \'perhaps\'. Instead, use direct and positive words such as \'will\' and \'can\'. Such words make your readers trust your offers and go a long way towards making them believe in what you have to say. Keep these points in mind and you’re sure to sell your email copy! If you can think of any other pointers, let us know!


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How to Get More Clicks in Your Email Campaigns

Beyond • August 10, 2009

Every email marketer looks for ways to constantly improve his click through rates. Why? Because the more clicks you get in your email campaign, the better your sales and your ROI! So here are a few tips to help you get more clicks! Tip 1: Put in links Links are a great way to increase those click through rates. You can link your images, headlines, offers and even your videos to your product! When it comes to images especially, readers expect to be taken to a new place when they click on an image; satisfy their expectations by linking your image to additional information relevant to your offerings. Tip 2: Intrigue your readers Intrigue your readers by giving them a taste of the information to come. Draw your readers in by giving them part of the story and placing a link that takes them to the complete article. Placing a line like \'Click here to get the whole story\' is a good way to make your readers\' eager to read more. Just the way the synopsis of a book grabs a reader\'s attention and makes him want to read the whole book, a little information will go a long way towards intriguing your reader and will make him want to know more. Tip 3: Educate rather than advertise Your copy should be informative, educative and compelling. This means it is important that you write about interesting and relevant topics and at the same time ensure that you have adequate writing skills. Your email copy should not simply blatantly advertise whatever you are offering. Provide your readers with a valid reason to make them want to read more. Tip 4: Provide free gifts but with an expiry date Free gifts are a great way to increase your click through rate. Statements such as \'click on this link for your free gift\' are very effective ways of getting readers to click on your links. However, it is important that you place an expiry date on your free offers as this encourages readers to take instant action. If you are interested in increasing your click through rate, make sure that you read through all these tips and implement them in your email campaign! If you know of any more tips to raise click through rates, do let us know!


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New Feature: Add Online Polls to your Website!

New Feature: Add Online Polls to your Website!

Beyond • July 29, 2009

Interested in gauging the pulse of your website or blog visitors, quickly and effectively? Just use our Online Polls! You can create your own online polls and easily plug them into your web site or blogs. The poll data is collected in real time and results are displayed immediately. Why create an online poll?  They make your site more interactive. In the online world, people love to express their opinion. Let them do that on your Website. They make it easy to bring in new visitors and potential customers. A good poll with great questions makes it easy to bring new people to your site. Boost your site hits with this feature! They show visitors what others are thinking. If a site visitor is thinking of making a purchase, they can easily view polls results, see what other people think and decide, based on that info, which product or service is the best value for their money. They let you know what changes you need to make. Online polls are a cheap and easy way to get the real scoop on what your site visitors want from your business. Use the data you get from your poll to make changes accordingly. They make your site more interactive. In the online world, people love to express their opinion. Let them do that on your Website. They make it easy to bring in new visitors and potential customers. A good poll with great questions makes it easy to bring new people to your site. Boost your site hits with this feature! To create a custom poll, just follow these steps: Create a custom poll on our site. Copy and paste the HTML code onto a page of your site. Put links to your poll wherever you\'d like. Use emails, social networking services and other tools to promote your poll and drive people to participate. View your polling answers in real time! Each time someone clicks on a polling link, a new browser window opens featuring the poll. Don\'t worry about pulling people off the page – the new window lets visitors take your poll without interrupting their online experience.  


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