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Introducing Benchmark Landing Pages

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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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Making the Best of a Small Event Booth Space

Beyond • November 15, 2009

As many long time event exhibitors will tell you, the small basic booth can be a blessing or a curse. The difference is determined by your attitude as an exhibitor and what you are planning to accomplish at the conference or show. If you are demoralized from the start due to the fact that you couldn’t afford the big splashy floorspace of the multinational conglomerate competitor that has set up a massive display on thousands of square feet of space in the middle of the hall, then you might as well not even show up. However, if you realize that your tiny 5 x 10 foot space can allow you access to exactly the same attendees as the corporation that shelled out five or six figures for that floorspace, then you can compete with the big guns on a more or less even “footing.” Don’t Just Hang Around Handing Out Swags The line between spending money to exhibit at a trade show in order to get absolutely nothing out of it and turning it into a net gain success is very thin indeed, and it all comes down to strategy. If you have set up a coherent, effective plan on what you are intending to achieve at the event you will most likely come out of it with a win. If instead you’re just expecting to hang around the booth all day trying to hand out your cheap plastic key fob embossed with your company logo as a swag, you’re going to be in for a surprise, and a rather unpleasant one at that. Sweepstakes Engage Attendees Better than Tchotchkes If you are going to be giving anything away, it should be directly relevant to the show and its attendees. If you’re attending a show that is in any way connected to technology, you can give away logo-embossed USB flash drives that you can buy in bulk for barely over a dollar each. However there are better alternatives than just the standard handout swag for event exhibitors. A contest or sweepstakes where the attendee can enter at your booth (and provide both contact information and permission for your email marketing list) but then has to go to your website or social media presence in order to find out if they’ve won can engage the individual far better than a trinket or tchotchke. The prize should be both valuable and relevant to your industry sector. If you’re in automotive, you don’t have to give away a 2013 Mercedes Benz GL (although it would be nice). Something along the lines of an iPad with a universal mounting kit that can be set up for the benefit of the backseat passengers will only set you back about $700… and it will certainly make an impact at your booth and draw plenty of attention. Your Most Level-Headed Employee Should Be Your Social Media Poster Social media can be leveraged not just before and after an event but also during! You should not hold back on engaging your customers through social networks while at the event by posting plenty of photos tagged with your company identification, blogging and tweeting continuously, as well as creating compelling and “newsy” Facebook and LinkedIn content. Social media content management has to be exercised on an even stricter basis during exhibit times as the employee charged with keeping all of the social network balls in the air may be fatigued, frustrated or angered by the demands made on them during the show, and may lash out through your company’s postings. This is a disaster to be avoided at all costs. Everything that comes out of your exhibit has to be positive, constructive and informative! Don’t try to be funny, as jokes can be misunderstood and the most unlikely parties can take offense to them. Stick to the facts, keep it light hearted and make sure that your company’s most responsible and level headed person is placed in charge of social media content during your show. Size isn’t everything so make the best of your small booth space and win big!


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10 Ways to Build an Opt-In Email List

Beyond • November 14, 2009

As an email marketer, your first job is to build an opt-in email list. Without this list there is no way to send out your email newsletters. If you are building an opt-in list for the first time, don’t worry. Take a look at some great tips to help you compile a fantastic opt-in list! 1. Create a website Creating a website is a pretty simple thing to do. It can even be done for free. Once you create your website you can request visitors to register with you and thus get them to sign up. 2. Prominent Opt-ins Place prominent opt-in forms where ever you think potentials may see it. People do not have to time to hunt for your sign in forms. Place these forms in easy to see locations. 3. Write an E-book or E-report An E-book or E-report is a great way to get potential customers to visit your website. In this way they will be motivated to sign up for your newsletter. 4. Guest-write blogs A lot of blogs permit guest writers to place articles on their blogs along with a link leading to their website. This technique is excellent for gaining publicity. 5. Use ezine directories Get yourself listed in ezine directories. The best part is, this option requires no subscribers and is usually a free service! So make the most of it and get listed now! 6. Give out freebies Give out free stuff to your potential clients. Give away free screensavers, games, ebooks and more on your website. Place a sign up box on your website so that people checking out your freebies know they can register for your newsletters. 7. Submit your writing Make use of online magazines that accept your writing and if possible place a link leading to more information. You can also publish an online newsletter. There are lots of services that help you do this. 8. Provide quality information Your newsletters should contain interesting and well written quality content. Good content is the best motivator for getting people to sign up. 9. Provide quick opt-out Provide a simple and quick process for opting out. This encourages people to take a chance on signing up. 10. Find a partner It could be beneficial if you found a partner with similar interests to build an opt-in list with. This could lead to shared expenses, sharing of the list and better profits. Can you think of any more tips to build an opt-in email list? Tell us about them!


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The Use and Benefits of Email Marketing for Nonprofits

Beyond • November 11, 2009

What is the best way to reach out to clients? What does one\'s target audience require? What method of communication should be used? When it comes to facing these tough questions, nonprofits are no exception. Most corporations and organizations have discovered that the answer to these problems can be found in email marketing. However, for nonprofits, the concept of email marketing is still relatively new. Although email marketing may not be able to provide the solution to every issue, it is an excellent, affordable and convenient tool that helps allow easy communication with customers. Whether it’s to do with membership drives, donations or even carrying out a fundraising event, email marketing provides real value for the time and money you put into it. If you are a nonprofit planning to use email marketing for the first time, take a look at the following tips: Create a strong contact list The most obvious way to build a contact list would be to include links on your homepage, links leading to the subscription center, sign-up sheets, searches that have been paid for and more. However, when it comes to nonprofits, the number one focus should be on creating a strong contact list. This means the list should, as far as possible, consist of those who have specifically asked to receive information from the nonprofit in question. Face-to-face sign ups and website sign-up forms are the best ways to achieve this. Increase interest and awareness Sending out regular newsletters is a great way to keep your signed up members interested and aware of what’s going on in your nonprofit. You can use email marketing to increase the number of your audience to an event, draw in volunteers and bring in donations amongst other things. Each newsletter should provide new, fresh and engaging information. You can also provide news regarding the outcome of previous events. Don\'t provide excess information Avoid bombarding your contact list with excess information. Newsletters should be provided consistently but not too frequently. The information within them should be targeted to satisfy the requirements of your members. Ask your members how often they would like to receive email communication and stick to their choice. Try and place a feedback form in every communication sent and conduct surveys on a regular basis. This helps you keep in touch with the needs and grievances of all those on your contact list. Recognize the uniqueness of email Most nonprofit marketers are familiar with direct mail and have had a good amount of success with that approach. They therefore tend to use their best direct mail pieces in their emails. However email is a unique medium, different from direct mail. For the best response, email needs to be short, to the point and with clearly defined calls to action. Placing direct mail content in email, results in lengthy and confusing content with no clear call to action. It is therefore important to note the uniqueness of email and adapt to it. Benefits of email marketing for nonprofits: 1. Email marketing is relatively inexpensive. With email marketing you can create and send out all sorts of email communication at a cost that is way cheaper than that of direct mail. 2. Email marketing makes it possible for you to use online surveys. This is a great way for you to learn about customer satisfaction and stay in tune with the needs, issues and requirements of your members. 3. With email marketing you can develop, look after, promote and track meetings, fundraisers and other events that have been a success. 4. Members can be informed of the latest news and upcoming events within the span of a few minutes. Email marketing is a great way for nonprofits to raise awareness of charitable events. So if you are a nonprofit don’t miss out on this opportunity to reach out to your members.


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Great Ways to Profit from the Holidays

Beyond • November 9, 2009

With the holidays around the corner, you can bet most of the businesses and nonprofits are making attempts to cash in on the holiday season. With so much competition vying for the attention of your customers, you need to ensure that you stand out of the crowd and keep the attention of your subscribers focused on you. For this purpose, take a look at a few tried and tested tips to keep all eyes on your organization: Build solid relationships Focus on building a solid relationship with your subscribers. Provide relevant and interesting content so that subscribers look forward to receiving your newsletters. Some good content ideas that make a positive impact include inspiring stories, helpful tips, interesting facts and how-to articles. Once your subscribers view your emails favorably, they will be much more open towards responding towards your holiday promotional email. Target your audience It is important to target your holiday messages at the right audience. The more relevant your messages are and the more personalized your communication is, the better the response you will receive. Your subscribers will be more interested in buying from or contributing towards your organization if they feel your message is intended specifically for them. Personalize your messages Place a personal greeting in every message. Keep track of all the purchases and donations made by every customer and mention this in the messages sent to them. Thank customers personally for the amount donated by them or the gift purchased by them. Mention their names, the exact amount donated by them and the names of the products purchased by them when possible. Make note of who they plan to purchase for this time and include recommendations for the same. Ask subscribers for information If you do not have information regarding your subscribers purchasing needs and preferences, just ask them for it! You can provide a link to an online questionnaire in your messages. This will get you the information you need, help provide your subscribers with the right information and will also give them the impression that you care. Provide ratings and reviews It would be a good idea to include the rating and reviews of the various products, services and programs offered by you. Online shoppers tend to find reviews and recommendations a lot more useful than plain emails containing marketing content. According to studies, 66% of those who shop online consider the reviews and opinions of other online buyers before making online purchases. So help your subscribers make a well informed decision by providing them with reviews and ratings. Offer a full range of prices and gifts If you provide your subscribers with various options in terms of both price as well as products, you will be able to generate a much wider interest. In today’s economy, people want maximum value for each dollar spent. For this purpose, don’t promote only expensive and luxury items. You need to cater to those with modest budgets as well. Try and offer a full range of gifts that suit all budget types. If you are a nonprofit, avoid asking for a particular donation amount. Give your subscribers different donation amount options and inform them what each amount will result in. Thank your subscribers Always end the holiday season with a thank you to all your subscribers. Send them a simple card expressing your appreciation for them coming to you. This makes a good impression and strengthens your relationship with them. Make a note of what worked well and what needs to be improved on so you can be better prepared for the next holiday season. Can you think of any more ways to profit from the holiday season? Do let us know!


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4 New Thanksgiving Email Templates

4 New Thanksgiving Email Templates

Beyond • November 4, 2009

Benchmark Email has created new andexciting email marketing templates! As part of our holiday email template range, we are proud to launch our highly creative Thanksgiving Email Templates. Check out our four free Thanksgiving Email Templates, now live with Benchmark Email: 4 free Thanksgiving email templates from Benchmark Email View all Holiday Email Templates 3 Simple Steps to use your Thanksgiving templates Take a look at 3 simple steps to use these templates: Start developing your email campaign Choose the template of your choice and select the ‘Holiday’ option Look on top to feast your eyes on the Thanksgiving email templates Watch out for additional exciting holiday email templates Our all new range of warm and festive HTML email templates will be right on time for Christmas and New Year! Don\'t miss out on any of our existing holiday email templates! And be sure to stay tuned for more up and coming templates over the next few weeks. Happy holidays!


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5 Tips to Lower Your Unsubscribe Rates

Beyond • October 27, 2009

Are you suffering from high unsubscribe rates in your email marketing campaigns? Are you at a loss as to why this is happening? Are you wondering what the reason for this dilemma is? Take a look at some common reasons that cause subscribers to unsubscribe and the solution to these problems! Read on for 5 great tips to lower your unsubscribe rates! 1. Provide alternate ways to stay in touch One of the biggest reasons for recipients’ unsubscribing is because they feel they are being flooded with emails. Unfortunately when this happens they usually land up unsubscribing from the majority of emails they have been receiving. The sad reality of this situation is that these recipients do not consider your email to be anything special. Therefore they do not think twice about unsubscribing from your emails. However, there is a way to salvage this situation. Let them know that there are other ways for them to stay in touch with your business. Provide them with links to your blog, web feeds and any other means of communication. 2. Stop overwhelming recipients with your email Often you are the cause of your recipients’ decision to unsubscribe. This happens when you get carried away and flood your recipients’ inbox with numerous emails. The good news is there are a number of solutions to fix this problem. You can provide your recipients’ with an option to remain subscribed and change the frequency of the emails sent by you. This option should be offered when they click on the unsubscribe link. This option should also be present at the time of sign-up so that your recipients’ can select the frequency most suitable for themselves. You could also consider testing different frequencies and analyzing your recipients’ reactions in order to discover the best frequency to be used. 3. Provide an option for changing the email address Your subscribers may simply want to change their email address. However, if you do not provide them with an option to do so, they will end up unsubscribing. Leading Email Service Providers like Benchmark Email, etc already have such options inbuilt into their application. Failure to do so may result in you needlessly losing subscribers. 4. Give subscribers what they are looking for Your recipients’ subscribed because they expected you to fulfill certain expectations. If you don’t give them what they want, they will have no reason to remain subscribed. Keep an eye on your emails and ensure that they contain what you promised to deliver. If you have promised to send informational emails, avoid placing excessive promotional tactics within your email. Ensure that at least 70% of your information is promotion free. Provide your recipients with a list of topics and subjects and let them select what appeals to them. Also provide them with the option to unsubscribe only from a particular topic or subject. Analyze your reports and make a note of the topics and promotions that get the best response from your recipients and tailor your emails accordingly. You could even think about implementing trigger emails and segmentation in order to better target your audience. 5. Get people to use subscriber preference centers Make an effort to motivate people to use subscriber preference centers. This is a great way for your recipients to let you know what’s lacking so you can adapt accordingly. Unfortunately most people only seem to use this option after they have already decided to unsubscribe. Give them incentives to visit the preference center by notifying them about special offers or requesting them to update their profiles for upcoming events. Do you know any more tips for lowering unsubscribe rates? Do tell us about them!


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6 Ideas for Great B2B Email Newsletter Content

Beyond • October 26, 2009

When it comes to your B2B email newsletter, you need to ensure that you provide your readers with content that keeps them on their toes! Take a look at some excellent ideas that you can incorporate in your newsletter content! 1. Note down interesting ideas and create a topic bank You could come across an interesting subject or topic to write on just about anywhere. Make a note of a subject that has grabbed your attention and write it down in your list of topic ideas. Some great topics to write about are: Common problems and ways to solve them How-to-do articles that explain how to carry out certain tasks A list of tips pertaining to a particular activity A subjective opinion on a chosen topic, industry, event etc An article that discusses how you feel a particular sector or industry will do in the long run, followed by an article on whether you were right or wrong Problems faced by people in their business and how they were overcome A case study with relevant figures and details relating to your products/services Write reviews on interesting and useful products and services that are available in the market Discuss educational content Inform people of upcoming events Direct people towards helpful resources like useful websites, online tools etc Answer questions sent in by your readers Conduct interviews and write about them Report statistics and news Create a fun, interactive quiz (this can even relate to your products or services) 2. Don’t place entire stories in your email The purpose of an email is to provide simple and brief information that gets your point across. Grab the attention of your readers by giving them a glimpse of the story to come. Pique their interest and then provide them with a link to the whole story. If you have successfully raised their curiosity they are sure to click on the link to read more. 3. Tell subscribers what to do Inform subscribers as to what you want them to do. Give them clear instructions regarding the call to action. Tell them if you want them to buy your ebook or enter a giveaway contest. It is also very important that you tell them what they will get by following your call to action. 4. Use exciting and relevant subject lines You can create your subject line after you have finished writing your email. This way you can be sure that your subject line accurately portrays the content in your email. Good subject lines contain commonly faced questions, mentions the recipient’s name and focuses on benefits. When faced with creating an effective subject line, be creative, sensible and practical. Keep testing out subject lines and see which one works best for you. 5. Give your audience what they are looking for Your content must cater to the needs of your audience. If you have promised to deliver content relating to a particular subject, stick to that. Avoid promoting your products and services and be reliable in terms of your emailing frequency. If you send your newsletters in an HTML format then make sure it includes a text only version as well. Always proofread your newsletter before sending it out and ensure that all unsubscription requests are dealt with immediately. 6. Make use of table of contents, sidebar boxes and columns If your newsletter contains information on two or more topics, it would be a good idea to provide your readers with a table of contents. This will help them get a good idea of what your newsletter contains and will prevent them from getting confused. You can even provide a link to each different topic in the table of contents to make it easy for your readers to go straight to the relevant area. Using sidebar boxes and columns is also a great way to help your readers directly reach the information they are most interested in reading about. Can you think of any more tips to improve your newsletter content? Tell us about it!


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Tips for Improving Your Call-To-Action

Beyond • October 22, 2009

When it comes to email marketing, your Call-To-Action (CTA) is extremely important. If you want a great response you need to ensure that your CTA has all the essential elements. It should be friendly and should reach out to people. It should successfully motivate readers to click your email and visit your website. If you feel you are not accomplishing these tasks, read on for some tips to improve your CTA. Use clear communication Tell your readers’ exactly what they are supposed to do. Tell them where to click and what they will get in return for clicking. Use short simple sentences to get your point across. Provide them with a deadline so that they know how quickly they should respond. Place and link the CTA appropriately The CTA should be placed above the fold, which means it should be positioned in the top 300 pixels of your email. Readers should not have to go through the entire email to discover the call-to-action. Make sure that your CTA is linked to the right landing page. Make it stand out Your CTA should be of a size that stands out so that readers notice it immediately. You can draw attention to it by using an attractive color that makes its mark on your email page. Be free with the color but at the same time use it wisely. Use a distinct font that can be easily read. Use effects like white space and shadowing to emphasize your CTA. Boldface your CTA You can use boldface to give your CTA that added punch. Don’t limit your boldface just to your CTA though. Use it to draw attention to other words and phrases that will ultimately lead your reader to the CTA. Boldface is very useful as it gets the attention of those people who scan information. Provide alternate links to landing page A CTA link is an absolute; however, you also need to provide alternate links that take readers’ to the home page. Link the domain names, product names and product choices mentioned in your email. This increases the chances of your readers’ accessing your website. Be careful when using image CTA When you use image CTA, watch out for image blocking, missing links and image maps. Sometimes your images get blocked by spam filters which will result in your CTA being blocked. Check your links to make sure they are not broken or missing. Avoid placing your CTA along with your image maps as these maps sometimes prevent readers’ from successfully clicking. For effective and improved call-to-action keep these tips in mind! If you know any more tips do tell us about them! Good luck!


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