Introducing Benchmark Landing Pages

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8 Great Ways to Improve Your Holiday Email Marketing

Beyond • October 21, 2009

A lot of people do their shopping at the very last minute. However, as an email marketer you cannot afford to carry out your holiday communication right before the holiday. For effective holiday marketing to take place, you need to send out your emails a while before the start of the holiday season. And that’s not all you should aim for! Read on for some more great tips to improve your holiday email marketing. Begin Immediately Begin promoting your holiday communication well in advance. You can be assured that your competitors will do the same. A good idea would be to start sending holiday communication at least a month or two before the holiday season. For instance, communication for the November-December season should be sent out latest by the first of November. This is the ideal way to reach out to those who like to shop in advance, as well as inform those who plan to shop later, of your presence. Communicate frequently Holiday communication should be sent throughout the holiday season. The frequency of communication should not be so frequent that it makes a negative impression on your customers. At the same time it should be consistent enough to leave a lasting impression and make an impact on your sales. You can reach out to your customers through various different catalogue versions. Each email sent by you can describe a specific product or a special offer. Plan and promote Planning and promotion is a big part of holiday email marketing. You need to decide which products and offers you want to give priority to and promote them accordingly. Make a plan that lays down what you will send as per a fixed time frame and follow it. Select a holiday template of your choice and begin creating your campaigns. Fix a schedule All your special offers should have a specific time frame. Set actual dates for each offer and mark their beginning and ending dates. Place these dates in your schedule. It is important that you mark out the duration of each offer. Based on this schedule you can ensure that you provide customers with information for each offer with enough time for them to avail of it. Segment your list Frequently segmenting your list will result in effective holiday email marketing. Analyze the results of your earlier campaigns, observe your click rate and study previous purchasing behavior. In this way you will be able to successfully target your customers with the right offers. Call to action Place the ‘Call To Action’ in the subject line of your email as well as in your website or landing page. This lets people immediately discover the purpose of your email. Protect your reputation It is essential that your reputation is protected at all times. This can be done by working alongside your email service provider and ensuring that you have a good reputation. You may have the most creative and impressive looking emails but if you have a bad reputation you will not get any results. Take steps to prevent issues; test the deliverability of your email and fix problems as soon as they occur. Tailor your communication mix Your communication mix must be tailored according to the type of industry you are in. If you are in the retail business, you could add certain elements to your marketing mix, such as reminding your customers about gift cards, providing them with different gift alternatives and special offers and informing them about your holiday timings. If you are in the business to business industry you would need to take a different approach; sending personalized greeting cards, invitations to events and making donations are all good options. If you are a non profit you could use your holiday cards to remind people of the joy of making donations as a gift. Give them real life examples of how contributions have changed the lives of those who are less fortunate. Thank previous donors for their contributions and send out emails highlighting the accomplishments of the year. Have you got any more tips to improve your holiday email marketing? Do share them with us! In the meantime , check out our new holiday email templates


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Ways to improve your email landing page

Beyond • October 10, 2009

When it comes to the landing pages of email marketing campaigns, it has been found that many of them have the same flaws; they are too cramped, they fail to attract visitors and some of them even confuse the viewer. So before sending out your email take a look at some tips for your email landing page: Test your email messages Always test out your email messages before sending them out. Test your links and make sure they work properly. In order to do this you need to click on and open every link in your email and check that it opens to the right web page in the browser. Provide clear Calls to Action It is important that you provide your visitors with clear and detailed instructions regarding the steps they need to follow once they click on your links. There is nothing more frustrating that clicking on a link and not knowing what to do next. Provide new interesting information Using content from your websites in your email is alright. However you need to ensure that the links in your email take your visitors to pages that provide them with something new and interesting to read. If your visitors find that the page that opens repeats the same information they will lose interest and shut the page. Don\'t confuse your visitors A web page that is created in a way that has nothing in common with the look and tone of your email will confuse your visitors. This can result in them losing interest and shutting the page. Reinforce the call to action The best way to reinforce the call to action that motivated the viewer to click on the link is to place that same offer on the landing page as well. Place an opt-in request on the landing page People make their way to your landing page through numerous routes. Place an opt-in request on your landing page in order to get the email address of first time visitors. Avoid asking too many questions Avoid placing forms with lots of questions on your landing page. Too many questions irritate viewers and cause them to lose interest. If you have any more tips for your landing page do share them with us!


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Tips to combine Twitter with your Email

Tips to combine Twitter with your Email

Beyond • October 8, 2009

Given the popularity of social networking sites, it may have occurred to you that it would be a good idea to start involving the social networking aspect in your email marketing. However, you may not know how to go about this and may even wonder if you should. If that’s the case, this is the right place for you. Take a look at some great ways to use Twitter in your email marketing campaigns! Place your email subject line on Twitter Create an email with a subject line less than 140 characters (this is in keeping with the rules of Twitter). After you send out your emails, place this subject line on Twitter along with a link to your hosted email campaign. By doing this you can reach out to a whole new target audience. Benchmark Email allows automatic integration with Twitter using which you can place your Subject Line or any message into your Twitter account directly. Add links to your email that go to your Twitter account These links can take readers to your email newsletters or invitations for your events. Placing these links is incredibly important when it comes to resource or newsletter auto responder subscription emails. Try to use the Twitter search feature Frame your subject lines in such a way that they benefit from the Twitter search feature. Depending on what people look for on Twitter and the keywords that you use in your subject line, there is a chance that those who have never heard of you may stumble upon your tweets while searching for something. Place a link on your Twitter account that goes to a form landing page Let\'s say you have a post on Twitter that says \"Click here to read more on the benefits of chocolate.\" When someone clicks on the link, they should be taken to a landing page where they have to provide their email address in order to read the rest of the article. This is a great way to convert followers of Twitter into opted-in email subscribers. Place Twitter information in your emails One way of doing this would be to use queries and comments that have come up on Twitter and feature it your emails. You can even bring out the different responses that these questions brought out. It would also be a good idea to thank all the people on Twitter who contributed with their questions and views. This is a great way to build loyalty amongst your subscribers. Place a \'Follow\' link in your emails Place a link for people to follow you on Twitter, in all your emails. Seeing the number of emails that people get everyday, a potential subscriber may want to see what you’re all about by checking you out on Twitter before deciding to subscribe to your emails. Place links for easy sign ups It would be a good idea to place a \'sign up here to get our emails\' link. This link allows those who see the hosted version of your email on Twitter for the first time to sign up to your list. Make it simple for them by offering sign up forms that require only their email address. Provide the Twitter accounts of all email article authors Placing the author’s Twitter account after the article makes it possible for readers to carry on discussions on the article after reading it. It would be a good idea to have a Twitter account for everyone who is a part of your email communication. If you have any more suggestions for ways to use Twitter in your email marketing campaign, do let us know what they are!


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Benchmark Email Integration with Twitter and other Social Sites

Benchmark Email Integration with Twitter and other Social Sites

Beyond • September 30, 2009

If you now want to share your Email Campaign on twitter, you can now do so with our new feature. You can Select the \"Send to Twitter\" option in the \'Email Creation\' Step. If you check the auto-tweet option, we will automatically post a link to Twitter when the campaign is sent. In addition if you use the Send Immediately option, you can then immediately share the URL on Twitter. You can also share the campaign email URL on other social networking accounts Facebook, MySpace, Digg, Delicious and StumbleUpon.


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New Industry-Specific Email Templates

New Industry-Specific Email Templates

Beyond • September 30, 2009

In keeping with the Benchmark quest to constantly deliver innovative and exemplary new templates, we are proud to present our latest range of all new industry specific email templates. Each template has been designed specially for you to use in the industry of your choice. No matter what your profession, each one of these templates is sure to satisfy your requirements. So go ahead and give these templates a try! Environment & Non-Profit The \'Environment & Non-Profit\' template has 2 distinct columns which allow you to easily incorporate the latest environmental and non profit industry news. The hill green column color along with the background of rolling hills and soft clouds gives this template the perfect environmental appeal. Dental Service The \'Dental Services\' template lays out a 2 column format with a single column at the bottom. The bright blue border with sparkling white and blue dots gives a cool, minty impression like that of refreshing toothpaste, perfect for the dental industry. Health Spa The \'Health Spa\' template follows a single column format which comprises of four sections. A separate section on contact information is displayed at the end. Its background of soothing water and soft undulating bubbles instantly relaxes the mind and gives the impression of ultimate relaxation. Investment Advisor The \'Investment Advisor\' template has a 2 column area for content and a section at the bottom for contact information. This template with its practical design and subtle colors instantly appeals to all those in an advisor capacity. Personal Trainer The \'Personal Trainer\' template is divided into 2 columns. The bottom section is perfect for announcing current discounts and contact information. With its curvaceous flowing design and vibrant colors, this template makes your energy flow and gets you in the mood to exercise! Law Firm The \'Law Firm\' template contains a 2 column format with a section on contact information at the bottom. This template has been designed with sensible earth tones that give the impression of long standing knowledge and professional expertise. Wealth Management The \'Wealth Management\' template, designed with a 2 column outlook gives the impression of wealth and expertise. The first column is perfect for supplying the latest wealth management news and investment tips, leaving the rest of the template free for other important information like strategy and planning. Veterinary Clinic The \'Veterinary Clinic\' template has a 2 column format with a section for customer information at the bottom. Its design and structure has been specially created to appeal to those in the veterinary industry. We hope you enjoyed the experience of using our latest industry email templates. Rest assured, there are lots more exciting templates on their way! Don\'t miss out on our new templates - keep watching the template gallery! If you have any queries, feel free to contact us at support@benchmarkemail.com. We look forward to hearing from you.


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Getting your email past the spam filters

Beyond • September 23, 2009

When it comes to getting your email past the spam filters there are a number of factors to keep in mind. Although sender authentication and reputation are amongst the most important criteria when it comes to ISP filtering, there is one more potential hazard - your spam score rating. Once your emails pass the authentication and reputation filter, they have to pass a content filter. Here, your emails are rated on the basis of different factors and then given a ‘spam score’. Failing to pass these filters would result in your email going straight to the junk folder. For this reason it is vital that you follow all the right rules when it comes to your data, email templates and content. Following the right rules gives you a much higher chance of delivering your email to the inbox. If you want to guide your email to an inbox rather than a junk folder, take a look at some helpful tips to avoid getting trapped by ISP filters. However, keep in mind that spam filters, firewalls and ISPs do not follow a fixed set of criteria when it comes to filtering email. The following tips should prove helpful but due to constantly changing criteria there is no guarantee that following these tips will ensure you escape the filters unscathed. Tip 1: Your template should be professional Your template must: Be well designed Contain correct HTML code Appear properly in every browser Avoid incorrect coding as this adversely affects your spam score. Tip 2: Your email must be error free When it comes to your email, avoid: Incomplete/ unnecessary code Blank font tags Excessive use of \' &nbsp\' Incorrect grammar Spelling errors All these will give ISPs the impression that your email contains spam and will affect your email delivery. Always run your email through spell check and send test mails to friends to catch errors. Tip 3: Your email must contain text plus HTML Ensure that: Your email is multipart; it should contain plain text and HTML The text version and HTML version are as similar as possible Your email has a proper mix of text and images You avoid sending emails with only images and no text Multipart emails enable even those with Blackberry’s and PDA’s to read your email. Your email should have a balanced amount of text and images as too many images result in ISP’s tagging it as spam. Tip 4: Your emails should be correctly personalized It is important that your database is precise and you avoid: Unpersonalized email Incorrectly personalized email Badly personalized email All these result in people unsubscribing from your emails and making spam complaints. Tip 5: Your emails should have proper text Avoid the following text traps in your email: Text in italics Huge font Different fonts Text completely in uppercase Text with gaps in the words White text that blends into the background Italics, big and gappy fonts simply scream to the ISP’s that your email is spam. Also using white text on graphical backgrounds is a common spammer trick - avoid doing it. Ensure that your text always stands out and is easily readable. Tip 6: Your email should not contain: Avoid the following text traps in your email: Embedded images Images as attachments Forms As most spam mails contain embedded or attached images and forms, avoid placing these in your email. Instead, your images and forms can be hosted online via your image library or website. Tip 7: Your email should not have spam words Certain words are spam triggers. Avoid placing words and phrases such as: Free Viagra Gamble No obligation Order now The more spam words placed in your email, the higher your spam score. A Spam Checker is a good idea It is a good idea to pass your email through a spam checker before sending it. A spam checker would point out broken HTML and words which could be considered spam. This gives you the opportunity to rectify these errors before they can cause damage. Setting up test accounts at sites like Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL is also a good way to check if your emails are landing up in the inbox or junk folder.    


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8 email deliverability tips

8 email deliverability tips

Beyond • September 23, 2009

Spam filters play a huge role in affecting the deliverability of emails that subscribers have opted-in for. These filters sometimes prevent mails which are not spam from reaching the inbox of subscribers. This can adversely affect your open and click through response rates by as much as 20-30%. To ensure your requested emails get delivered, take a look at some great tips: Tip 1: Use a trustworthy ESP Using a well known Email Service Provider (ESP) would greatly improve your email deliverability. ESP’s such as benchmarkemail.com allow you to benefit from their reputation, white listings, references, and goodwill with ISPs. It takes years of hard work and dedication along with huge amounts of authentic email marketing for ESPs to build such reputations. A reputable ESP therefore plays a huge rule in ensuring that your emails get delivered. Tip 2: Select ESPs that use Feedback Loops Select an ESP that is registered with ‘Feedback Loops’ on big ISPs like Yahoo, Hotmail and AOL. Every time a recipient reports your email as spam, the feedback loop lets the ISP deliver an unsubscribe mail to your database. This makes it possible for you to prevent the recipient from receiving further mails, thus avoiding multiple complaints. In this way your reputation is also safe guarded. Tip 3: Get Permission Permission is a huge factor in the case of email deliverability. It is vital that you check that the recipients of your email have actually subscribed to your emails. This requires using a confirmed opt-in or verified opt-in process which sends all attempted subscribers a unique link at the time that they ask for information. Such subscribers must click on that unique link before they can be added to your list. By clicking on that link, the prospective subscriber confirms that the email address is his and that he has asked to receive your emails. Tip 4: Maintain your List Maintain your list by immediately removing addresses that cause your emails to bounce. An email address that causes your mail to bounce with a permanent error 2 or 3 times a month must be taken off your list. Remember that ISPs keep an eye on the number of emails that bounce; constantly sending emails to undeliverable inboxes will result in your ISPs blocking your mails. Tip 5: Keep the same \'From\' information Always use the same information in your ‘from’ field. The means you must keep the same name and address for all your emails. When you change the details in your ‘from’ field, your subscribers will have to add these new details in their address book. If they fail to do so, your emails may not reach their inbox. Most importantly, keeping the same ‘from’ details goes a long way towards helping your subscribers develop awareness of your brand name. Tip 6: Get rid of bounces Ensure that you get rid of every bounce that does not get delivered, on a priority basis. Consistently sending emails that bounce back will make ISPs take action against you and your emails. Tip 7: Stick to a frequency Sending emails at a fixed frequency, i.e., at the same day and time is a great way to get into the good books of your ISPs. It gives the impression that you are a dependable email marketer. It also prevents ISPs from thinking you are a spammer as spam mail is sent at any day and time with no fixed intervals. Tip 8: Send relevant content Always send your subscribers content that is relevant and satisfies their needs. Sending them unrelated information or sales pitches that have nothing to do with the content that they subscribed for, is a sure way to get spam complaints. Email deliverability is of great importance to every email marketer. So before you begin your campaign take a look at these email deliverability tips. They are sure to improve your deliverability results!      


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How to Overcome Email List Fatigue

Beyond • September 12, 2009

Email list fatigue has become a real topic of debate among email marketers. Some customers may not receive your emails because of spam filters. Some do receive your emails but do not open them because their mail account is inactive. But what about those people who don’t read your emails anymore because they are no longer interested? Such customers do not wish to break all ties with you; however there is a definite drop in their interest level. This phenomenon is called ‘email list fatigue.’ Though it is not possible to avoid this issue, there are ways to counter its impact. So, how does one deal with email list fatigue? For a start, try to identify your inactive customers within a certain time period, a year for instance. This period is sufficient to gauge the amount of interest your clients have shown in your emails. The number of emails sent during this period depends on your emailing frequency. Let’s assume you send one email in a month; this means you would have sent out a total of 12 emails in a year. Now, take a look at your customer data. Consider those addresses which have received all 12 emails. From these addresses, find the number of users who have opened your emails and clicked on links. The customers who haven’t received or opened your emails are inactive customers. The point of identifying such customers is not to remove them from your list but to try and reactivate them. Take a look at some techniques that you can employ to reactivate inactive customers and counter email list fatigue. 1. Supply them with fresh content Fresh and high quality content is a must when you seek to rekindle interest among disinterested customers. Put yourself in their shoes and come up with ways to evoke interest among them once again. 2. Limit the number of sales pitches It is acceptable to make subtle sales pitches with great content, once in a while. However, avoid making sales pitches on a frequent basis. An overdose of sales pitches will result in killing your customers’ interest in your emails. 3. Follow a frequency schedule If you send more than one email per month, there is a possibility that your customers may feel overwhelmed. The best thing to do is send emails when you have something worth communicating. Make sure you send a newsletter at least once every month. If you fail to do so, your clients may forget that they had subscribed to your emails. 4. Use the same name and address in the \'from\' field: Your clients will look the name and address in the ‘from’ field and decide if they want to read your email or even open it. They will not open the email, if they do not know the sender. So, avoid changing the details in the ‘from’ field. If you must change it, then inform your clients accordingly. 5. Make the subject line creative Your subject line is the deciding factor when it comes to the opening or deletion of your emails. For this reason you need to create a subject line that will capture the imagination of your customers. If you can’t come up with a creative line, consider hiring a professional to create it for you. 6. Let customers unsubscribe if they want to Let customers unsubscribe from your campaign, whenever they want to. For this reason, you should provide an unsubscribe link in all your emails. There’s no point in keeping disinterested customers on your list. 7. Give customers special offers from time to time Give your customers new and special offers at regular intervals. You may offer them a discount on products and services or even a free trial. For instance, if you have a book store, you can give your customers a discount on the latest releases or bestsellers. 8. Keep taking new subscriptions Regardless of how active your list is, don’t stop the inflow of new subscriptions. This is because peoples’ interests change very swiftly. New subscriptions will ensure that your list doesn’t become dysfunctional due to a lack of interest on the part of your subscribers. 9. Change the day and time of sending If you haven’t had much luck by sending emails on a particular day and time, change both of them. It may or may not work but it’s worth a shot. 10. Change the format You can also alter the format of your emails. If you have been sending your emails in HTML format, and they don’t seem to be doing the trick, you can consider using the text format for a change. Of course, the content and links you provide need to be a lot more specialized. 11. Keep track of the emails Create a separate list for the most important domains. Keep a track of how your emails have been faring in all those domains. If they are unable to make it past spam filters, try to develop other versions, which will get past spam filters. 12. Send your clients postcards You can request clients to revise what they want in the emails. In return, you can send your clients postcards offering them something valuable. 13. Understand the needs of your subscribers It is possible that all inactive clients may have something in common. They could all be women or senior citizens. If that’s the case, try and identify their needs or preferences. For instance, if you publish a newsletter on fitness for males, you could include content for females and categorize it into different age groups so that none of your subscribers feel left out. 14. Form joint ventures cautiously Form joint ventures only with those companies whose clients are interested in what you offer. If you form joint ventures with companies whose clients have no interest in your offerings you will just end up with a new batch of inactive customers. It’s not possible to completely avoid the issue of email list fatigue but the techniques listed above should help you deal with its effects. Once your customers start responding to your emails, add their addresses to the list of active customers. In doing so, you will know for sure how many of them are yet to become active again. So, give these tips a try to combat email list fatigue! Good luck!


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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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