Introducing Benchmark Landing Pages

Practical Marketer - Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Introducing Benchmark Landing Pages

Read More

Latest Posts

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!


Read More
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.


Read More
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.


Read More
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!


Read More
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.


Read More
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!


Read More

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!


Read More
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.  


Read More
Effective Email Marketing Practices

Effective Email Marketing Practices

Beyond • July 17, 2009

Building a successful email marketing campaign is a lot like constructing a pyramid. Your email campaign requires a firm foundation that you can build on. To generate success, ensure a solid base is laid down before you launch a full scale campaign. Take a look at the foundation points mentioned below that will help you build campaigns effectively: 1. Provide for quick unsubscription Your emails must display a prominent opt-out link that readers can access easily. Keep in mind the following pointers: Readers who click the opt-out link should be removed immediately. Some readers request unsubscription through an email message; in such cases do the needful as soon as possible. Always be polite while confirming unsubscription. 2. Ensure consistent emails Consistency is the key to an effective email marketing campaign. Use the following practices to ensure regularity: Adhere to selected delivery times and frequencies for sending email messages. Ensure error-free email messages. This practice includes maintaining suitable text-image ratio at all times. Maintain consistent layouts or templates for email messages. This might help create a strong bond with readers because they expect a certain look and feel. 3. Create effective subject lines Creating the perfect subject line is tricky. Readers take a half-a- second glance at your email topic and make a decision; a subject line that doesn’t pass the test results in instant deletion – there are no second chances.  To create an impactful subject line, ensure you use the following pointers: Keep a clear goal in mind and formulate the tone of your subject line accordingly. ‘Increasing click-through rates’ and ‘expanding client lists’ are examples of objectives you can use to set the tone of your subject lines. Keep your subject line short – preferably between four to seven words. Always keep your subject line to the point. Do not deviate from your goal. Avoid using spam words such as ‘free’, ‘hello’ and ‘buy’ in your subject line. These words have an adverse effect on customers’ minds and generally lead to instant deletion of emails. Use the brand name of the product in the subject line. Research indicates that readers are more likely to ‘open’ emails when subject lines include products’ brand names. 4. Always obtain permission Obtaining permission from prospective customers might set the base for a successful email marketing campaign. Acquiring permission is beneficial for the following reasons: It protects your reputation. It provides better results for your campaign as the people who receive your emails are genuinely interested in your products or services. It prevents your emails from being labeled spam. 5. Personalize your email messages Never underestimate the power of personalization! Want to know why? Reaching out personally to your readers can result in a jump in reading and click-through rates by as much as 650%! Using a reader’s name either in the subject line or in the email, grabs the attention of the reader immediately. Seeing their names acknowledged in email messages make readers feel they share a personal relationship with you. This should lead to long lasting relationships and increased customer loyalty. 6. Include signatures An unsigned cheque has no value, similarly, an email without a signature lacks impact and does not create a binding impression on readers. People appreciate details of the person who has sent them mails. Your email signature should contain: These tips are sure to turn around your email marketing campaign! If you have any more suggestions, please let us know! An appropriate sign-off saluation: ‘Thanks’ or ‘Regards’ Your name Your designation A link to your website A link to unsubscribe These tips are sure to turn around your email marketing campaign! If you have any more suggestions, please let us know!


Read More
Email Marketing: What’s in it for you?

Email Marketing: What’s in it for you?

Beyond • July 15, 2009

Email marketing is akin to a treasure hunt. You need to hunt for email addresses in the right places to get your hands on the ultimate treasure – a bigger email list! Here are some potential treasure spots for you to place your sign-up form: 1. Email marketing allows you to make an impression: Email marketing is an inexpensive way to stay in touch with your customers. You can send your readers frequent emails, newsletters, offers and announcements and stay in touch with them constantly. It enables you to provide adequate attention to your clients, which might result in increased loyalty towards your business. This might also lead to a surge in the number of customers as your readers may refer you to their friends and family. As a sidenote, research indicates that on average, readers require to see your email message approximately seven times before they decide to conduct business with you. It makes it possible to maintain two-way communication with your readers. You can interact with them by reading feedback, sending follow-up emails and replying to their queries. So how do you benefit? 2. Email marketing enables quick updates Email marketing makes it possible for you to closely monitor your comments, queries, feedback and messages. It also makes it simple to update your list because you can add readers who want to subscribe or remove those who wish to unsubscribe, immediately. Thanks to the opt-in/ opt-out link that you must place in every email! It allows you to filter customers who are genuinely interested in receiving your emails. So, how do you benefit? 3. Email marketing enables focussed marketing Email marketing allows you to use special tools to generate data such as click-through rates and conversion rates that provide you with accurate feedback about the effectiveness of your campaign. Once you receive the data, you can use the information to build customized lists. It lets you target audiences according to location, age, income and other specific parameters. Best of all, you don’t need an email marketing expert to do this- you can manage the marketing independently from the comfort of your bedroom! It lets you target prospective customers individually by personalizing email messages. You can place the recipient’s name in the subject line and also design each reader’s email according to personal preferences. You can use graphics, video clips, songs or even games to reach out to each customer personally. So, how do you benefit? As you can see, email marketing has a wide range of benefits! Give it a shot and let us know what you think!


Read More
 
1 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231