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

Product & Design - Reading Time: 2 Minutes

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

Read More

Latest Posts

How Your Dead Email Addresses Get Turned into Spam Traps

Beyond • April 18, 2009

You’re an ethical, legitimate email marketer. You’ve never purchased or rented an email list in the history of your company and you are firmly committed to ensuring that every subscriber on your list has provided clear and unequivocal permission to receive your email newsletter campaign. One morning you show up at work and receive the news: you’ve had a block placed on your firm’s sending and your email marketing has screeched to a halt. How could this happen? Simply put, you didn’t keep your subscription list sufficiently updated, and one of those dormant email addresses has been adopted by ISPs as a spam trap. Churn Rates Can Exceed One Third of Your List per Year The churn rate of email addresses on your list can exceed one third per year. People establish and then drop email addresses at an alarming rate. The proliferation of “disposable” accounts such as Hotmail’s Aliases has made it easier than ever for your customers to set up an email address designed to be temporary from the outset. This massive turnover cannot only be attributed to flightiness as there are countless reasons why people dispose of email addresses. Perhaps they were interested in purchasing a product in your range so they subscribed to the email newsletters of all your competitors in order to gain a perspective on the various offerings. Now they’ve purchased the product and instead of unsubscribing from each list they simply terminate the address. Resend to Hard Bounces & Get Lumped into the Spam Can Unfortunately no matter what type of email address was terminated, it still returns as a hard bounce. Whether or not the address was an alias and the primary email address is still operational cannot be determined by the Mailer Daemons. All the ISPs (internet service providers) see is an attempt to send a message to a non-existent address and return it. Given that one of the primary identifying activities of spammers is repeated resends to dead addresses, the ISPs stuff these types of senders into the spam can and place them on the blockage shelf. ISPs Adopt Dormant Addresses to Use as Spam Traps ISPs will also select dormant email accounts at random and turn them into their own proprietary version of a honeypot, or spam trap. They know that anyone sending to that account has likely purchased or rented an old list and thus does not have permission to send, otherwise they would be aware that it’s a hard bouncing address. Legitimate albeit languorous email marketers fall into that trap by simply not keeping their lists clean enough. Ignoring a hard bouncing address leaves it on your list to gather more hard bounces until some ISP adopts that account as a trap and you’re busted! Deleting Hard Bouncers Is as Imperative as Making Payroll Your company must place the immediate deletion of hard bouncing addresses at a similar level of immutable priority as making payroll and paying rent. Any brand that relies upon email marketing can be decimated or even terminated by the blockage of its email marketing campaigns. In order to avoid this fate worse than corporate death, each and every hard bounce must be immediately purged from your list prior to your next send date without exception. Reputable email service providers are set up to recognize addresses that are hard bouncers and ensure that they are deleted from your list long before they are appropriated by the ISPs as spam traps. At this high churn rate, ignoring your hard bouncing email addresses and leaving them on your list is like sending your email marketing campaign 90 miles an hour down a dead end street.


Read More

5 Questions to Ask Yourself when Choosing an Email Template

Beyond • April 15, 2009

When starting a new email campaign, one of the first big decisions you are going to have to make is choosing an email template. There are tons of free templates out there, so finding one that suits your needs shouldn\'t be a problem. Just remember to choose a template that suits your target audience. If your blog focuses on karate tournaments in your area it doesn\'t really make sense to choose a template that has puppy prints in all the corners. Obviously. So, what should you look for in an email template? Will It Work Long Term? Your email template will be the foundation for all your email newsletters, so you want to make sure to choose one that you can use consistently. Choosing an email template is hard enough the first time, you don\'t want to have to choose and re-choose every month. Stick with something simple that you can augment as you need. Multi Platform Think of all the ways people are checking email today: desktops at work, laptops and tablets at the coffee shop, smartphones while on the go. With so many options or checking email, you need to make sure that your email template will look good on all of them. Choose a few templates and test them out with a few different devices before you make your final decision and start your campaign. You\'ll be glad you did. Multimedia One of the keys to a successful email marketing campaign is to vary the content of your email from time to time. This not only grabs the attention of your readers but gives you the chance to show them different aspects of your business. Make sure that whatever template you choose can handle multimedia additions like photos and videos. Stay Consistent Whatever template you choose should look as similar to your website as possible. It\'s not always possible to have your emails look exactly like your website, but you should at least have the same color scheme and font. Image is important in any business and the more closely your newsletter resembles your website, the more professional your business will appear. Keep Your Options Open While the email template you choose should be able to last a long time, it\'s always good to have options. The best email templates have a basic look that stays the same but allows you to change little things here and there. It\'s nice to have the option to add artwork and photos to special occasions and you readers will enjoy the change of pace. Choosing an email template that suits you and your business can be difficult. Remember that the most important thing is to put yourself in your audience\'s shoes. What appeals to them, what would they want to see? The right template will go a long way towards helping you build a successful email marketing campaign, and with a little creative wiggle room, the sky\'s the limit.


Read More
Support Update: Would You Like a Receipt with That?

Support Update: Would You Like a Receipt with That?

Beyond • April 13, 2009

The other day I was checking my mail for an invitation that should have been delivered already. I was on pins and needles. It would be nice if my mailbox shouted, “Mail’s here!” every time the mail carrier delivered something for me. It would save me from having to check every 15 minutes. Yes, I actually do that when I’m really excited to receive something. Haven’t we all? Well, on this particular day the only thing I had waiting for me were bills. Sometimes it feels like the only people who want to correspond with me are those I owe money to. But it made me realize something. I realized that with Benchmark Email, you do not have the hassle of bills coming to you monthly. Your account is conveniently set up to automatically deduct the payment for you. Talk about a hassle free way of doing business! There have been some inquiries lately from clients about how to access the billing statements for their Benchmark Email account. Here are the steps to follow to access your Benchmark Email account receipts: First, log into your account. Then click on the My Account tab on the right hand side of the screen (next to the yellow Help tab). From there you will click on Billing Statements. Now you will be able to see a breakdown of your account charges. You will have the option to view a more detailed receipt by clicking the icon on the right hand side of the row (boxed in with red rectangle below). You can also download the information as a PDF file and/or print it with the icons on the top of the screen (circled in red). If you have any questions while reviewing your payment information, please feel free to contact us via email, phone or live chat.


Read More
Email Marketing Equalizes Small Businesses and Public Corporations

Email Marketing Equalizes Small Businesses and Public Corporations

Beyond • April 12, 2009

It should come as no surprise that the largest companies are usually the most successful as well. After all, they tend to have access to a greater number of employees, customers and resources. While there is no secret formula to enjoying the recognition of the big bad corporate players, there is a way to enjoy similar reach and results with a handy tool known as email marketing. Don’t believe me? Feast your eyes on some of the ways a small business can use this powerful tool to operate like a public enterprise: Create Targeted Email Templates In the corporate world, identity is absolutely crucial to a company’s longevity in the market. Brand identity is equally important for a small business. Using your email templates to create targeted designs gives your marketing message the ability to engage the reader and strengthen your identity in the process. A targeted design is more than a template that appeals to the eye. It is one that makes your message easy to digest for the subscriber and speaks to the consistency of your brand. Integrate with Social Media On its own, email marketing can provide a small business with tremendous reach. However, that reach can be extended even further when integrated with other channels. In today’s Web 2.0-based digital era, social media is arguably the best channel to branch out to. Although email is fast from a delivery standpoint, social media gives you the potential to respond even faster, mainly because your subscribers and potential customers are spending more of their time on Facebook, Twitter and other popular networks. Though small in number, companies of all sizes are seeing positive results from mixing the social medium with their existing marketing initiatives. Learn from Your Reports One of the many great things about email marketing is that it gives a small business convenient access to its constantly updating technology and features. The feature that really makes the difference is a reporting system that measures your impact. By reading your reports, you can uncover strengths and weaknesses, compare campaign results and adjust your marketing strategy according to performance. You don’t need a corporate budget to get access to the data big companies use to base their business decisions, and because you are perpetually abreast of consumer behaviours and purchases, your smaller size actually enables you to react more quickly to what the market wants. Keep in mind, though, that actually putting this data to good use is more important than having convenient access to it. You must be serious about tracking your success and making the necessary efforts to improve. Think Big and Grow Thanks to the internet and its unlimited potential, the playing field is more level than ever when it comes to the business sector. Technology is moving fast and the more it evolves, the more smaller companies will be able to compete. Email marketing may not make your business the next Fortune 500 (at least not overnight), but it can help you garner lasting success in your market.


Read More

5 Metrics to Track with Your Email Analytics

Beyond • April 12, 2009

Email marketing newsletters are an invaluable resource for your internet marketing campaign. You can promote your brand, business and products to a wide audience every week with a simple email. But how do you know if your email campaign is effective? That’s where email analytics come in. Email analytics, or email metrics, allow you to track who opens your emails, which links are the most effective and whether or not people are linking to your site through your emails. If you want to really hone in on what works with your target audience, analytics are the way to go. Here are a few of the things you should track with your emails: Social Media Activity If you are including social sharing links in your email (which you should be), you can use email analytics to find out who is clicking on which social sharing links. This means that every time someone \"likes\" your email on Facebook or starts following you on Twitter, you\'ll know. The most obvious advantage here is knowing which emails you send inspire people to click that \"share\" button, allowing you to repeat that success. Video Views This doesn\'t differ all that much from using email analytics to gather information about your social sharing links. If you are using videos in your campaign you can use email analytics to figure out which videos are working with your campaign and which aren\'t. You can do this in Benchmark by attaching your video via a link or embed and tracking users\' unique clicks. If you add a video and realize that your audience isn\'t watching it, you have the chance to change the video in the next email or remove the video completely. Calls to Action As a general rule, it\'s best to vary your call to action from email to email. If you stick to the same call to action in every email (such as \"click here to read more!\"), you run the risk of losing your audience\'s attention. Track which calls to action work best with your target audience and experiment with different greetings/actionable content. Reactions to Content Engaging content is the most important aspect of any email marketing campaign. Punchy, creative content draws in the consumer and keeps your brand fresh in the mind even after they have closed your email. Does your audience prefer images or text? Video testimonials or polls and surveys? Email analytics can help you figure out what type of content your audience responds to best. Success of Your Subject Lines The subject line is the first thing your audience sees when they open their inbox. Subject lines need to be sharp and attention grabbing, but not pushy. Think of your subject lines as an invitation. You want the reader to feel welcome. By tracking which emails get the most open rates you can judge whether you need to be more or less aggressive with your subject lines. In the end, analytics increase your knowledge about your target market\'s behavior and allow you to use that information to enhance the power of your email marketing newsletters.


Read More

5 Tips for B2B Email Marketing Campaigns

Beyond • April 11, 2009

Most marketers are familiar with business to consumer (B2C) sales. B2C involves selling a product directly to a consumer, no middle man. Business to business, on the other hand, involves you selling your product or service to another business. B2B marketing is a completely different animal than B2C; the focus is more on the long term sales and building relationships with your clients. Here are some important things you should remember when assembling a B2B email marketing campaign. A Solid Foundation Successful B2B marketing is based almost entirely on trust. Businesses prefer to get their products from companies they believe will provide them with honest, timely services and well made products. Of course, the sale is always important. But when you are dealing with business customers it is equally important to build their trust in you and your brand. Trust leads to relationships, and building relationships with your business customers ensures that they will stay your customers for the long haul. Get Personal When you\'re dealing directly with customers, mass emails with generalized subject lines usually work just fine. But business customers are a different story. Businesses want to know that they have you in their corner, that they are more to you than an I.D. number on an Excel worksheet. The emails you send to your business customers should be as personal as possible. Include names and past purchases to really drive home the fact that their continued business is important to you. Beyond the Sale A great way to show your B2B customers that they are a priority is to give them more than just the product they buy. Send them emails with how-to videos and tips on the different ways they can use your products. The idea is to help them get the most out of your business as they can. The more you offer along with your products, the more your business customers will value your services. Point of View When dealing with B2B customers it\'s important to imagine yourself in their shoes. How would you want to be treated if you were purchasing goods or services from them? It\'s always best to be straightforward. Let them know exactly how your company will service them and what value they should expect from your products. Long Term Business to consumer relationships tend not to last long, one or two purchases at most. The consumer comes in, gets what they want and they are out. On the other hand, B2B relationships are the most fruitful for all parties involved when they are long term. Your email campaigns should focus on building long, steady relationships with your business clients. Focus on the future and your clients will follow suit. These are just a few things to keep in mind when you begin communicating with your business customers. B2B is all about showing your customer that your business can be trusted, that they can count on you to deliver the goods time and time again. Keep you B2B clients happy and they are sure to stick around for a long time.


Read More

How to enhance your email delivery

Beyond • April 10, 2009

Great email delivery is one of the most important parts of a successful email campaign. In the long run, it will not only save you money and time, but increase your audience and ultimately boost your sales. At Benchmark, we go the extra mile to make sure you have the very best delivery and open rates, constantly adjusting our strategy to move past any roadblock email clients put in place. But did you know there are things you can do on your end – as an email marketer – to improve your deliverability?Here are some things you can do on your end to ensure most of your emails and newsletters make it to the inbox: 1. Slow down your email send rate Some ISPs set a threshold for how many emails you can send during one session. If you exceed this threshold or limit, their system can flag you as a spammer and will block the rest of your email newsletters. One way to avoid this is to send your messages in small bursts, with a pause of a few minutes between these bursts. 2. Tuesday / Wednesday 2-3pm = increased response If you send during this time frame on these days, your subscribers will come to expect that your email will arrive in their inbox on the same day and at the same time every week. This means that they want to read your content and will generally be more receptive to any special offers or promotions you may include. If you keep things consistent, customers are less likely to get confused about your newsletter or email and report it as spam. 3. Use a tag line at the beginning of the subject line Mark your newsletters with a tag line so customers recognize that they\'re coming from you. Here\'s an example: ‘[BME Newsletter] TEST. 297, 04.07.2009—Email Marketing — Tips’. Stay consistent and put a tag line in your subject line every time. The more you do this, the less chance you\'ll get a spam complaint. 4. Always insert the current date in your content A correct date that indicates when the newsletter was sent is more important than you probably think it is. If the date isn’t mentioned or is provided incorrectly, the newsletter is given spam score points. 5. HTML is OK, but only if MIME-Multipart is used When sending newsletters as HTML, make sure that the plain text version is also attached. Messages sent in MIME-Multipart-Format are automatically sent in a way that subscribers without active HTML viewers still get a decently formatted e-mail. It is important that both plain text and the HTML-versions have the same or very similar content. The percentage of text should be higher than the percentage of HTML or images. 6. Use CSS very Carefully In most cases it is better to use in-line CSS-styling in HTML instead of referring to the CSS- file in HTML. However, referring to external CSS-files is better than sending them with the newsletter. 7. Avoid graphics and complex HTML elements Spam-filters consider number issues related to HTML when deciding whether or not to deliver your emails. For instance, if the newsletter has too many closed tags, too many images or table elements, it gets just as many spam score points. Also, keep this in mind that many readers use software (Outlook, for example) which automatically blocks images. If users don’t understand what the mail is about they will report it as spam. Complex HTML is generously awarded with many spam score points. Thanks to this, we suggest that you keep it simple. Colorful backgrounds, tables, JavaScript and Web forms should not be in your newsletters. 8. Ask / Request that your users add you to their whitelist To ensure the bulletproof email delivery, ask your readers to add you to whitelist. 9. Use the same \"from\" address Keep your \"From\" address constant and same. This helps subscribers that have added your email address to their whitelist continue receiving messages from you. 10. Monitor new subscribers Monitor new subscribers to your email lists. Set suspicious email addresses such as \"abuse@\", \"nospam@\", \"postmaster@\" and \"marketerspam@\" as inactive subscribers. these email addresses should not be in your email list. 11. Verify your subscribers with signup confirmation Always make your mailing lists double / confirmed opt-in. This means that when a user subscribes to your mailing list through your website or any other source, they will be sent an email with a link that they must click on to confirm their subscription. This is very important because many people can accidentally enter an incorrect email address or even the email address of someone else on purpose. When that person receives a newsletter they did not subscribe to, they will assume they have been spammed and they will report your newsletter as such. Using confirmed opt-in subscription method will also help you to keep invalid email addresses out from your email list, which reduces the volume and percentage of undeliverable messages or hard bounces.


Read More

5 Tips on Crafting Emails for the International Market

Beyond • April 8, 2009

Localization and segmentation are extremely beneficial when marketing internationally. Knowing a country’s most common language and respecting the differences within their varying cultures will substantially improve the results of your email marketing campaigns. The following are 5 tips on how to craft emails for the international market. 1. Familiarize Yourself with Spam Laws The US CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 has influenced countries around the world to adopt similar anti-spam laws giving governments the ability to prosecute spammers. Primarily differing in matters of consent, most of these laws apply to similar topics but refer to them in different ways or have varying penalties and restrictions. Sometimes different countries\' laws can overlap, so keep abreast of the major laws and act accordingly. 2. Focus on Time Zones and Days of the Week Obviously time zones must be taken into account but also remember that timing affects regional and cultural variations. Find out what days constitute the weekend and be mindful of holidays from country to country. 3. Check Your Tone The tone and length of your content deemed appropriate will vary from one country to another. For example, newsletters in the United States commonly include article overviews with links to the full articles, yet some countries will expect all content to be presented in full. Similarly, some countries are used to a more straightforward type of sales email, while others cringe when an ad is too bold. Take time to craft your email newsletters to cater to the expectation of your readers. 4. Get It Right on Shipping Laws and Taxes Familiarize yourself with the shipping laws of countries where you conduct business. Domestic norms will not always apply abroad and inconsistencies regarding finances can be distressing for both sides - especially when it is not clear who is at fault. For example, it is common practice in the United States to post prices excluding tax. In some countries this would be considered illegal. In France, it is common practice for the recipients to print a confirmation form and return a fax whereas in other countries this may be considered a nuisance. 5. Study Language Issues Language preference is not always as clear as you’d like to believe. Many countries commonly practice multiple languages and the one you support in particular situations can be very important. Certain audiences may prefer to communicate in English by email, but even so, there are still differences between British English and American English and even South African English. This is when attention to detail can make or break a connection with a potential client. The bottom line is that increasing globalization will create a market in which online relationships will be the crux of success for your business. It is no longer acceptable for ignorance to excuse shortcomings when catering to international clients. Start with these simple tips and make the effort to localize your wording and acculturize your content whenever possible.


Read More

Permission Email Marketing Report: Worst Industries for Spam Email

Beyond • April 7, 2009

Nowadays, spam is so common that it has almost become synonymous with email. Most of us probably have more unsolicited or unwanted mail than we can actually read. This viral epidemic is rearing its ugly head across multiple industries, but some have it worse than others. According to a study recently published by security vendor Symantec, the automotive industry is leading the way with the most recipients reporting their messages as spam. In the month of February, 84.3% of its messages were reported as spam. Coming at number two was the education field with 82.6%. The chemical and pharmaceutical sector was third with 81.4%. These numbers are pretty alarming when considering that the global rating for spam as a whole is 81.3%. It is safe to say that not all the apples in the bunch are bad, but it is also clear to see that these industries have a problem. Here is what they can start doing to clean things up: Follow Protocol It is bad practices that continue to keep spam alive. Senders have been abusing the email system since day one, but industries can avoid this plague by following the legal protocols and policies of email marketing. Doing things such as including a privacy policy, designing a comprehensive unsubscribe process and keeping a clean list can go a long way in keeping spam at bay. Stop Misleading Recipients These days, spam is not solely defined as an unsolicited message sent without permission. It can also be a message that misleads the recipient. This is something you want to avoid no matter what area you specialize in. Subject lines should never try to trick the recipient into opening a message. The content you discuss at signup should be exactly as you described when it arrives. You must deliver what you say you will and when you say you’ll deliver it. Not all blacklisted senders are bonafide spammers. Perception has a lot to do with the fate they were handed. Commit to Opt-in Email Marketing The automotive business and other industries suffering from unbelievably high spam rates can improve dramatically by simply committing to opt-in marketing. This means building a list, staying away from leased and purchased lists, getting permission and providing recipients with an easy way to opt out. Opt-in email marketing is all about doing what it takes to stay out of the spam folder and off the infamous blacklist. It appears that the automotive sector has developed a rough rep, but spam is bad all across the board. Symantec’s survey shows that spam accounts for 80% of the email in retail, marketing, financial and various other industries. This goes to show that just about every major arena could be do a little more to clean up their act. Spam may never die but it can be contained if senders stop giving it strength.


Read More

Successful Email Fundraising for Associations & Organizations

Beyond • April 6, 2009

Recent surveys conducted by Convio show a wide discrepancy between the average funds raised annually, per email address, between various sectors of non-profit associations and organizations. Some vertical segments obtained nearly eight and a half times as much in donations for every usable email address than others. Much of the difference can be simply explained by the varying fundamental nature of the specific industry segments, but there are some details and trends that can point the way to increasing online revenue for any association or organization involved in fundraising. Lists May Be Growing Too Fast for Appeals to Keep Pace The total online funds raised for an overall email marketing campaign can be analyzed on how many dollars were donated per each email address on the list. This gauge allows the directors to be able to make accurate determinations of how online revenue is being generated based on the average for each online constituent. The Convio study found that the overall dollars raised through email across sectors dwindled to $6.10 per address in 2009 from $6.76 the previous year. The drop can be attributed not only to global economic indicators that were at the most severe lows in decades, but also to the burgeoning in subscriber email address list sizes. The lists of many organizations are growing at a very fast pace and this rate may be exceeding the capacity for fundraising approaches to drive home the motivation for making the donation. Immediacy Gains Donations The clear winner in the online revenue per usable email address stakes was the Team Events vertical segment, with an enviable $27.56, followed by Disaster & International Relief at $22.43. Team Events are primarily high profile appeals centering on highly publicized fundraising events such as runs, walks, bicycle rides or other similar events that are specifically created to raise awareness and funds for the organization and its goals. Disaster & International Relief fundraising is primarily driven by current events, and with the recent cascade of worldwide disasters both natural and man-made it is not surprising that their revenue per address is at an extremely high level. Raising Funds for Long-Term Programs Is More Difficult What the results of these two vertical segments can prove to all non-profit association and organization directors is that in order to be able to put forward a convincing and effective fundraising email campaign, the primary necessity is immediacy. Enormous disasters such as the recent one in Japan have galvanized the world’s attention and thus created a much more fertile environment for online donation solicitation. Team events are usually massively promoted through all major media in a concentrated geographic area, thus the awareness factor of the general public in that region is off the scale and this translates into an incentive for participation in time for the date of the event. Not surprisingly, a vertical segment such as Higher Education, which raises funds for various long term programs for colleges, universities and their alumni associations, has the lowest revenue per usable email address rate of all, at a mere $3.30. Emotional Appeals Strike Resonant Chords in Donors Approaching donors in emotional appeals goes beyond disaster relief, but also extends to various “heartstring” causes such as Hospitals, Medical Foundations & Research. This segment managed a third place showing at $19.36 per address, followed by Human & Social Services at $17.18 and Jewish campaigns at $16.41. All three of these segments are able to craft appeals that strike an immediate and resonant chord among supporters and thus can achieve high donation per email targets. In contrast, the appeals conducted by relatively more staid and static segments cannot take advantage of emotional entreaties and thus collect far less funds: Public Affairs is able to generate only $3.36 per address. Immediacy and emotional appeal seem to be significant incentives for online donation solicitation. If your non-profit association or organization is not hitting the mark on these critical aspects, immediate attention is required to bring in the elements that will motivate your supporters to write that check.


Read More
New Facebook App: Add Signup Forms to Your Facebook Fan Pages

New Facebook App: Add Signup Forms to Your Facebook Fan Pages

Beyond • April 5, 2009

Update: As per changes in Facebook\'s policy from October 2011 one requires additional permissions for the application to manage pages. We have made the necessary code changes to adjust the new structure and it should work, provided the steps below are followed. Clients must follow the steps listed below in order to reinstate the app on their pages again: 1) Log in to Facebook and navigate to the page below (http://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=applications). You will need to delete the \'Benchmark Email Signup Form\' from above page. 2) After completion of the prior step, please navigate to the page where you have inserted the Signup Form and click on the \'configure\' button below. It will prompt you for the same permissions that it did the first time around with the addition of \'Manage Pages\' which is now required to install the Signup Form in your pages. 3) You will need to edit the Signup Form settings (if everything went well with step 2, then you should be on this page without having to do anything extra), just save it once for good measure and you are good to go. We have been discussing the importance of integrating email marketing with social media until we are blue in the face. Of course, it’s one thing to talk about it. It’s another thing to go out and do it. We’ve gone and done something that will make this integration easier on all of you. Benchmark Email has developed a Facebook app that allows people to subscribe to your newsletters from your Facebook Page. For a step by step guide on how to install the app on to your Facebook Fanpage, check out - How to Add the \"Signup Form\" App to Your Facebook Fan Page? Once the app has been successfully installed on your Facebook Fanpage, the final output will look like this: The Benchmark Email Signup Form Facebook app automatically integrates with your Benchmark Email account. When people are on your Face fan page, they can add their contact information (email address), and all this information will go directly into the contact list/s (that you have chosen) in your Benchmark Email account. To try the Facebook app for yourself, click here


Read More
Measure Your ROI: Use Google Analytics With Benchmark

Measure Your ROI: Use Google Analytics With Benchmark

Beyond • April 4, 2009

Quick question: how much does the average email recipient spend at your Website or shop? If you can\'t answer that, don\'t worry - you\'re not alone. Email marketing return on investment is a big unknown for lots of email marketers. But thanks to our new Google Analytics feature, you\'ll get your answer. Now you can add Google Analytics - for free - to your Benchmark Email newsletter and email campaigns. You\'ll get an exact figure on how much your recipients spend, what they spend their money on, and where they go when they click on an email link and land on your site. With Google Analytics and Benchmark Email you can view: How much each email recipient spent, on average, at your site Which customers made the big purchases and which ones made smaller ones Where email marketing recipients went when they showed up at your site How much you\'re spending on email campaigns versus how much you\'re taking in Which site pages dead end and which ones bring in the best conversions Problem pages on your site that cause people to move on to something else Which customers abandoned their shopping carts Which products bring in the most traffic and which ones fall flat If you already have a Google Analytics account, all you need to do is check the box to turn this feature on in the first step of the email creation process. If you don\'t have a Google Analytics account, you can go here to set up your Google Analytics account. Google Analytics provides ultra-precise tracking that answers all these questions and more. Combining Google Analytics with Benchmark Email gives you a bigger picture of what happens when people click on a link in your email, and shows how you can improve upon your campaigns in the future to boost your sales.


Read More
Top 5 Ways to Obtain Your Restaurant Patrons’ Email Addresses

Top 5 Ways to Obtain Your Restaurant Patrons’ Email Addresses

Beyond • April 4, 2009

Building an email marketing subscription list is central to your entire online promotional strategy but it is a process that can prove difficult for restaurateurs. Here are five ways to ensure you obtain your patrons’ valuable email addresses and have them coming back for more. Your Wait Staff Your wait staff is the interactive face of your restaurant: where the direct relationship your patrons have with your services is embodied. If we assume that your wait staff has already done everything possible to ensure that the patron is comfortable and satisfied with the meal, ambiance and service, perhaps the patron will be receptive to a suggestion brought with the bill: “We’re always developing new dishes and approaches here at The Hard Crock Cafe. We can send you our monthly newsletter that’s crock-full of insights, tasty tips and discount crock-coupons. Could I have your email address?” Incentives Your diners respond to motivation and the approach above will be far more successful if an incentive is worked into the script. “Your first newsletter will contain a 50% discount coupon for an entrée on your next visit”; “a two for one meal special”; “I can give you a ($5 / $10 / etc.) discount on your bill right now”; or “… and your dessert becomes free!” If your restaurant has a Chef’s Table, a reservation at that sought after location can prove a powerful motivation to turn over the email address. Other possible incentives include providing the customer with the possibility of setting up a visit with the Chef tableside, or to order a rare, decadent and delectable Foodie Heaven specialty that is off the menu and completely way over the top, like Kobe Beef Tenderloin in Matsutake Mushroom Sauce with shaved White Alba Truffle. When Taking Reservations When your staff is accepting a reservation is a great time to suggest to the patron that they can receive the newsletter in exchange for their email address. The type of incentive that can be provided from the list above can be sent in print-out-coupon form to the diner immediately via email, giving your reservations personnel additional ammunition to get that all-important address. On the Guest Check Many POS systems have lines that can be customized with specific promotional content. Instead of wasting this space on “Crock Around The Clock At The Hard Crock Cafe,” this area can contain a note asking for the email address and a space that the patron can fill out, which is then torn off and left in the Guest Check Folder, in a container by your register or on your bar. You can place blurbs pointing out the use of that space on your menu or on the takeout and delivery order forms. On Your Website If you are already drawing traffic to your website, providing the incentive there can act as a significant conversion factor. Since the patron is already visiting your site, you can offer valuable online content rather than a discount coupon. You can easily develop article or short e-book content such as “The Hard Crock Café’s 20 Favorite Crock-Pot Entrees - Recipes & Photos”; “Chef Crockarooni’s 12 Favorite Italian Mama Specialties”; or “10 Ways To Organize A Hard Crock Party At Work!” In all of these approaches it must be made absolutely crystal clear that the email address will place the patron onto your email campaign subscription list. It is imperative in order to adhere to both ethical and legal standards that you not only specify the restaurant’s newsletter frequency and ease of opt-out procedures, but also have a way of recording the customer’s approval whether by email or physical form. Considering every aspect of your restaurant from the aspect of how email addresses can be collected from patrons will build your list and boost your bottom line. And that’s no crock!


Read More

5 Tips for Modern Email Subject Lines

Beyond • April 1, 2009

We’ve all done it before. You scan your inbox and see an email that looks like it may be from a marketing company, then you read the subject. If the subject line doesn’t grab you right away, that email ends up in the trash. Subject lines are one of the most important parts of your marketing email. As the first thing that your intended audience will see, the subject line can make or break your email campaign. You need catchy subject lines that pull consumers in long enough for you to show them the value of your email. Here are some tips for writing solid subject lines. Keep It Short You shouldn’t be shocked to hear that most people are carrying smartphones around with them everywhere these days. That means that almost everyone has the ability to check email on their phone no matter where they are or what time it is. For email marketers, that means that subject lines have to be optimized for viewing on mobile devices. If your email has a long, involved subject line, it’s likely to get passed over. Keep it short and sweet and you’ll see your open rates shoot up. Ask a Question This may seem a bit silly but you’d be surprised how well this little tip works. It has everything to do with tapping into your target audience’s curiosity. Ask a question that you think your readers would like to know the answer to or, even better, that they would answer yes to. If you are selling photo developing gear, try subject lines like “Wouldn’t you like to have your photos printed for less?” The key is to put yourself in the shoes of the people you are trying to reach. What would make you open the email? Call to Action A strong call to action always makes a good subject line. You can’t get any more straightforward than telling your reader (in as few words as possible) exactly what you expect them to do. You don’t want to be pushy and never type in all caps. Trust me, you will scare people off that way. What you do want is to be honest with your audience. Let them know what is expected of them and they will respond in kind. Trial and Error Not all subject lines work for everyone. Half of your audience may dislike the question approach, while others find the call to action approach too direct. They key to finding which subject lines work best with your specific audience is testing out different styles. Get creative. With each new email, try out a different type of subject line and keep track of what works best with your specific audience. Don’t forget to try combinations of different subject line styles and don’t get discouraged if you don’t find the perfect style right away. Trial and error takes time, but it will definitely be time well spent. Avoid Spammy Words There is nothing more annoying than an inbox stuffed to the brim with spam. You can spot it a mile away. “CLICKNOW4BESTDE@LEVRRR!!!!!!!” Stay away from writing in all caps and overusing punctuation, which are typical of spam emails. Also, never leave the subject line blank. That’s another dead giveaway. As is writing anything like “Please Respond” or sticking a link in place of a proper subject. The fact is, spam annoys people. The less your email resembles it the better. The subject line of your email is the first thing that your reader sees; it holds a lot of weight. Good subject lines mean more opened emails and higher click-through rates, both of which mean more business for you.


Read More
 
1 226 227 228 229 230