We Wrote a Book! Clues for the Clueless Email Marketer

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We Wrote a Book! Clues for the Clueless Email Marketer

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Mother’s Day Advice & Lessons Learned from the Benchmark Moms

Mother’s Day Advice & Lessons Learned from the Benchmark Moms

Beyond • May 11, 2018

I love my mom, but she’s crazy. Don’t worry. Saying it in this blog post won’t be news to her. I tell her all the time (both that I love her and that she’s crazy). While I may have done my fair share of complaining about it in my younger years, I came to appreciate the crazy too. Her fierce love for her family meant she would do anything to advocate for us. It helped in school if we got into trouble and in any other situation we needed someone on our side. What I saw as crazy at one point, I came to see as one of her greatest assets. Doing whatever you can for the ones you love is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned from my mom. That’s why I supported my younger brother for a few years when he followed me out to Los Angeles. It’s also why I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner with my found family in LA when I can’t make it back to Chicago for the holiday and why I enjoy making sure close friends have special plans to celebrate birthdays. I am who I am in no small part thanks to my mom. For that, I’ll always love her. I’ll be halfway across the country from my mom on Mother’s Day, and will have to resort to sending flowers and a phone call or Skype to tell her I love her. However, I’m always surrounded by great moms here at Benchmark. So, I figured this was as good of a time as any to pick their brains for some advice on being a mom, what they’ve learned as a mom and why moms are the best to work with. Here’s what they had to say: What\'s the best advice you\'ve been given on being a mom (and who gave it)? Yamile Flores - Learning Experience Designer: I think my mother told me: dress him, change his clothes two or three times a day. I like it because they grow up so fast and then they use their clothes like twice (not enough to justify the purchase). Irene Martinez - Training Manager: It is okay to take time off for yourself. Yes, kids are our priority, but you must take time to refocus. It does not have to be for days. A simple hour can do the trick. My mother-in-law told me this. [caption id=\"attachment_10111\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"769\"] Irene and her girls.[/caption] Lisa Fletcher - Customer Engagement Specialist: Don\'t sweat the small stuff. From a book cover lol. Debbie Running - Accounting & Human Resources Manager: Advice from my Mom: Take your children to church. Pray with them. Teach your children the Golden Rule (Do on to others as you would have them do unto you). Advice from Auntie Maude (Nanny): Always have your children wear onesies under their clothing for months that have an R in them. My children were rarely sick. Nydia Lopez - Integrations and International Content Management: My mom always told me to never say bad things (words) to my kids to correct them. Those words hurt them more than a punishment or even a spank. What\'s the biggest lesson you\'ve learned since becoming a mom? YF: In the beginning, I wanted the time run faster because I was so tired. Sometimes I still have the same feeling, but I learned I need to enjoy this. No matter how tired I am, I have to find the strength to play, to laugh, to be a mom. IM: Things can go from great to bad in an instant (especially with little ones). Be prepared for anything possible. If you are not, then learn for the next time. Because trust me, there will be a next time. LF: As bad as any tantrum appears to be, it\'s really a cry to be heard or understood, and they always pass. DR: Never say never! Life is precious. Don\'t take it for granted. Children are a blessing. Smell and kiss them often. Hold their hands and guide them always. NL: Being a mom at a young age was a big challenge. I have always said that there is no manual to learn how to be a mom, you learn it over time. I can say that I grew up learning together with my children to fall and get up, but always with their heads held high. What advice would you give to a new mom? YF: All the help is welcome. Sleep when the baby is asleep too. Eat! Do not care about your weight. You will have time later to lose those pounds. Enjoy taking pictures of your baby and spending time watching them growing up. Time never comes back, and yes, you will forget how it was. IM: Take things day by day. The days where you want to rip your hair out are outnumbered by the days your heart is filled with joy. The long nights will be gone before you know it, and all that will be left are memories. LF: Learn to enjoy time with your kids. Never see it as a job you must do, but something you are gaining from. DR: I tell my daughter that as a new mom, life goes by so fast. Enjoy every day with them as if it were your last. As a Mom, I taught our children when you are at someones home, always be on your best behavior. I have passed that advice to my daughter. [caption id=\"attachment_10109\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"1080\"] Debbie with her mother, sisters, daughter, nieces and daughter-in-law.[/caption] NL: Kids grow so fast, Enjoy them, protect them, experience them now. Because in a blink of an eye, they will become adults and you will wish to turn back time and do what you didn’t do before. Why do moms make great employees and coworkers? YF: The ability to be really good at multitasking. You have a 360º view, and that\'s incredible because for any reason all your senses are improved like a superhero. You can see things that could happen where anybody else can see it, so you become an expert detailing. You work faster because you can\'t spend all day on just one thing. And for the things that must be done only for one, and perfectly, you can not go back and repeat tasks. Kids make you become a perfectionist in all you do. So, I am better working since I become a mom. IM: A woman without kids is no more important than one with kids. However, moms bring something different to the table, and that is flexibility. We know things can go from good to bad in an instant, and we tend to prepare for the worst case possible. In a working environment, you must be flexible to take on new challenges. LF: Most moms bring a deep well for empathy and know how to gather the troop together for the betterment of all. DR: Moms are great employees because we have learned to juggle lots of responsibilities. Therefore, we can multitask. We care about how our co-workers feel. We have time management skills. Moms are dedicated and loyal employees. NL: Moms are very determined, and we are known as the masters of multi-tasking. If there is something that we do not know how to do, we always come up with something. And having moms as coworkers makes us feel like we have something in common and that we understand each other. Moms work very hard! :)


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Mother’s Day Email Marketing Tips & Infographic

Mother’s Day Email Marketing Tips & Infographic

Practical Marketer • May 11, 2018

Mothers. We all have them. Kanye West raps about them. Most of us love them. And at least one day a year, on Mother’s Day, we make sure they know it. In fact, at least 85 million matriarchs were celebrated on Mother’s Day in 2016. Mamma mia that’s a lot of love to go around! We show that love in a lot of ways to the tune of $23.6 billion dollars. Does anyone else see Dr. Evil in their head when they read those numbers?! I was always told that “it’s the thought that counts,” but the consumers spent an average of $172 on Mother’s Day in 2016. With those kinds of numbers, it’s no wonder we expect to see tons of email marketing campaigns in our inboxes leading up to Mother’s Day. If you haven’t begun planning your Mother’s Day email campaign already, there’s still some time. We’ve put together some tips and an infographic to help jumpstart your efforts. Plus we have some Mother’s Day email templates to help get you going. Mother’s Day Email Marketing Tips Of course, you can also look back at your inbox and see what others did in previous years on Mother’s Day. That will give you a good idea of what you liked and didn’t like and what you think you can improve upon. For example, it can help to know who you could be targeting your email campaigns towards by who is buying the most Mother’s Day gifts. That just happens to be 25-34 year olds, according to Fundivo. It also helps to know what moms want. Here’s what they’re expecting: 36% of moms say they want something homemade. See? It is the thought that counts. 34.8% want dinner. I’m not sure if that means a home cooked meal or at a restaurant. 22.5% plan to be opening at least one greeting card. Make sure you add your own personal note. 22.5% prefer the sweet smell of flowers. If you’re like me, you’ll procrastinate until you have to pay for the rush delivery fees. Don’t be like me. Beyond what moms want for Mother’s Day, it also helps to consider who those moms are that are being celebrated. This group of matriarchs is comprised of moms or step-moms (63.9%), wives (23.3%), daughters (10.7%), sisters (8.7%) and grandmothers (7.3%). When it comes to writing your subject lines, it pays to get emotional. A subject line that can gives your subscribers the feels will have a 21.5% higher open rate than those that don’t for Mother’s Day campaigns Ideas for Mother’s Day Email Campaigns Now that you understand who you’re directing your Mother’s Day email marketing towards, the question remains of what to send. Again, taking a cue from Mother’s Day email campaigns past can help you understand what you can send. This most common Mother’s Day promotions are free shipping (55%), sale price (44%) and coupons (41%). Here are some more ideas for Mother’s Day email campaigns: Offer a gift guide. Make it easy for your subscribers to find the perfect gift for their loved ones. Off suggestions for all the types of moms in their lives. This Mother’s Day gift guy from IfOnly is designed to help you get the perfect gift for mom. Sometimes it helps to consult an expert. If you’ve built trust with your subscribers, they’ll be happy to follow the guide you provide. Include gift wrapping and cards. Remove a step or a trip for your subscribers and offer to wrap their gifts for them and include a card with the message of their choice. Give your mom customers a gift. Everyone does it. Free dessert for mom at a restaurant, free popcorn at the movies. Your mom customers will love it and you’ll still get the rest of the family’s business. Offering a free meal for mom, like Table Table does in this email, will bring the rest of the family in as well on Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day Email Marketing Infographic We’ve summed up all of these Mother’s Day stats and tips in a helpful infographic. Check it out, craft the perfect Mother’s Day email campaign and help your subscribers in need of the perfect gift. From all of us here at Benchmark, we wish a happy and healthy Mother’s Day to you and yours.


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Rand Fishkin Returns: Igniting SparkToro

Rand Fishkin Returns: Igniting SparkToro

Beyond • May 11, 2018

It was a pleasure to bring Rand Fishkin back to the Heart of Business, as he begins to ignite SparkToro, his latest endeavor. Hear our first conversation with Rand Fishkin, where we talk all things SEO. The invite to return to the podcast went out the day he announced he was leaving Moz and starting SparkToro. We just had to hear what the former Wonderful Wizard of Moz was getting into next. I think the bias toward, ‘you know...hey...there’s only one way to be successful’ is kind of [BS]. So this time around I am intentionally avoiding that. It turns out he’s got some pretty awesome stuff brewing with SparkToro. He told us all about it, and we can’t wait to see what it will become. He also shared details about his newly released book, Lost and Founder. As a Content Manager, my favorite part of his chat with Rand was our conversation about content. We talked about how to create great content and the importance of transparency. 1:28 - What is SparkToro? 4:11 - On life after Moz 7:43 - There’s not just one way to succeed 11:39 - Understanding your audience 20:06 - How transparency can make you the king of content 30:58 - His new book: Lost and Founder


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I’m a Mompreneur. Email Marketing Built My Business.

I’m a Mompreneur. Email Marketing Built My Business.

Beyond • May 10, 2018

My business began as a weekly email. It was Valentine’s Day 2016. I had been working as a marketing consultant for a few years -- ever since I had gotten pregnant with my second daughter and decided to leave my agency job to test out solopreneur life. I loved the freedom it afforded me; the ability to do great work, but do it around my young daughters’ schedules. I felt like I had discovered the magic mix of work and play that so many mothers were seeking -- and I wanted to share the wealth. So I started my second business, MotherHustle.com, to help the other creative working mothers that I knew from the agency world make the leap from stressed-out and unappreciated employee to empowered creative mompreneur. Every Sunday night, I began sending out my MotherHustle emails, filled with tips and stories about starting and growing a family-focused business. And as I shared, my list began to grow. I saw the magic of email marketing happening right in front of me: when you share great content, people want you to show up in their inbox. After a year of being a strictly email-only business, I expanded MotherHustle into an online community and publication and brought in more mom bosses to share their stories and ideas. But I kept up with my weekly email, and it has helped my little idea continue to grow with strength and resilience. My email list grew me a business. It also grew me fantastic connections, a community of other creative mompreneurs to lean on, and a private outlet for content that doesn’t necessarily belong on the public MotherHustle channels. Joe Pulizzi, author of Content, Inc., got it right when he said: “When all your focus is on an audience you know deeply, instead of a product, good things usually happen. When we listen intently to our audience, we are automatically led to new product opportunities.” Email marketing allows you to focus on getting to know your audience deeply. By testing which content resonates most with your list, and by actually getting subscribers to open your emails and interact with your content on a consistent basis, you’re able to create a deep connection with your audience before you even have a product to sell. That’s how I built MotherHustle -- and that’s how many of the other mom bosses, or mompreneurs, I know were able to build their successful businesses. As email marketing continues to grow and change, it’s important to keep up with how audiences are receiving those emails. So I decided to ask some of the mom bosses I know to share their best email marketing tips with me. As moms, what do they appreciate about the good emails they receive? What makes an email cut through the clutter? And as business owners, what email marketing tactics have been effective in their practices? Here’s what they had to say: “Personalization. I believe great emails come from great segmentation and really understanding your audience. [Pregnancy and parenting website] WhatToExpect is awesome at this. Their emails and the content they send are always hyper-relevant to the stage I’m in with my kiddo.” -- Latoya James Torrance, founder of EndearContent.com “I really don’t like hidden sponsorships. I don’t mind sponsored emails, but I really don’t like feeling tricked when I reach the end of an interesting email and find it’s only leading me to a purchase. I will likely unsubscribe. If it’s upfront, I don’t mind!” -- Maggie Murdy, founder of NativeCM “I like emails that give me free value, honestly. Anyone who is going to teach me something that makes my life easier. I read a lot of Holly Homer’s emails from Kids Activities Blog -- they are sales-y, but they also have a ton of good info before she tries to sell you anything.  I also like an email that tries to teach me one thing. Just one.” -- Maggie Frank-Hsu, founder of Blogs To Riches consulting program “[For the emails I receive:] get to the point. Skip formalities, and keep things bullet-point style. [For my business,] split-testing my headlines and resending to unopens a day or two later has increased my opens by about 8 percent.” -- Shawna May, sales and marketing consultant, owner of HeyHeyShawnaMay.com \"Your audience is busy. And no one wants junk cluttering up their inboxes. Focus on building a relationship with your audience and providing them the value that they want and need. In your welcome sequence, ask them what they want from you. Then, as you\'re creating your regular nurturing emails, include that value. Emails are so much more personal than social media, blog posts, and videos because they happen in real time and require a buy-in from your subscribers. Give them something special!\" -- Abby Herman, content marketing strategist If email marketing is on your business’ to-do list this Mother’s Day, take it from these mompreneurs: get right to it, give us value and gain our trust with honesty. If you do, email marketing can help you grow your business (just like it did for this mompreneur!).


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Why You Should Hire A Mom

Why You Should Hire A Mom

Beyond • May 9, 2018

I’m a mom, a single one at that. I own multiple businesses but before that, I worked at a large company where one might say I “cut my teeth.”  Corporate culture wasn’t for me, so I moved to entrepreneurship. Through all of those years of office training and now becoming a mom myself, I have learned an incredible amount of lessons with one residing at the top: moms make the best employees. My businesses have fortunately grown. I started out solo, and through the years, I’ve had to expand when needed to truly be able to grow the way I intended to. Hiring can be challenging, but I have built out my team comprised of several moms, purposely.  Not only because I am one, and I get how they tick, but it goes so much deeper than that. Is Your Mother\'s Day Email Marketing Ready? Check Out These Tips & Infographic. In the past, I used to constantly hear criticisms of moms in the workplace. People would say they’re not as focused, not as dedicated; they have too many commitments to worry about outside of the office that could prevent them from keeping their eye on the prize while in the office and I would cringe at every word.  In fact, it can be entirely the opposite if just given a proper chance and a mom on your team could wind up being the most highly beneficial business decision you could ever make. The Octopus Theory Did you ever see a mother that could not multi-task? I look back at some moments in my life, such as a typical start of a business trip when my daughter was younger. On my own, wheeling a suitcase, while pushing a stroller with a messenger bag strapped across me, feeding her and digging for a bottle in my bag in an airport all while on a conference call on my headset en route to board a plane. It sounds manic, but to me it was just natural and to many, many other moms that are home cooking dinner in the evening, while helping their child with their homework, handling household tasks, getting in the car to do activity pickups, preparing clothes for the next day, paying bills online and responding to emails and texts both personal and work-related without breaking a sweat. It just happens, and most mothers never, ever complain about it. They just DO. They’re given a situation, a tough one that has a lot of moving parts, and in most cases, they just figure it out.  If this incredible skill isn’t what you need on your team, you’re probably not growing the best way possible. In a study for Microsoft, it was shown that 62% of women make better team players and nearly 2/3 of moms surveyed agreed their multitasking skills improved after having a child, along with their time management skills whereas those of working dads didn’t necessarily improve. Balance A day in the life of a busy mom is a day you cannot possibly imagine unless you’re in those shoes. There are very early mornings that begin with thinking of someone else, handling something for someone else, ensuring someone else’s day is going well, that someone else is thriving and ensuring that someone else has everything they need to be their best. Activities to sign up for, school to prepare for, homework to complete, socialization to enjoy, food to eat, stable home to reside in and the list goes on. A mom can handle all of these spinning plates in the air easily and not drop any because it just comes naturally. It’s balance. When a mom really enjoys their work, fitting this into the mix to maintain balance also comes naturally too because they’ve had the best training. Work is something so crucial to a mom’s life to keep them grounded and feeling like they perhaps once did before all of the beautiful chaos and at least in my case, as is the case with countless others, work is so much more appreciated at this stage of life, commitments get stronger and in the end, work makes a mom a better version of herself in all ways. They also make incredible role models for children. A recent study of 50,000 adults in 25 countries saw daughters of working mothers completing more education and landing in ten leadership roles. Patience Placing beads on a string or making a complicated version of colored slime. Waiting at a soccer game that’s gone into triple overtime. Getting up at 5 am for hockey practice.  Listening to a story from a child that is adorable but goes on, and on, and on, and on. Patience is an art best developed by caring for a child and realizing that one’s schedule is no longer their own. Life operates on a completely different cycle once one enters motherhood and nothing else tests one\'s patience quite like this. This is a quality that can be highly attractive in the workplace and contributes to people getting along, to dedication to perfection on projects completed, and also when it comes to both learning on the job and perhaps even training someone on the job. The Art of Negotiation Consider how many times a day a mother has to channel her inner Monty Hall and play out a whole Let’s Make A Deal scenario.  10? 20? Easily. “If you get dressed in 5 minutes I’ll let you play a game on your phone.” “If you eat 10 brussels sprouts you only have to eat four pieces of steak.” “If you finish your homework in time you can watch a little TV.” The script goes on and on from sun up to sun down when you’re a mom. It is a constant battle, an endless trade, a continual offer being made and with negotiation being such a critical cornerstone in business, this is likely one of the best assets you will find in a mom. Why? Because they are forever on the training ground. It doesn’t stop when work stops, it begins far before and ends far later. And remember, in most situations, moms usually win. Emotion Where It’s Needed Most say there is no room for emotion in business, but passion is what fuels people to be their best. When commitment is strong, and the desire runs deep, there is no stopping anyone from achieving their goals. Moms enter the most extreme commitment one can ever make, the most binding, the most dedicated, the most bonding and the most amazing and they deliver, every minute of every day. There’s a touch that a mom has when explaining something when handling a delicate issue, when keeping things going when everything else seems dire that is so crucial to helping maintain a happy, healthy work environment. So, I urge you, whether you’re on your own and growing slowly or you’re running a large company, to ignore concerns you may have had before about the performance a working mom can deliver and consider these reasons why I firmly believe a mom should be a top candidate.


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How to Boost Engagement Using Rich Media in Emails

How to Boost Engagement Using Rich Media in Emails

Practical Marketer • May 7, 2018

Gone are the days when emails were used as nothing more than a medium to keep in touch (with the distant friends and relatives)! Today, emails have outplayed their past role and grown to be one of the most effective marketing channels that generates the highest ROI in comparison to all other business approaches. According to a survey by DMA and Demand Metric, email had a median ROI of 122%, that is more than 4 times when compared to marketing channels like paid search, social media, and direct mail. Time and again, marketers have tried various tricks to boost their email engagement. Emails are no longer written as a boring wall of content. Rich media like images, GIFs, cinemagraphs, and videos have added a dash of oomph and brilliance to email marketing as a whole. Your subscribers prefer to scan through the emails you send, rather than ‘read.’ Consequently, your emails should be easily scannable and appealing enough to keep your subscribers hooked. Moreover, as the attention span of humans is getting even lower than that of a gold fish, your emails ought to be striking and tap the right pulse of your subscribers. Take a look at this email. Isn’t it boring to read such a long email without any visual elements? It would have been better if there was a relevant image that supported the content. Using Static Images in Emails PetSmart includes cute images that match the purpose of the email and engage the audience in a much better way than plain text. Images help to build a brand reputation and get higher click-through rates. Applications of Static Images Travel industry can rely on static images to roll out different offers available for the diverse destinations. Ecommerce and retail industry can take help of images to share product recommendations to the past buyers. They can even create better cart abandonment emails by including the images of the abandoned products. Using GIFs in Email If we go a step further from static images, we have simple animated GIFs. GIFs allow you to convey more in less. You can display considerable amount of content or images in a limited space. Consider the example by Carnival Cruise Line.   The subscribers would surely get enticed to book the tickets and visit the destination on seeing the beautiful GIF animation… And that’s the ultimate goal of the email. Applications of GIFs GIFs are very popular in ecommerce industry to promote various products. E-retailers can showcase the varieties available in a single product through GIFs. Emails from fashion industry can include visually enticing GIFs to highlight the product details. Email marketers from IT industry can leverage GIFs and use them as explainer videos. Travel industry can make use of GIFs to inspire wanderlust in the subscribers. Using Cinemagraphs in Emails If you are paranoid about using GIFs because of its file size but still wish to include a subtle animation in your email, CINEMAGRAPH is the right choice for you. Cinemagraph is basically seamless looping of an animation. It is created in such a way that you get the illusion of viewing a video. Based on the type of business and your brand reputation, you can explore the world of cinemagraphs in your email campaigns. Here’s a beautiful example of a cinemagraph by Saks Fifth Avenue.   You can create a cinemagraph with the help of tools such as Flixel, Pictoreo, Kinotropic, Echograph, and Cinemagr.Am. Applications of Cinemagraphs Email marketers from the food industry can add cinemagraphs to promote their delectable delicacies. Cinemagraphs can prove to be very useful for fashion industry emails to promote their stylish products. The lavishness of premium products can be effectively illustrated through cinemagraphs. Using Videos in Emails Videos in emails are effective for sending out an event invitation or product launch announcement. The only drawback is that including videos increases the email file size. HTML5 supports 3 video formats, mainly OGG, MP4, and WebM. Hey Smiles Davis - did you know that video plays in email? null Wistia has made wonderful use of video in email to promote their services. The CTA button too is equally engaging for the subscriber. Applications of Videos You can leverage the use of videos in your meeting reminders. Non-profit organizations can promote their cause with a video. Telecommunications industry can drive higher conversions by including videos in their product launches. 10 Mistakes to Avoid While Using Rich Media Make sure you maintain the text to image ratio at 80:20 and do not exploit the use of rich media. Avoid sending an email as one whole image, because if your subscriber does not download the image, your email will go futile. As far as possible, avoid having a CTA in the image. Using too many images in addition to other spam triggers can land your email in the spam folder and hamper your deliverability. If you use a heavy GIF in your email, it may slow down the loading time of your email. Therefore, light-weight GIFs should be used. A number of tools can help you to compress the file. Outlook does not support the rendering of GIFs or cinemagraphs, so it is recommended that the first frame of your animation should make sense independently and include all the important information along with the CTA. It is advisable to have a mobile version of the GIFs with 320px width so that the animation gets displayed properly on the mobile devices even if it does not scale to mobile. Alt-text is a must while you use rich media as the email clients have these visual elements blocked by default. Always have a fallback image whenever you are using a GIF or video in your email.Note: Only email clients like Apple Mail, Thunderbird, and Web Browsers support embedded videos, so fallback image and suitable alt text become a must. Since the heavy size of videos can be a deterrent for your email marketing metrics, you should not use it just for the sake of using it. Do not overdo the use of rich media in a way it gets boring and monotonous for your subscriber. Wrapping Up Rich media is for all those email marketers looking forward to attempting something innovative in their email marketing campaigns. Are you ready to try it out? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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Adapt Your Email Marketing Strategy to the GDPR

Adapt Your Email Marketing Strategy to the GDPR

Practical Marketer • May 6, 2018

We have spent months talking about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The 25th of May, which is the day when it goes into effect, is fast approaching. During this time, we have provide you with tons of information related to adapting your email marketing strategy. On April 11th, 2018, we held a webinar going through the key points in which the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) affects the email marketing strategy. Editor’s Note: Benchmark provides information during the webinar and in this article for informational purposes only. Such information cannot be understood as legal advice. To get advice on any issue or aspect related to the GDPR, you should contact your lawyer. In this article, we\'ll do a quick review of what GDPR is. We also want to do a recap of how has Benchmark has adapted to the GDPR and about all the changes we have implemented and which you might need to know. What is the goal of the new GDPR? The main goal of the new GDPR is to provide users with final control over their personal data. What benefits does the new GDPR provide? One continent, one law: a single, pan-European law for data protection, replacing the current inconsistent patchwork of national laws. Companies will deal with one law, not 28. One-stop-shop: a \'one-stop-shop\' for businesses. Companies will only have to deal with one single supervisory authority, not 28, making it simpler and cheaper for companies to do business in the EU. The same rules for all companies – regardless of where they are established: Today European companies have to adhere to stricter standards than companies established outside the EU but also doing business in our Single Market. With the reform, companies based outside of Europe will have to apply the same rules when they offer goods or services on the EU market. This creates a level playing field. Technological neutrality: the Regulation enables innovation to continue to thrive under the new rules. Roles and restrictions with the treatment of personal data The GDPR lays out the responsibility on the \"controller\" who assumes the responsibility of the application of the Regulation. The controller is who determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data. As a consequence the controller must also ensure that the way the personal data is treated is compliant with the GDPR. If the controller for example has decided to use Benchmark as an email marketing software, he or she has to ensure that tools provided by Benchmark are GDPR compliant, granting the right of rectification, access or erasure. As you probably know, Benchmark provides that option through the “Manage subscription” link, which however does not appear as mandatory in the footer of the email. Therefore it’s the controller’s duty to activate and add it. In this scenario, Benchmark is just a simple data processor software. Consent Until now, when a subscriber signed up through our signup forms it was not mandatory to inform him/her about the purpose of the data processing activities to be carried out. The GDPR mentions that the consent should be given by a clear affirmative act establishing a freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject\'s agreement and should cover all processing activities carried out for the same purpose or purposes. When the processing has multiple purposes, consent should be given for all of them. In addition, where processing is based on the data subject\'s consent, the controller should be able to demonstrate that the data subject has given consent to the processing operation. Collection The GDPR advocates for simplicity in data collection. As marketers we tend to ask for more details than required (e.g. for sending out a simple weekly newsletter). This new Regulation encourages to collect the minimum data necessary for the current marketing strategy and not to ask for unnecessary data that may (or may not) be useful in the future. Access The controller should grant the easy execution of the data subject\'s rights, including mechanisms to request and, if applicable, obtain, free of charge, in particular, access to and rectification or erasure of personal data and the exercise of the right to object. Treatment of personal data The controller must inform the data subject of the existence of the processing operation and its purposes to grant a fair and transparent processing. How is Benchmark complying with the new GDPR? Find out all the details about How Benchmark adapts to the GDPR in this article. Find the recording of our Webinar here: If this article has been interesting for you, please, share it with your colleagues and friends.


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The Best Promotional Email Marketing Campaigns for your Mobile App

The Best Promotional Email Marketing Campaigns for your Mobile App

Beyond • May 2, 2018

What’s the point of creating a beautiful application if no one knows about it? And, how could you tell your customers that you have invested in an amazing application that may prove to be an exceptional one for them? Well, the most appropriate answer to this question is to practice email marketing services. Not well aware of the technicalities that come with it? Don’t worry, I will cover all that and a lot more while explaining to you the do’s and the don’ts of email marketing services. Email marketing services include a number of practices that could help your app get global recognition among the niche audience. Being the umbrella term for the marketers, there are a number of practices that are much beneficial to practice. And, when you are getting into the email marketing services, you must know the do’s and the don\'t of the same in order to practice it the right way. However, prior to revealing these elements, let’s have a look at what stats have to say: Let’s have a look at the stats that prove the efficiency of emails in the modern world: According to a 2015 study, there are approximately more than 2.5 billion email users worldwide 33% of the world population uses emails to communicate With these points in mind, it is time to be careful about how you are shaping your email marketing campaign. If you practice the things the right way, such campaigns can generate an impressive number of leads for your business. Email marketing services, however, are not only about the leads (I\'ll explain later how) but also about making a profound relationship with the clients. Developing a relationship with the clients out of the business is a way to keep them interested in your services. You want this to happen for your business right? So, let’s talk first the Do’s of email marketing services. Do: Compose Your Emails With A Clear Goal In Mind It is the basis of sending emails. They are sent with a purpose. Your purpose may vary with a variety of reasons right from attaining the attention of the customers toward your business or getting the users to click through to a landing page or share any basic information about your business with the users or maybe anything else. So, first decide what you want your email to do and then set the right tone in order to compose it accordingly. It is also important to give a thought to the email title and the body. You need to reflect professionalism in your email. Do: Automate the Outreach Process Email marketing services can actually be exhausting either for business managers or for retailers practicing the same. In case, the scenario seems very much similar, you must be looking out for ways to make it easier for you or your team to practice email marketing. Automating the outreach process can help in this regard and therefore you can opt for email marketing automation. Here are a few points that will help you to apply automation software in the process. A welcoming/ thanking or subscribing email to the users Reminder emails for sales or upcoming events Follow-up emails post purchase Customer loyalty emails to valuable leads Do: Email Personalization Different users are interested in different kind of email marketing services & that makes it important for businesses to curate emails with a personal touch. Reading their names at the top of the email is sure to invoke readers’ interest towards the email. While personalizing it is important to segment the email list. You must know the interest of your prospects in order to curate the mail the right way. Including recipient’s name at the very beginning is a good start. After that consider the following: Find out why customers are visiting your website and curate your email depending on the same It is important to include a persona for each email segment including a list of general demographics, interests, and purchases that can be considered for general group Utilize the time and location in your favor. Send emails at the time of any festival such as around Christmas Do: Emails That Are Mobile Responsive Most of the users prefer mobile browsing, which makes it important for every email marketer to make their emails mobile responsive. In case, your emails are not easy to open on mobile devices, you are missing out on a large audience that frequently uses mobile devices. Therefore, there is no escaping from making your emails mobile responsive. Additionally, keep the following points into the mind to ensure people reading emails on mobile devices can access your email: Reduce the size of images through email compression Use HTML email template editor to alter the style of your email (this helps to arrange the images by sizes rather than by pixel) Increase the size of the buttons and the links Consider responsive HTML email templates Don’t stuff the emails with rich media As we have talked everything about do’s of email marketing services that every marketer should follow, it is now time to practice the don’ts of email marketing services. Here come the considerations to practice: Don’t: Be A Spammer Spam is a no in email marketing services. In fact, it is illegal in the US, which signifies how important it is for you to impart an exceptional experience to the users through your emails. Additionally, keep the following points in the mind in order to ensure the emails meet the required criteria: Only entertain the email addresses of subscribers who have given their consent to receiving emails Reflect a clear image of your business. Tell exactly what you do and what kind of services are available there for the users. Add your contact details including phone number, address, and social media account Avoid sending too many emails in a short duration Make unsubscribing easy for the users. In case, they wish to opt out, do let them opt out of your services. Don’t: Forget Your Links In case your email has not a prominent call to action, your email is a wasted effort. The email is a chance to include a strong call to action in your message, so why not embed a link of your business in the email? Ensure the email provides a click-through opportunity to the users to browse your business link. So, create an impression with your email and do practice the following suggestions: Be catchy with your call to actions Present it as if you are selling something very useful for the users Try to sell them your product by indicating the hidden benefits Tailor your brand’s need in the email Don’t: Buy Email Lists Growing an email list organically is of course frustrating for email marketers. And, the worse part, there is no magic wand to help you win more subscribers for the business. Well, the temptation of purchasing an email list right away is desirable. But you should never do it at any cost. Buying the email list is likely to buy links. What you get is low-quality leads that are not worthwhile. So, to gain the attention of the users, practice the following suggestions: Incentivizing the users Providing them discount on the services, or An invitation to webinar Offering white papers Don’t: Shoot Emails Without AB Testing & Proofreading You might have abandoned a number of emails owing to its poor grammar or a spelling error. It actually doesn’t feel good to find mistakes in an email. So, be very much attentive when composing these emails. It is also important to opt for AB testing. The content of an email should equally be considered as that of a blog post. There is no scope for errors in such posts and thus it is important for you to test the email regarding: Any error in the spelling The tone of the email Usages of words in your email Proofreading the email before sending the same Don’t: Just Focus on The Sales Email marketing is not only about sales. It can effectively do a couple of thing for you. Email marketing is as much about cultivating experience as it is about generating leads. If you solely focus on the sales aspect you may lose other important aspects. Make your emails in such a way that it seems to provide additional offerings. In case, the users like it, they will surely opt for the same. If you really need success, consider offering additional advantages to the users. The Bottom Line And, there you have it the complete guide to practice email marketing the right way. Now practice all these suggestions in order to get the attention of your users. Remember it is all about offering the value to the clients to get their attention. And, if you are able to practice email marketing the right way, you are sure to generate leads for the business. All it requires is practicing the elements that are in the trend. And, doing these practices the right way (as we have explained the things here) will obviously generate positive results for your business. Additionally, keep studying the trends that marketers are practicing. This will help to generate positive results.


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Marketing Automation: Promote and Follow-up

Marketing Automation: Promote and Follow-up

Practical Marketer • April 27, 2018

If you are using an email marketing service, you are promoting something. It could be a newsletter, your latest blog post, updates on your non-profit, business and product updates or new services you offer. Email Marketing is the perfect tool to announce, promote and keep your circle up to date with everything. The trick is, to send the right email, to the right person and at the right time. With Marketing Automation and Automation Pro, you can do just that! Let’s say you are involved with a local non-profit, and you’re asked to create a campaign for an upcoming fundraiser. It would be awesome if you could just send one email and have donations flowing to the extent that you never needed to do another fundraiser again, right? Well, while anything is possible … it is unlikely for just one email to do the job. When running a fundraiser or any promotion, you need to cast a wide net through as many channels as possible and with multiple messages. It’s not because your subscribers and followers don’t care about your cause or promotion, its because you may catch them at a bad time or the way the message was presented didn’t relate to them. This is why it is important to reach your audience through as many channels as possible and with different messages. Create a list of compelling reasons your subscribers can relate to and promote it through various channels following a cohesive storyline. Let\'s take a look at one of the most successful fundraiser campaigns: the Obama Campaigns. Over his two terms, the Obama administration was able to raise $1.4 Billion with Email and Social Media as their main channels for promotion. This was no accident or lucky viral stunt. This was the result of hard work and planning. From personalized landing pages to intriguing action based subject lines, they created a recipe for success by testing everything they did and by finding ways to relate to their donors. Email Marketing Strategy Focusing on just email for a moment, Marketing Sherpa interviewed Toby Fallsgraff, Director of Email, for the \"Obama for America” campaign. Toby and his team helped raise $690 million for the 2012 campaign alone. With more than 4.5 million people donating an average of $53. A lot of these donors gifted more than once. The Obama administration had four main segments: Previous Donors, these were donors who had already donated in 2012. Quick Donors, these were the donors who donated and saved their payment information. Non-Donors, these were subscribers who have not yet donated Lapsed Donors, these were donors who donated in 2008 but haven’t yet donated in 2012. By keeping a simple four category segment, they were able to send clear, direct messages and stay focused. As soon as they would see patterns, it’s as easy as automating. An example of email automation they used was the \"quick donors\" link. Quick donors were people who saved their payment information at the moment of donating. Toby and his team incentivized this behavior by sending free bumper stickers and other gifts. This allowed them to leveraged this opportunity by simply adding a “quick donate” link to their “Thank You” emails after a person donated. Since the donor would save their payment information, Toby’s team would include the option to donate again with a simple click. No forms to fill out, no time wasted, just one click away. By doing this, they saw a 300% increase in conversions. In this case, they used the power of email automation to ensure the “Thank You\" email was sent right away with the correct followup links to earn more donations. They chose these main segments because, from their studies and tests, they saw that behavior based followups were the most successful strategy and the way to go. Landing Pages When it comes to the landing pages, Kissmetrics did a study on how these related to the messages. What they found was a whole lot of personalization! From custom landing pages related to their campaigns (Obama held an “Ask me anything” session on Reddit for 30 min):   To including the website visitors state at the moment of signup: These small details can go a log way! The Obama administration did hundreds of tests to ensure the right strategy and what they found out is that personalization and behavior based follow-ups are key to a successful promotional campaign. The good news is that all of this goes hand in hand with marketing automation. Email Marketing Automation can sound intimidating or time-consuming, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t have to be that way. The Obama for America campaign was able to raise over $690 million in less than six months with four main list segments. Nothing too crazy or super complicated, they just made sure to send the right messages, to the right people and at the right time. So, what does this mean for you? Will you beat those numbers? I sure hope so! To get you going, we encourage you to use Automation Pro with our new templates. With Automation Pro, you can easily create behavior-based follow-ups from engagement on previous emails and your website, allowing you to automate messages based on certain pages your subscribers visit or based on opening an email or not. To promote something, we created four main templates in Automation Pro. Promote and Target Opens. This template is focused on promoting something and targeting your opened/unopened for followups. Notice how after the email is sent, we have a condition to check for opens. We then push the opened and unopened subscribers into separate lists for a future follow-up. Promote and Target Clicks. Allows you to promote something and target your clicks/non-clicks for followups. It looks the same as the Opens template but will focus on click-through engagement instead. In this template after the email is sent, we have a condition to check for clicks. We then push the clicked and non-clicked subscribers into separate lists for a future follow-up. Promote and Target Opens, Clicks and Website Engagement. Allows you to promote something and target all of the milestones. Follow-up with opened/unopened, clicks/non-clicks and website visits/non-website visits. Here, after the email is sent, we have a condition to check for opens, clicks and website engagement. We then push each group of subscribers into separate lists for a future follow-ups. Follow-up Series. This template is used to automatically follow-up with each of the targeted groups. (eg. Opened vs. Unopened or Visited Website vs. Didn’t Visit Website, etc.) Since an automation can be triggered from someone being added to a list, once you send a promotion, and separate the engaged with non-engaged subscribers into different lists, you can use this template to create a new automation and follow-up with these subscribers as they get added to their list. For more information on how to combine automations, check out our blog on Goal Based Lists.  We created these four templates to allow you to start where you feel most comfortable. If you are new to automation, start with just the Promote and Target Opens template. Once you get the hang of it, you will quickly roll over to the next one. (Be careful, it can get very addicting!) Here are the takeaways I would love for everyone to walk away with: Identify what works, AKA your “proven process”. You do this by creating somewhat of a plan, brainstorming ideas and then testing. Test as much as you can and start automating what works as you see patterns. Start small. Make sure to start with simple automation you feel comfortable with. Create a Welcome Series or create a promotion that has a simple follow-up to the unopened emails. Keep your automation short. It is ok to have a full sales process automated, but don’t do it all under one automation. Set milestones and have each automation work with the next. As an example, the Obama campaign could have an automation sending once a week to those who haven’t donated. Once they donate once, they may try to get them to save their payment information to promote the “Quick Donate” automated email after that. Learn to listen to your subscribers and create engaging campaigns that your followers can relate to. Embrace behavior based follow-ups! Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this blog and that you found it useful! If you have automation ideas or success stories to share, we would love to hear them! Comment below and tell us how you automate your promotions.


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Living the Fantasy: How Eliot Crist Became a Football Analyst

Living the Fantasy: How Eliot Crist Became a Football Analyst

Beyond • April 26, 2018

I play fantasy football. More accurately, I play a lot of fantasy football. This coming August, I’ll be in Las Vegas for the draft for the 10th year of one of my leagues. The past few years, 10 of us started a dynasty football league. That meant needing to pay closer attention to NFL prospects and the incoming rookie classes. That’s how Eliot Crist came on my radar. His name kept popping up when I was researching draft scouts and football analysts to help me better prepare for my league. He quickly became one of my favorite Twitter follows. I saw him tweet that he wanted to be on any podcast that wanted to have him. The lightbulb turned on. Myself, and many others I know, have dreamed of writing and talking about football for a living. Why not talk to someone on the Heart of Business, the podcast I host where we talk to people who have pursued their passions through business and life? I applied to Pro Football Focus, thinking there was no way in hell ... It was a part time opportunity ... Just grinding all the time, not making much money. But, you know, consistently getting more and more opportunities. 2:44 - How Eliot got started 9:38 - On maintaining a love for your passion when it’s also a job 11:30 - Talking about what goes into analyzing a football player 14:27 - How podcasting has helped him become a better people person 15:59 - The power of social media to connect people 18:14 - Recognizing yourself as a pier to the top individuals in your space 19:55 - Breaking into and standing out in a crowded profession Want to catch up with our 100+ episodes of the Heart of Business? Check us out on iTunes or on Spotify.  


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Email Marketing for the Travel Industry

Email Marketing for the Travel Industry

Practical Marketer • April 24, 2018

If you’re in the travel industry, you may or may not know that email is as well-traveled as your customers wish they were. With one click of the send button, you can reach a worldwide audience immediately. And in today’s mobile, on-the-go world, you’ll land directly in their hand. In an uber-competitive industry that hit a seven year high in 2017, it’s important to find ways to stand out. After all, it was a 7.6 trillion dollar industry in 2016. Let’s take a look at how you can use email marketing to get yourself a piece of that pie. Benefits of Email Marketing for the Travel Industry First of all, let’s talk about why email is so important. It’s estimated that we’ll have 2.9 billion email users on the planet by 2019. While we’re piling on giant numbers to make our point, let’s not forget that there are 105 billion emails sent every day, with that number expected to increase to 246 billion by 2020. There are several more reasons you should be doing email for your travel business: It’s affordable. Email marketing is one of the cost-effective marketing solutions available today. It’s fast. Thanks to free HTML email templates, you can create and send your first email campaign in under 30 minutes. That’s less time than it takes to fly from Los Angeles to Las Vegas! It’s focused. You can send to a targeted list and have one clear call to action, allowing you to hit a relevant audience and achieve your intended goal. It’s simple. It’s simple enough for your marketing intern to take the reins when needed. You can use a drag-and-drop editor to design an email that will impress your creative team and you’ll achieve results to impress your boss. It works. It’s estimated that when done well, email will deliver $42 for every $1 spent. Our friends at Litmus have put together some pointers for travel industry professionals looking to capitalize with email marketing. The good news is, that even in the bad news (some feel they aren’t really connecting with their audienec) there’s an opportunity for improvement. That’s why we’re here. To learn from the numbers and see what we can do better than our competitors. Take a quick look at this presentation from Litmus: 10 Things Travel Brands Should Know About Their Email Subscribers from Litmus Some of us may often drift away into daydreams of destinations near and far, but the reality is we can’t afford to go on vacation every other week, month or even year. However, you want your business to be the first thing a person thinks of when it is time for a vacation. Email marketing helps you stay top of mind. You can also use email to grow your customer base. If you have a blog on your site or you’re offering travel advice or tips in a newsletter, you can attract subscribers who will later become customers with an effective email marketing strategy. Because it’s so easy to create well-designed, professional-looking email campaigns, even the smallest travel business can compete with the larger ones in their space. If you look the part, your customers and prospects will believe it. It’s one major advantage in the digital age. Nobody Leaves Home Without Their Smartphone Think about the last time you heard a friend recount a story of trying to teach a grandparent or parent how to use their smartphone or that a coworker shared a story about their still-young child begging for a phone of their own. Almost everyone has a smartphone these days. In fact, a smartphone is the preferred accessory for 76% of travelers. Additionally, 85% of travelers will use their smartphone to coordinate some aspect of their trip. That could mean booking their trip, checking in for flights, research for places to eat or sights to see. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that you must be thinking mobile when you create an email marketing strategy for your travel business. There is Opportunity in Mobile Travel Marketing Americans are not the only ones using smartphones. Across the globe, smartphone adoption continues to increase. That means you can be targeting travelers near and far with an email campaign. Nearly 70% of travel-related emails are opened on a mobile device. We know that these travelers are using their smartphones from the time they research and book a trip, through to finding activities when at their destination, taking photos and checking into their flight home. If you already know they’re using their phone, the next step is to time your emails with those activities for maximum impact. Let’s not forget one important fact: the only thing you can sell in an email is a click. The conversions will take place on your website. So, some of your campaigns may be primed for viewing on a desktop versus when to target mobile viewers. It’s important to have a clear understanding of your customers and leads and where they’re at or what they may be doing when they receive your emails. Do you have customer profiles to help you understand your audience to this extent? How to do Email Marketing for the Travel Industry If you’re still unsure of whether or not you should be doing email marketing for your business, perhaps it’s time to see someone to discuss your stubbornness. For the rest of you, let’s take a look at how you should get started: Establish your email list. It all starts with your email list. If you’ve been in business for a while, you undoubtedly have a list of emails from all your customers. Upload that to your email marketing account. Friends, family and leads who have given you permission to send to them can also be included. Grow your list. Next, you should create signup forms to be placed anywhere you have touchpoints with potential customers. Your website, your Facebook page and even on a tablet or computer in your brick and mortar location(s). Tell them why they should subscribe and incentivize them to do so. If your customers can book with you online, you can also add opt-in options during the purchase process. [caption id=\"attachment_9764\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"1357\"] Travel + Leisure does a good job of telling you what to expect when you subscribe to their newsletter.[/caption] Email content. The most common comment from novice email marketers is that they just don’t know where to start when it comes to knowing what to send. A monthly newsletter is one of the easiest things any business can do. Send helpful tips on things travelers should know when going to a certain destination or how they can get the biggest bang for their buck. Also, a welcome email campaign or series to greet new subscribers can help you convert leads into customers faster than ever before. Guidebooks for various destinations Information on attractions, events, holidays or festivals Destination reviews Success stories from happy customers Some additional content to consider: All about timing. The most successful marketing is customer-centric. That’s why the aforementioned subscriber profiles are so important. If you can gain an understanding of where they might be at a certain time of day or during their trip, you can send the perfect campaign at the right moment. Part of it is creating the profiles or personas. The other part is reviewing your email reports to see when your emails are being opened. More on that later. Create a sending frequency and content calendar. You likely already know the most popular times of the year for travel. Spring break, summer vacations, Thanksgiving and Christmas, etc. You can plan your email marketing for the quarter or the year and work backwards from there on when you should be sending. Plus, gaining an understanding of how often your subscribers want to hear from you will help you determine which campaigns to send and when. Send your first email. It all starts from the first time you hit send. Choose a free HTML email template or design your own with a drag-and-drop editor. Fill in your content. Hit send. You’ll learn as you go and improve with each new campaign. If you’re not even sure what to send, start with a survey asking what your subscribers want from you! Review your reports. Once you’ve hit send, it’s time to track your reports. Your open rate will show if you had a good subject line and a recognizable From Name. Your click-through rate will show if the content in your email is compelling enough. That’s just the start of what you can learn from your reports. Practical Strategies for Successful Travel Email Marketing Let’s take it a step further than here are the very basics of what you need to do and look at some tips to help you thrive with email marketing. Personalization. The numbers support using a personalized approach to your travel customers. 83% of millennials won’t mind being tracked for personalized service and 85% of travelers desire a customized itinerary. You can also insert a subscriber’s name into a subject line or in the copy of the email, to make it seem like it was created just for them. Use video. subscribers attention in ways that evan a photo cannot. You want them to feel what it’s like to be somewhere and like they have to be there for it. FOMO is real. Plus, 66% of travelers will watch video when doing research on a destination. Location. You can use your subscribers location to sent them targeted campaigns for vacations they might be interested in. If they live in Los Angeles, you may not need to send them to Southern California vacation destination email that the rest of your subscribers may crave. Or, if you’re sending campaigns intended to be seen by a subscriber while they’re on their trip, you can include weather information, events for the time they’re there or more. Create a sense of urgency. Vacations aren’t necessarily impulse buys, but if someone is already researching a trip they might be more inclined to pull the trigger if you hit them with a promotion at the right moment. But put a time limit on it. It could be a flash sale for a few hours after hitting send or a deal that lasts through the weekend. Make them feel like they need to take action now! Get Started Today Are you ready to put what you’ve learned to use? Signup for the free Benchmark Starter Plan. Send to up to 2,000 of your subscribers at no cost. Get access to the features you need to begin your email marketing. Don’t pay until your list grows past 2,000 subscribers or when you’re ready for our features such as marketing automation which are only available on our Pro plans. Or login to your Benchmark Email account now. Share Your Story Have you successfully used email marketing for your travel industry business? Share your successes and tips in the comments section. We want to hear from you!


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6 Automation Rules to Skyrocket Your Email Marketing Performance

6 Automation Rules to Skyrocket Your Email Marketing Performance

Beyond • April 23, 2018

Email marketing is surely the most challenging yet rewarding path towards riches. Every type of business, no matter whether it’s a big brand or a small business, must develop and nurture a close relationship with its customers. And because our current marketplace is slowly becoming 100% digital, email communication is and will continue to be the most effective method of building solid connections with your clients and customers. However, to perform an effective email marketing campaign, you should perfectly understand all of your options. Moreover, you need to grasp the basics of email automatization, which includes several important aspects that can differentiate a winning and a losing campaign. In today’s post, we’re going to focus on automation rules, one of the most intriguing and challenging features that every respectable email autoresponder offers. In case you’re not very familiar with the term, email automation rules are programmed cause-and-effect conditions that you set up according to your wishes. For example: if X customer buys Y product, he will be moved to List B, and he’ll start receiving new emails. By properly automating your email marketing, you’ll tap into great benefits that’ll allow you to simplify your work and cut the working hours. Well, that’s what today’s post is all about. Pay attention and add your twists. Lastly, make sure that you take action! Topic Automation Primary Triggers: Offer Downloads and/or Website Visits A business may sell different products that solve different problems for different customers. In this case, you should develop a different email sequence for each of the niche-related subjects that you’ll develop content about. So let’s say that your business’ main audience is comprised of dog owners. Obviously, through your content, you’ll address different problems and challenges (dog health, dog nutrition, dog training). Well, some of these topics may not concern a big part of your list, but it may concern a minority that is eager to see more. In this case, you’ll need to create a topic automation rule that’ll separate your email audience, making it easier for you to send the proper content to the proper prospects. So. The simplest way to divide your email list and prompt the proper automated email sequences is to use a form submission that allows your prospect to choose the information they wish to receive in the future. The alternative would be to develop different free bonuses such as e-books, webinars, or podcasts around specific subjects and use them to understand your prospects’ genuine interests. So if one of your prospects chooses to download your e-book about “50 Dog Health Issues You May Not Be Aware Of”, then your “Dog Health” email sequence should be triggered, sending him emails that are only related to dog health and no other subject. New Subscription Welcome Email Primary Trigger: Opt-In to Your Website or Blog “One of the essential rules of email marketing revolves around building solid, long-lasting relationships with your customers. The best way to do that is to start on the right foot and give your prospect the right impression.” – Johana Pierce, Marketing Specialist at EssayGeeks.co.uk. Indeed, as Johana notes, the beginning of any prosperous business-to-customer relationship is heavily influenced by the first impression that the brand leaves. One of the most commonly used automation rules in the email marketing is the delivery of an automated welcome email to every new person that subscribes to a brand’s list. To make your subscribers’ experience even better, you should develop personalized welcome emails for each of your different automated sequences. By leveraging this automation rule, you can let every new subscriber (of each sequence) understand what content he’ll receive in the future emails that he’ll receive from you. Moreover, you can use the welcoming email to thank them for joining in, but also for allowing them to readjust their subscription preferences. Lastly, your welcome email might present the best content pieces you’ve ever published, serving as an introduction to the value you promise to provide in the future. Example: Prospect-to-Customer Transition Welcome E-mail Primary Trigger: Purchase When one of your prospects converts and buys a product or service, he will become your customer. Create another automation rule that sends another welcome email to every prospect that has bought. Let him know that he’s now part of a different email sequence that will focus on new content. By acknowledging the fact that your customers have made a move, you can improve your relationship with them and improve their loyalty towards your brand. Moreover, you can also lead your new customers to detailed training materials that’ll help them understand and use your products or services. Example: Super Prospects Sequence Primary Trigger: Strong User Activity A super prospect is a subscriber who is highly active on your website, opens most of your emails, and downloads most of your freebies. In short, he’s super interested in what your site and email sequence have to offer, but somehow, he hasn’t managed to buy something from you. To turn these super prospects into customers, you could develop a dynamic automated sequence that responds to different triggers: X number of visits to your websites within a specific timeframe X% email open rates X% email clickability rates Form submissions Engagement on social media posts (likes/shares/comments) The “X” element is the number you decide on your own.For example, if a person visits your website ten times per week or if he opens 60% of your emails, you can consider him a super prospect and move him to your “Super Sequence.” Throughout this “super” automated sequence, you can approach these people differently. Use the feedback you’ve got from your analytics and approach these super subscribers differently. Your goal is to finally turn them into customers, so making your content a little more “salesy” might be a good option. Example: Hi, I’ve noticed that you’ve paid particular interest in X and Y subject and that you’ve also done A, B, C, actions. I’m wondering if I could help you, so make sure you reply this email and let me know what exactly do you need. P.S. I’ve added you to my “special list,” a place where I reward my most active subscribers with X, Y, Z. Make sure you join this goldmine place by clicking _____(link). Re-Engagement Sequence Primary Trigger: Inactivity Many of your email contacts may suddenly become inactive. In fact, some of them might be inactive right from the beginning of the interaction, so they have no place in your active email sequences. Luckily, every professional email automation software allows you to “reawaken” your inactive prospects by placing them in a separate, automated sequence, as a result of specific triggers that you choose. For example, some of these conditions (triggers) could be: X amount of time since the last form submission X amount of time since the last website visit X amount of time since the last email open/link click Once your subscribers are marked as “inactive,” they’ll be moved to your re-engagement sequence. Your job is to move them back to your “active list,” so the best way to do that is to grab their attention. Most commonly, people respond to exclusive deals, coupons, and offers that create urgency. Example: Cart Abandonment Sequence Primary Trigger: Cart Abandonment If you own an e-commerce business, you might understand the frustration that comes when your prospects abandon the shopping cart. Well, luckily, you can create an automated email sequence for almost everything, and this is no exception. The concept of this sequence is quite simple: Every time one of your prospects adds a product/service to the cart but leaves your platform before finishing the purchase, you may trigger an automated email that will: Immediately offer them an exclusive offer that they can benefit from if they choose to buy right now. Remind them (after a few hours/days) of their initial thought of purchasing your products/services. Offer the most common questions and answers regarding the product/service that your prospect has left in the cart. Example: Takeaways Every marketer can develop a rockstar email marketing campaign as long as he puts enough time, effort, and attention into it. Take advantage of these X rules and improve your email subscribers’ experience. As long as you’re properly tracking down your stats, you should see slight improvements in a very short time. Treat this as a journey and not as a quick result, and your email performance will slowly begin to thrive!


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When it Comes to Email Marketing Rules, Chad S. White Wrote the Book…Literally

When it Comes to Email Marketing Rules, Chad S. White Wrote the Book…Literally

Beyond • April 13, 2018

Hey everybody! Welcome back to the Heart of Business. We’re thrilled to return from our hiatus with the great Chad S. White who is the Research Director at Litmus and the author of Email Marketing Rules. While we’d probably already encountered Chad’s work through Litmus or the Email Experience Council, he came onto our radar when our UX Researcher and Data Analyst, Leticia Mottola, was given a signed copy of Email Marketing Rules at a Litmus event. We quickly purchased a few additional copies and passed them around the office. So, when we knew it was time to bring back our beloved Heart Of Business podcast, Chad was one of the first individuals we reached out to. It was a great conversation, which we’re thrilled to be able to share with you. We talked to Chad about how he found his way into the world of email marketing and the process of writing a book. Chad, Daniel and I also looked back on how we’ve seen email evolve since we joined the industry. On living in a post “email is dead” world: It’s not email vs. social. It’s not email vs. another channel. It’s email WITH social. It’s email WITH all these other channels. 8:33 - The evolution of email 18:09 - Why email is unkillable 22:06 - Inbox overload 28:09 - The value of building and maintaining relationships 29:17 - Writing a book 46:05 - The responsibility of deliverability on the sender Want to catch up with our 100+ episodes of the Heart of Business? Check us out on iTunes.


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How To Design Your Email Marketing Campaign

How To Design Your Email Marketing Campaign

Practical Marketer • April 12, 2018

Email marketing is amazing. In 2017, 54% of the entire planet had an email address. That means there are more people with an email address than there are people who have a Facebook account. And while Facebook is a good way of reaching your audience and increasing your sales, savvy digital marketers use it as a means of capturing people\'s email addresses. They know that email marketing is more effective than social media, with 44% of users checking their email for a deal from a company they know, whereas only 4% will go to Facebook. If someone is on your email list, it’s because they chose to be there. This means all you have to do is keep them there, and to sell them your stuff. How are you going to do that? With a perfectly designed email marketing campaign that contains all the right components, from top-notch copy to engaging visuals. First, you need to... Nail The Subject Line Almost 50% of your subscribers will open an email because the subject line appealed to them. Buzzfeed knows how important the subject line is when it comes to making an email marketing campaign. Their subject lines are always brilliant, and their former newsletter editor, Dan Oshinksy gives great advice when he says that you need to “Make your subject line clear. Nobody should open an email and not know what they’re about to read.” Email marketers struggle with the subject line because they get around 40-50 characters to make an impression on the reader. That isn’t much, and it means you need to do a few things in a limited space:   Tell people what they’re going to get   Be personal - include their name   Tease - arouse curiosity   Outline a benefit they’ll receive if they open this email   Avoid spam words, such as “free” or “cash”   Create a sense of urgency Do you need to be a magician to make this work? Not at all. Here is an example of expertly crafted subject lines: Send Out Awesome Copy No one wants to read boring emails. They want to be informed or at least entertained. Don’t focus on selling something in every email you send during your campaign. In fact, it’s hard to sell to strangers on the Internet unless you’ve first built a strong rapport with them so that they now trust you. Build rapport by sending out emails that are rich in value and tips and tricks. Make a human connection with your readers by relating a personal story of yours. Get to know them with questions. Segment Your Email List Segmentation works. Segmented email lists return almost 60% more clicks and boost open rates by 14.64%. If you don’t segment your email list, you’re essentially sending out the same email to all your customers, who have different tastes, interests and priorities. Over time, some subscribers will feel as though they’re getting no value from your emails and will either stop opening them or unsubscribe. Perhaps the easiest way to segment your list is with a survey or quiz. Keep in mind that your list will need incentivizing - after all, not all of your subscribers will take the time to fill out a survey or list out of the goodness of their own heart. A survey gives you a massive insight into what your customers want, but it also lets you segment your list according to different wants and needs. Then, you can design your email marketing campaign so that you’re sending better-targeted emails out to the right cluster of customers. WordPress has a Quiz and Survey Master plugin that you may find useful. Another way to segment your list is according to past purchases. If a customer bought X product, make sure you retarget them with a similar product - as opposed to a random one that has zero interest to them. This tailors the shopping experience to each and makes it more personal - which is exactly what customers want. Use Color This is one trick that some email marketers miss, but it’s also not important that all marketers use color in their email. It all depends on what your niche is. For example, an organic food newsletter would benefit from some green text that gives the email a vibrancy and freshness. This makes a better connection with the target audience. Color can be a hugely important aspect of your email newsletter, and it can help you to stand out and make an emotional connection with your subscribers. Think about Christmas for a moment. What colors would a festive email need to contain to make it stand out and catch your eye? Red and green would work. Then there is, of course, the psychology behind color and most consumers have said that color influences their decision-making more than anything else. What colors you use depends what your intentions are: Red:   Attracts attention   Creates a sense of urgency (danger) that they might miss out Yellow:   Makes us feel good (sunshine, warmth, happiness)   Use it to promote vacations and deals Orange:   Energetic (sun-kissed, oranges)   Promote food produce Green:   Fruit and veg campaigns Blue:   Promotes a feeling of trust   Water products and cleanliness Black:   Professional   Slick   Elegant Create A Killer CTA Emails with a single call-to-action increases clicks 371% and sales 1617%. They are an essential part of your email. The CTA is the part where you tell your subscribers exactly what it is you want them to do. Want them to buy your product? Tell them with your CTA. Want them to take your quiz? Ask them with your CTA. Make it a button so that it looks clickable, too. In text-heavy emails, visual elements stand out. Rather than placing a hyperlink in the body of text and hoping you receive clicks, create a CTA that is clickable and easy to find. You can use sites like Design Wizard to create a button without the need of a graphic designer. Keep the CTA visually simple but also keep the text simple. Don’t give people too much to do. Give them just one choice: Use a Premade Template Visuals are well worth using. We’re living in an increasingly visual world and if you haven’t yet started to focus on the visual content of your emails, now might be the time to start. In 2017, over 35% of visual marketers said visual marketing is now more important than any other content. A year earlier in 2016, over half of all B2B marketers were prioritizing visual content assets. When you use a pre-made template, it’s a lot easier to implement visuals in your email marketing campaigns. Pre-made templates are especially popular with beginners who have never used visuals in their emails before. They provide a pretty good foundation, though I’d suggest that you tweak any template you use so that your voice comes through clearly. There are tools available which provide you with ready-made email marketing templates that cost you no time at all. For you, there’s no designing involved. All you need to do is pick a template and tweak it so that - as mentioned - your voice and a brand image comes through. Templates are made up of content blocks which you can easily delete or replicate or shift around. Use Images There’s no need to go overboard with images. Just one picture can tell a thousand words. The great thing about images in emails is that you don’t need to waste time and money taking photos yourself. Instead, you can download a stock photograph from an online site. Pik Wizard, for example, offers lots of free images. In fact, there are a handful of sites that offer free stock photos. It depends what your message and brand are, but you don’t always have to aim for high-quality images. A lot of email marketers use memes that are not top-notch photos, but which are humorous and engaging. And sometimes that’s all that matters. Conclusion These are some tips on how to design your email marketing campaign in 2018. Don’t expect instant results, of course. Fine tune your design efforts, be prepared to make changes until the conversions and sales start rolling in. Let us know what you think in the comments below.


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