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Generate 320% More Revenue With Welcome Emails: Strategies That Don’t Require Luck

Practical Marketer - Reading Time: 9 Minutes

Generate 320% More Revenue With Welcome Emails: Strategies That Don’t Require Luck

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Fear of Marketing Automation (#FOMA): Lack of Human Resources

Fear of Marketing Automation (#FOMA): Lack of Human Resources

Practical Marketer • January 9, 2018

Marketing automation has become a bit of a buzzword, and I’m guessing you have heard it thrown around quite a bit. It’s okay if you still don’t fully understand what is involved in marketing automation. To explain it in layman’s terms, once your company reaches a certain point, it’s impossible to have one-on-one contact with everyone. Therefore, marketing automation involves using software to automate certain marketing tactics and workflows. That way you continue to nurture relationships with your customers while still bringing in new business. In other words, marketing automation can give one person the power of ten (or more!) and erase any fear of a lack of resources. You can do all this without having to spend your time emailing customers or scheduling social media posts. Therefore, it can save you tons of time down the road and free you up to do the most important things in your business. The Biggest Myths About Marketing Automation The popularity of marketing automation has grown tremendously over the years with roughly 59 percent of B2B companies implementing some form of it. And for good reason -- marketing automation increases sales productivity by 14.5 percent while reducing overhead by 12.2 percent. So if that’s true, then why aren’t more companies adopting marketing automation? Obviously, there are still a few holdouts left. What’s the deal? Well, the reason really boils down to one word: fear. Many people don’t really understand marketing automation so certain fears and myths still persist around the topic. Let’s look at a few of them, shall we? Marketing Automation is Impersonal This is probably the biggest fear most people need to overcome. So let’s clear up one thing right from the start -- marketing automation does not mean that you are delivering cold, impersonal content to your customers. It’s actually the exact opposite. Because it gives you the bandwidth to reach more people in a more strategic way, you can take the time to create exceptional content that will deliver more value to your customers. So rather than automation being synonymous with spam, it actually allows you to communicate in a more meaningful way. And the research backs this up -- out of all the companies using marketing automation, 80 percent saw an increase in leads and 77 percent reported an increase in their conversion rates. It’s Only Useful for the Marketing Department This myth is understandable given the name but the truth is, marketing automation extends beyond your marketing team. It can help anyone who is interested in taking more redundant tasks off their plate. It gives you more time to focus on strategic, big picture thinking like how to continue to nurture leads or coming up with new campaign ideas. It can also be hugely beneficial to your sales team because it makes it easier for them to qualify leads. You probably already know that not all leads are created equal. After all, what is the point of lead generation if it only seems to attract people who have no interest in buying your product or service? That’s why a huge benefit of marketing automation is that it ensures not just that your company brings in new leads but that it brings in quality leads. It does this by providing important customer data like job position and industry. It also reveals digital data about how your leads behave online. All of this information can be used to help your company sort and quality those leads, which we will get to shortly. Marketing Automation is Too Expensive for Small Businesses This is another persistent myth and if it were 2011, it may even be true. But now that are tons of marketing automation tools available and many of the most basic plans are completely free. And don’t write off the more affordable plans -- the majority are intuitive, simple to use, and have many of the same capabilities as more expensive plans. Tips for Implementing Marketing Automation So now that we have cleared up some of the biggest myths and fears about marketing automation, how do you actually get started? This is a good question because truth be told, it is only as useful as its implementation. Going forward, it’s important to find the right mix of strategies and tactics so that your company can find the biggest return on investment. Let’s look at a few tips on how you can move forward. Start With a Plan It’s important to understand that the beginning period will be the most difficult, time-consuming part of the process. However, marketing automation will save you time down the road. Before you choose your marketing automation software, make sure you have a plan in place. What objectives and goals is your company looking to achieve? Once you have identified this you can put a plan in place. I would recommend starting small and then build out your plan from there. Begin deploying what you are already doing first and then you can always add on as you continue to gain confidence. Once you have a plan in place and everything seems to be smooth sailing, it’s important that you continue to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t. Continue to monitor your data and test out new ideas. You’re never going to be done learning and it will always be a work in progress. Sort and Qualify Your Leads Do you understand how your customers are interacting with your website? Are you familiar with their browsing habits? And most important, do you know how to use that information to develop future marketing strategies? Your marketing automation software can help you do just that. You can use it to gauge customer interest based on opens and clicks through rates. And the data you receive makes it easier to segment both leads and customers based on their behavior. That way you can create messaging that is specific to each type of lead or customer. The term “segmentation” makes a lot of people nervous but it’s actually pretty simple. It’s simply a strategy for dividing customers and leads into different groups based on similar traits or online habits. To get started, you first need to make sure your data is accurate and reliable. Many businesses have databases that contain tons of outdated and redundant information. In fact, according to this study, 60 percent of companies have data that is unreliable. Once you have cleaned up your data, you can focus on segmentation knowing that your efforts will produce the best results possible. However, this is also a process that will never be finished. Your motto should always be to test...and then test some more. Outsource What You Can So what if you don’t have a big marketing department to handle all of this for you? Does this mean marketing automation isn’t for you? Absolutely not. Thanks to the rise of the freelance economy, it has become easier than ever to outsource some of your work to other people at an affordable price point. For instance, freelance platforms like Upwork allows you to connect with over nine million freelancers in 180 different countries. With over 1.5 million freelancers, Guru is another great alternative for outsourcing work. This not only puts a wide pool of qualified candidates at your fingertips but it allows you to build long-term relationships with the freelancers you hire. And scaling your business will be easier when you already have a remote team put in place. Many people get nervous when they think about outsourcing important business tasks to freelancers. We’ve probably all heard stories of associates who were taken advantage of. And hiring the wrong person can definitely hurt you more than it can help. A good plan is to ask for recommendations from colleagues for freelancers they used and were happy with. And again, I would recommend you start small in this area. Start out with some basic tasks and then build from there as you gain a level of trust with that person. Conclusion Once your email list gets beyond a certain level, it’s impossible for you to personally interact with everyone. Thankfully, marketing automation allows you to continue to build relationships with your customers and leads while still maintaining a shred of sanity. Hopefully, now you understand not only how powerful marketing automation is but also how feasible it is for you to implement in your own business. It’s a great way to automate the things you just don’t have time for so you can continue to bring value to your customers. What are some of the marketing tasks you plan to automate first? Let me know in the comments!


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Fear of Marketing Automation (#FOMA): Lack of Marketing Automation Strategy

Fear of Marketing Automation (#FOMA): Lack of Marketing Automation Strategy

Practical Marketer • January 8, 2018

Marketing automation can seem scary. “Giving up control to the machines? No way.” “I don’t know. It’s so complicated… I’m probably better off doing this on my own.” Fun fact: Industry stats tell us a very different story. In fact, this study shows that marketing automation increases sales productivity by 14.5% and drives a 12.2% decrease in marketing overhead. Doesn’t seem that scary now, does it? It isn’t. Most marketers still hesitate to take the automation leap, especially because they feel they don’t have a good enough “strategy” to do that yet. Here’s the good news: You don’t have to wait. You don’t need a complex, out-of-the-world strategy. Your marketing automation strategy is right there in front of you. It lies within all the things you are already doing manually. You just need to find it. We are here to help you do just that. Follow these three simple, super-easy steps to find and deploy your perfect Marketing Automation strategy 1. Start Simple First of all, stop worrying about doing everything all at once. You don’t have to automate all your marketing or sales processes in one day. When you start simple, you have a clear idea of where you stand, and where you want to go from there. This gives you more control over your decisions, and you’ll end up with a better, more effective automation strategy. Automate the Basics Start with the most basic stuff already part of your sales process. Think about it: what kind of emails do you typically send out? Don’t you think you can save a lot of time by automating those emails? You could invest that time into more important things. Like actually creating an amazing email. Here are some basic marketing processes you can easily automate when you start off initially: Welcome Series If you have a sign-up or subscription form anywhere on your website, blog or store, you should at least welcome your new subscribers. If you already do that manually, think about how much automation can help you out. Automating your welcome emails will do more than just save a lot of your precious time and energy. You will also know exactly when and what your visitors will receive as soon as they hit that subscribe button. Being aware of what your visitors can expect helps you optimize your future marketing efforts. If you manually send your welcome emails, you’ll never fully understand the effects of what you send out. What if you sent that one email two minutes earlier? What if you forgot to welcome those other two subscribers? The list goes on and on. Automating your welcome emails ensures your visitors get an immediate response from you, which can do wonders for their experience, help you save time, and increase your sales at the same time! Promotional Emails New products in your e-commerce store? An upcoming event you need to promote? A SALE?? Of course, you need to send an email about it! What if some of your subscribers never opened your email? Maybe they just scrolled past and missed it. Or maybe they just weren’t interested at that time. Whatever the reason, you need to follow up with them. That’s where you automate. Automating your follow-up emails can help you send personalized emails to the right people, at just the right time, which is an integral part of your automation strategy. You no longer have to worry about tracking down who to send them to, because automating the process will simply send pre-designed follow-up emails after a set time to the right subscribers, based on whether they opened your promotional email or not. Sending automated follow-up emails will save you tons of time, and will also minimize, if not eliminate, the chances of missing out on following up with some subscribers. It’s also very effective when it comes to increasing sales, and getting people to notice your promotions. Cart Abandonment & Repurchase Programs According to the Baymard Institute, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.23%. That’s a LOT. And if you run an e-commerce business, you already know the importance of trying to win these “abandoners” back. Look at it this way: These people showed interest in your products. All they need is a little nudge in the right direction! Cart abandonment and repurchase programs can easily become an effective part of your marketing automation strategy. Instead of manually trying to reach every single person who showed interest in your product, automate the whole process! This ensures your “potential” customers receive timely, personalized emails, which can dramatically increase your conversion rates. For added impact, you can also throw in automated discounts and promotions on the items they showed interest in or abandoned. 2. Visualize Your Sales Process Now that you’ve automated some of the basic stuff you usually do manually, it’s time to take things a little further. To develop an ideal, comprehensive marketing automation strategy for your business, you need to look more carefully at your sales process. Visualize it. It’s a great practice to jot down all the steps involved in your marketing and sales process, from welcoming subscribers, offering promotions and discounts, to thanking them and asking them for feedback. Once you do that, it will be much easier to focus on each part, instead of being overwhelmed by the whole. Look for Opportunities to Automate The good thing about visualizing your entire sales process is now you can identify ‘openings,’ or opportunities to automate. Don’t just restrict yourself to the obvious. Look for the pieces in between. Thanking a customer after they buy your product? Automate it. Schedule an awesome ‘Thank You’ email that goes every time someone makes a purchase. That part where you ask for their feedback? You can automate that too. Other than the usual stuff, you can also use your creativity to start to fill in the gaps. If you collect information like your subscriber’s birth date, you can send out automated birthday emails to brighten their day! Enrich your automation strategy by exploiting new, untapped opportunities in your marketing and sales process. Work Backwards Great, so you have started to hunt for opportunities to automate. Now, how about you look at your sales process from a different perspective? Working backward, or reverse engineering your sales process, is a crucial step in developing an effective automation strategy. When you work backward, you start with the end in mind. Look at what sells, and which of your campaigns do well. Break it down and see what worked. What parts can you automate to get the same or even better results? 3. Learn from Others Use of Marketing Automation Never underestimate the importance of learning from other businesses, and all their different kinds of automation campaigns and strategies. Take inspiration from the best, and you’ll find that marketing automation is not complicated at all. Finding out what works, and following the trend, with some modification, of course, can go a long way in helping you develop that perfect automation strategy. Check out these examples of great automated emails for a healthy dose of inspiration: Example 1: Evernote Evernote is a digital productivity tool for collecting and organizing notes. Here is an example of their Welcome Email, which is sent as soon as a visitor makes it through their opt-in page, and downloads their software. Notice how they end their welcome email with a call-to-action for downloading their app across all other devices. Evernote’s Welcome Email is followed by a series of more short emails, which guide you step-by-step through the journey of using and understanding their app. Each email makes sure to end with a call-to-action. Check out the complete email sequence here. Example 2: Twitter Of course, you know about Twitter.  It’s one of the most popular social media platforms out there. Twitter welcomes its new users with a different, more actionable approach than others. Take a look at this example of the first email visitors receive as soon as they sign up and verify their email address on Twitter. What’s important to note here is this email is part of Twitter’s onboarding sequence. Which means that each email in the series is designed to get new users to engage with the platform, and start using it regularly. This first email helps new users ‘get started’ immediately and connects with them by showing them they are part of the Twitter community now. Notice the two calls-to-action placed inside the email. You can check out Twitter’s complete onboarding email sequence here. Example 3: Vimeo Vimeo is a popular video marketing and hosting platform. Here is an interesting example of Vimeo’s onboarding email sequence. Vimeo sends out this specific automated email to remind users about their weekly storage limit. Notice how the email also incorporates some calls-to-action to get people to upgrade to their PRO Unlimited or Business plans. As I said before, this email is part of Vimeo’s onboarding email sequence. The other emails in this sequence also talk about the PRO and Business plans in detail, with the aim of getting their users to upgrade and actively engage with the platform. Check out Vimeo’s complete onboarding email sequence here. Conclusion Developing your perfect marketing automation strategy is not as complicated as you think it is. You just need to reflect on the sales process you already have in place and find out where you can automate to speed things up and get better results. Did this article help you find a great automation strategy for your business? Let us know your feedback and comments!


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Overcoming Our Fears: Getting Started with Email Marketing

Overcoming Our Fears: Getting Started with Email Marketing

Practical Marketer • January 5, 2018

For a lot of us, doing something new is scary. It could be that we fear the unknown, a fear of failing or that we fear we won’t know how to do something. Regardless of the source, many of us won’t ever try a new thing as we succumb to our fears. When it comes to email marketing, several fears or impediments may come into play. So, let’s address them. But first, let’s take a look at why you should even be doing email marketing in the first place. If you made it this far, you’re at least curious. The Case For Email Marketing It’s projected that there will be 2.9 billion email users worldwide by 2019. That’s quite the large audience. Additionally, 105 billion emails are sent daily, with that number expected to increase to 246 billion by 2020. If the numbers aren’t convincing enough, here are several more reasons you need to be doing email marketing: It’s Affordable. Hands down, email marketing is one of the most, if not the most, cost-effective marketing solutions available to businesses today. It\'s Fast. You can create and send your first email in under thirty minutes. You can reach thousands (or more!) of customers and leads in less time than it takes to watch an episode of Game of Thrones. Sending the right message will even inspire your subscribers to quickly engage with your campaign and act upon your call to action. It’s Focused. Few people enjoy feeling like they’re being marketing to. Email marketing allows you to segment your lists into targeted opportunities which allows you to address the needs and wants of your subscribers and provide them with value. That makes for a happy, engaged audience. It’s Simple. Anyone can succeed with email marketing, no matter their experience. Thanks to email templates and drag and drop email builders, as well as other easy-to-implement tools such as A/B Testing and List Segmentation, the learning curve for email marketing is lower than ever before. Plus, real-time reporting shows you your successes and areas for improvement. When your strategy is properly executed, your campaigns will contribute to managing themselves while freeing you up to plan the next move. It Works. A well-planned email campaign will work to drive traffic to your website, increase sales and create ongoing engagement that leads to loyal customers. In fact, for every $1 spent on email marketing, the Return on Investment is $42 earned. Other marketing opportunities simply don’t see those results, all while creating and building brand reputation. So, now you know why you should be doing email marketing. Now, what’s stopping you? Fear of Not Knowing Where to Get Started In the almost decade that I have been working in the email marketing industry, there is one statement that I hear all too frequently from business owners: “We’re not ready for email marketing yet.” However, the real reason they’re not doing email marketing yet is that they don’t know what to do or afraid they’ll do the wrong thing. The truth is, any business, even before they have officially opened their doors (either at a brick and mortar physical location or on the web), should have an email marketing account. Why? It All Starts with a List An email list is the single most important marketing asset to any business. It’s more important than social media followers and a presence on those sites. After all, those sites could go away one day, and all your hard work would be erased along with your followers on that site. Your list of contacts endures. Plus, you can start growing your list even before you company officially launches. It’s a good idea to place a signup form on your website and Facebook page. Tell people to signup to get updates from the company to begin growing excitement. That reason for that is twofold. On the one hand, it helps you build hype leading up to your launch date. It also helps you hit the ground running once you’re open for business. Upload Your List Many companies have a list of contacts, even if they are new to email marketing. For some, it’s the list of customers with whom you’ve already established a relationship. For others, it’s the leads you’re already nurturing with one-off basic emails or phone calls. It could even be just the friends and family members who you can test your early strategies on. Take what you have to work with and upload it to your email marketing account. Based on the amount of data you have on your list, you may even be able to begin some segmentation. At the very least, it’ll give you your start to email marketing. You have to start somewhere, and even sending to a small audience will help you learn what works. Create a Signup Form After uploading any existing contacts you may have already had, a signup form is going to be your new best friend. According to the Nielsen Norman Group, when asked to opt-in to receive updates for a company, 90% chose to receive an email newsletter. Only 10% elected to get updates via Facebook. This is how your list will grow. From there, you expand your reach, follow-up with leads and build your brand--all while doing nothing more than placing a lead capturing form in the places that people interested in your business may visit. So what goes into a great signup form? Keep It Simple, Stupid. You don’t want anything on your list that will give someone pause before signing up. That means keep it short by not asking for too much information. Do you need more than the email address? Can you get that information or qualify your leads in another way? In most cases, the answer is yes. Set clear expectations for the subscriber. This is important for a couple of reasons. First, it helps convince people to sign up. If they know they’re going to get deals from you or helpful information once a month, they won’t be worried about getting their inboxes bombarded. It also helps you attract the kind of subscribers you want and ones who won’t quickly unsubscribe. Create a strong CTA. It should make your site visitors or social followers feel like they simply have to sign up to hear from you and that they have to act now. Make sure the button is large enough to be easily noticed Again, the button must stand out. Traditionally, red buttons work best, and green is the second most effective. Your CTA copy should not be longer than 40 characters. Use first-person language such as “me” or “my” to help potential subscribers relate better. Now that you know what makes up a great signup form, it’s also important to understand where you should put them. Your homepage is the obvious place to start. Some will place it right smack dab above the fold, as the hero image at the top of their page. These are people whose business relies on capturing email addresses. You can’t miss this signup form on the homepage for by Regina. It helps that they’re offering something for signing up. Any incentive is always helpful. Others may relegate their signup form to a sidebar or footer on the page. Make sure it’s on the top of your sidebar. The further down the page it gets, the fewer subscribers you’ll receive. Yes, the footer is all the way at the bottom of your page. However, if someone gets that far, they’re interested in what you’re doing. That makes for better quality subscribers in most cases. A company like Casper knows you’re not on their website to sign up for their emails. That’s why it makes sense for them to reserve their signup form for their footer. The “Free bedtime reading” copy is very on brand for them. If you want to demand attention, use a pop-up signup form. A website visitor will not be able to miss your signup form when it pops directly into their sightlines. You can’t ignore these savings from TOMS when their signup form pops up in front of your face. Saying “Join Us” is another nice touch. It sounds like you have less on the line to sign up. It sounds more like your helping them in their cause of donating shoes to those in need. Aside from your homepage, here are a few other places you should put a signup form: Your blog. It can even be a separate list from your main list. These people may just want to subscribe to receive email updates when you post new content on the blog. Facebook page. Your social media followers aren’t always your email subscribers or website visitors. Change that. About Us page. For many businesses, the About Us page is among the most visited on their website. Take advantage of the eyeballs on the page! That little bar across the top of your site. You’ve probably seen it on some sites you frequent. There are tools that make it easy. Try Hello Bar or ViperBar. SPF Records and DKIM The phrase SPF Records sounds like it means I have to show proof to my overbearing mother that I wore sunscreen at the beach yesterday. DKIM sounds intimidating as well. They don’t need to be! While these two steps in getting started with email marketing are on the technical side, there are easy to follow instructions on how to do them. But first, let’s understand them. SPF Records SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework. If you’re like me, that doesn’t mean anything. In fact, it makes it more confusing. Simply put, SPF Records allow ISPs and inbox clients to trust the authenticity of your emails. Still lost? Say someone knocks on your door. You look through the peephole to see who it is. SPF Records are the peephole of your email campaigns. One of the most common tricks that spammers run is a phishing scam. They design an email to look like it’s from your bank and use it to gain access to your passwords or other sensitive data. Establishing your SPF Records means the ISP can identify the email campaigns you’re sending. It ensures the best chance of delivery of your email campaigns. To establish your SPF records, you’ll do so with your DNS Manager. If you’re unsure of what a DNS Manager is, you’re not alone. If you’ve purchased a domain name and hosting, you have access to a DNS manager. If you don’t, whoever runs your website does. Ask them for help. The SPF record for yourwebdomain.com should go in your DNS manager something like this: yourwebdomain.com IN TXT “v=spf1 a mx ip4:1.2.3.4 include:thirdpartyespdomain.com -all” In this example, 1.2.3.4 = the IP Address of your mail server or 3rd party ESP, like Benchmark Email. Also, thirdpartyespdomain.com = the domain of the 3rd party ESP, such as Benchmark Email, or their relay mail server’s domain name. Your ESP will give you this information. Here’s a very helpful FAQ that will help you establish SPF Records with various domain hosts. Additionally, you can get help with your SPF Records on these sites: http://www.openspf.org/SPF_Record_Syntax http://www.openspf.org/FAQ Once you’ve finished establishing your SPF Records, it’s time to test it. You can do so with either of these sites: http://www.mxtoolbox.com/spf.aspx http://www.kitterman.com/spf/validate.html If you’re still lost or confused, you can reach out to the support with your domain host or your ESP. Both will have plenty of resources to help you out. We cannot emphasize enough how important this step is to getting started with email marketing on the right foot. If you need help, just ask! DKIM DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is another intimidating sounding phrase, but one which is another easy step in setting yourself up for good email delivery from the start. What DKIM does, is grants an organization the responsibility for an email being delivered, which may pertain to your own business or the ESP you’re using … or both! Any ESP will automatically authenticate your emails with DKIM. That’s good news! However, you can take it up a notch and enable a DKIM CName, which gives you double authentication. That means your emails are authenticated as coming from your business, sent through your ESP. This lets the ISPs identify you as the sender and builds your sender reputation with the help of your ESP as your co-signer. This is what you’ll need: CNAME RECORD FOR DKIM: bmdeda._domainkey.yourdomain.net VALUE: bmdeda._domainkey.bmsend.com Here is a very helpful FAQ to assist you with DKIM and various domain hosting companies. For even more on what you can do to improve your email deliverability, check out our guide The Deliverability Formula: 5 Steps to Reach the Inbox.


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New Year’s Resolution: Conquering Our Fears

New Year’s Resolution: Conquering Our Fears

Beyond • January 3, 2018

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” - Eleanor Roosevelt Most of us will choose fight or flight in the face of fear at some point in our lives. Some of us face fears on a daily basis. As we ring in the new year, we want to make a resolution for ourselves and all of you. We’ll do it together! All of January, we are going to carry the theme of \"Conquering Our Fears\" as our New Year\'s Resolution. We\'re creating posts to help you, our readers, to overcome the various fears you may face when doing email marketing and marketing automation. All of us here at Benchmark are committing to conquering our fears as well. That way we\'re in it together. Plus, you can win something along the way! The Contest Editor\'s note: This contest has ended. Thanks to everyone who participated and congratulations to the winner. We will be running a contest for the entire month of January. For every retweet milestone (20, 50, 100, etc.) this post gets, many of us at Benchmark will commit to facing our fears. What does that mean? For example, I\'m committing to conquering my fear of heights by going down the glass Skyslide nearly 1,000 ft over downtown LA. All it will take is 20 Retweets. I\'m setting the barrier low for myself. It\'s my idea, and I\'ll be the first to do it. Plus, every person that retweets this post will be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Our New Year\'s Resolution is to Conquer Our Fears and help you do the same. It starts with this infographic on fear. RT this tweet to be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card. For every RT milestone we hit, a Benchmark employee will face his or her fear: https://t.co/9Fly1OAL9C — Benchmark (@BenchmarkEmail) January 3, 2018 Here Are the Other Fears We’re Committed to Overcoming I asked everyone across the globe here at Benchmark what fear they’d be willing to overcome and how many retweets it would take for them to face it. It\'s our Fear Factor, except it doesn\'t end with Joe Rogan giving us money. You\'ll see by the retweet threshold they set how brave everyone is. Retweet away. We’ll put together a video at the end as proof of us holding up our end of the bargain. 20 RTs: Andy Shore, Content & Social Networking Manager, will face his fear of heights by sliding down the glass Skyslide 1,000 feet over downtown Los Angeles. 50 RTs: Alvaro Rosado, Marketing Design, will eat chapulines, which are grasshoppers found in Mexico. 75 RTs: Ronald Liang, Front End Developer, will go on a rollercoaster. 100 RTs: Robert Schweickert, Business Development Executive, will jump out of an airplane. 250 RTs: Matt Alonso, Country Manager for Brazil & Portugal, will hold a frog. 500 RTs: Daniel Miller, Marketing Director, will face his fear of needles by getting acupuncture. 1,000 RTs: Freddy Uribio, Latin America Regional Manager, will also eat bugs. 10,000 RTs: Irene Martinez, Training Manager, will go swimming in the ocean. 850,000 RTs: Debbie Running, Accounting/Human Resources, will eat escargot. 1,000,000 RTs: Jose Hernandez, VP of Sales & Marketing, will touch a snake. Look (Stats About) Fear in the Face I came across a ton of interesting information while I was writing this introductory post for January’s theme and contest. Since this post will hopefully be shared quite a bit (in the name of overcoming fears, I figured including an infographic of all the fun stats I found would be helpful. Keep that last stat in mind as you learn from our New Year\'s Resolution this month. If you can overcome your fears about email marketing and marketing automation, you\'re already ahead of everyone else who couldn\'t. Get started today! More on Conquering Our Fears Overcoming Our Fears: Getting Started with Email Marketing Fear Of Marketing Automation (#FOMA): Lack of Marketing Automation Strategy Fear Of Marketing Automation (#FOMA): Lack of Human Resources Fear Of Marketing Automation (#FOMA): Lack of Expertise or Know-How Fear Of Marketing Automation (#FOMA): Insufficient Customer Data Overcoming Our Fears of the Gmail Promotions Tab


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Dê uma Espiada na Nova Interface da Benchmark

Dê uma Espiada na Nova Interface da Benchmark

Beyond • January 2, 2018

Simplesmente Poderosa. O que isso significa? Significa ter as ferramentas que você precisa para atingir suas metas. Também quer dizer que essas ferramentas são intuitivas e tem uma curva de aprendizagem baixa, de modo que qualquer pessoa possa utilizá-la com facilidade. Estamos prestes a dar um enorme passo para a frente no segundo quesito.   Soluções Simplesmente Poderosas Identificar as áreas para melhorias foi apenas a primeira parte. O nosso maior trabalho foi criar soluções que fossem user-friendly e focadas na simplicidade. Estamos muito confiantes que você gostará muito do que fizemos. Navegação Clara e Concisa A primeira coisa que você irá notar é que a nova interface da Benchmark Email possui uma navegação clara e concisa. Todos os seus recursos favoritos agora são mais fáceis de ser encontrados. Não importa o local de nosso sistema em que esteja, você terá um entendimento melhor de onde está e de onde veio. Além disso, para uma melhor experiência de navegação, também tomamos cuidado para garantir que os nomes dos campos nas opções de sua conta são mais claras. Melhorias Contínuas de Velocidade Não precisamos entrar nos pormenores de como o fizemos. O que você precisa saber é que agora você terá uma experiência mais rápida ao criar seus emails e automações com a Benchmark. Isso significa que você terá que esperar menos ao mudar de um recurso para outro. Seus relatórios carregarão mais rapidamente e você ficará livre para executar suas outras tarefas importantes o quanto antes. Outras Mudanças Importantes Além dessas principais atualizações, fizemos algumas outras melhorias em nossa nova interface. Relatórios de Email Melhorados Nosso time melhorou a forma como as informações são mostradas em seus relatórios. Com uma rápida olhada em seus dados você conseguirá interpretá-los imediatamente sem perder tempo tendo que determinar o sucesso de suas campanhas. Uma Experiência Entre Dispositivos Mais Coerente A nova interface é responsiva. Isso quer dizer que você pode ver os seus relatórios de email facilmente no seu telefone ou tablet. Você também conseguirá adicionar novos contatos a partir de qualquer dispositivo. Mais do que nunca, negócios são feitos em qualquer lugar, independente de você se encontrar em seu escritório, em casa sentado no sofá ou em um restaurante. Agora, você poderá crescer sua lista de email, acompanhar os resultados de sua campanha e muito mais, em qualquer lugar. O que Esperar de Tudo Isso? Há muitos motivos para se animar. Uma experiência ainda melhor com a Benchmark está prestes a chegar. Uma ferramenta mais rápida, com navegação otimizada e relatórios incríveis que podem ser facilmente analisados no seu telefone ou qualquer outro lugar está quase aqui. Nenhuma de suas automações ativas, campanhas de email agendadas, rascunhos ou qualquer outro dado de sua conta será afetado por essa mudança. Tudo estará funcionando do jeito que você planejou. Mudanr é algo que causa medo em muitos de nós. Entendemos isso. Queremos que essa atualização seja uma experiência consistente e fluida e fizemos tudo o que pudemos para garantir isso. Caso já esteja usando a Benchmark Email, você verá a nova interface assim que logar em sua conta quando ela for lançada. Não se preocupe: não estamos jogando você no meio do oceano sem um bote salva-vidas. Você será recepcionado com um tour para mostrar os principais aspectos da nova interface. Caso mudanças sejam realmente difíceis para você, os slides também irão mostrar a você como voltar para a interface antiga. Além disso, uma vez que você esteja de volta a antiga interface, te daremos instruções sobre como se juntar a nós para usar novamente nossa nova atualização uma vez que você sentir-se pronto.  


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10 of the Worst Email Writing Mistakes You Need to Avoid in Your Campaigns

10 of the Worst Email Writing Mistakes You Need to Avoid in Your Campaigns

Beyond • December 25, 2017

Writing the best emails possible is vital to the success of your business. Any error in communication and you can soon find customer, clients, colleagues, managers and partners will be right on your back, chasing up the mistakes you have caused. To avoid these errors completely, here are ten of the worst mistakes you must avoid. 1. Not Formatting Fonts If you’ve copy and pasted a bit of text into your email, always format it, so your email is consistent. This is as simple as highlighting the text and changing the font so just make sure that you do. 2. Misspelling Your Company Name Another way to ensure your readers don’t take you seriously is by writing your company name wrong. It should be written everywhere you look in your office, so there’s no excuse. 3. Not Checking Your Grammar Grammar is such an important part of writing an email, so it’s essential that you get it right. Using the right grammar will help to improve your email’s readability and structure. To ensure your grammar skills are in line with the most up to date guidelines, check out websites such as Resumention or Easywordcount which host blogs and reference sheets with everything you need to know. 4. Not Editing Your Emails As with any kind of written work, the chances are that you won’t get it right the first time. This is why it’s so important that you edit your emails before sending them. You may want to do this once, twice or even three times. If you’re not sure on the best way to edit, online tools, such as Big Assignments, are home to expert writers who can teach you the best methods for fast editing. 5. Not Formatting Your Email Like an Email If your emails are just big blocks of text and aren’t formatted for easy reading like an email should be, you’re only increasing the risk of miscommunication, and your readers will doubt you and your business’s credibility. Instead, using tools like Email Excellence which teach you everything you need to know to create the perfect emails for your industry or job type. 6. Spacing Out Information Imagine you’re asking your recipient when the best time to hold a meeting is. Instead of listing off your preferred times in a block of text, space your work out using bullets points or inline lists. This makes your emails so much easier to read, rather than your reader misreading what you’ve said. 7. Not Being Precise It’s easy to get carried away with what you’re writing, and your emails can easily end up being hundreds of words long. Instead, use tools like Oxessays to ensure your emails are only a few hundred words, enabling you to stick to the point. 8. Avoiding Online Tools Thanks to modern day technology, there are now thousands of tools that have been designed to make your life easier, fastest and more efficient. By avoiding these tools, you’re simply missing out. Benchmark Email is ideal for creating perfectly formatting emails for your readers. 9. Proofreading Your Work If your emails are full of mistakes, typos and errors, it’s going to make you seem incredibly unprofessional as well as increasing the risk of miscommunication. To ensure your emails are always perfect before sending, use tools like Elite Assignment Help and Essayroo to upload your work to have it read over by a professional writer. 10. Risking Poor Quality No matter who you’re sending your emails to, if you’re sending poor quality emails, it’s going to reflect badly on you. Instead, Use writing tools, such as Write my paper, to create and write your emails on your behalf, minimising the risk of any negative side effects or feedback. Despite the modern-age of instant messaging that we live in, email communication has never been more important. By avoiding the mistakes listed above, you can maximise your opportunities while remaining professional and ahead of your competition.


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How to Make Millennials Fall in Love with Your Emails

How to Make Millennials Fall in Love with Your Emails

Beyond • December 20, 2017

“Millennial” – It’s the buzzword for marketers. As per Google Trends, the word ‘Millennial’ has picked up traction since January 2016. There is a high chance that even you click-baited when you read the headline and wanted to know more. But Why Millennials? Marketing, in general, is dependent on how well you have defined your customer persona, which is built after a close analysis of the demographics your customers belong to. Millennials pose a challenge in this case as they are a combination of different types of demographics. Right from working individuals to businessmen and startup partners to those freshly out of college ready to experience the world first hand, all are Millennials. In fact, 25% of the U.S population is Millennials. As per a research, millennials make up 21% of consumer purchases, which is estimated over a trillion dollars of buying power. So it’s very important for brands to expand their reach to cover millennials and which marketing channel has the highest reach other than emails?! But commit the mistake of considering them just a part of your emailing list, and you shall lose the count of unsubscribes you may get. With that in mind, here are some useful tips on how to make millennials fall in love with your emails. Being Responsive As per a study, 63% millennials shop on their smartphones every day. So it is very important for your emails to be responsive. Nothing spells disaster like a broken email layout where your subscriber needs to scroll across their screens to read the entire email. ( Image is for representation purposes only ) Less Read and More Visual In the world of 140 chars and Snapchat videos, people now want information short and crisp. People rather skip the text and focus on the image. So make sure your emails are not paragraphs of text. Provide information in short bursts. Get creative with text formatting to draw attention to certain keywords. Use images and animated GIFs to convey the message of your email. Moreover, be creative in crafting your subject lines and preview text, so that your subscribers get your message even before opening your email. Use of emojis in the subject line is also a popular trend. Dazzle Them with the Unexpected Anything out of the blue is always eye-catching. Ditch the standard design that your subscribers are accustomed to and surprise them with some interactivity or an embedded video. Penguin Random House designed a scrollable email where the bus is a static element and the background changes. Email on Acid created a bicycle lock in their email. Taco Bell’s email is molded as a conversation between two buddies. Even if you don’t include any interactive elements, you can still experiment with the email layout to create interesting emails. J crew’s summer announcement email was a tall scoop of ice cream where the CTA button was visible in the footer when you scroll till the end. Humor Builds Bridges Though it contradicts to our earlier statement, a good and humorous email copy can be a really good end user experience. Humor is an emotion that registers quickly and helps you create a foundation for lasting relation. In fact, 80% of millennials want the brands to entertain them. Brands such as Really Good Emails and phrasee have emails with witty subject lines and a competing email copy. (The subject line of this email is “Do you even uplift, bro?) Loyalty Can’t Be Bought Millennials don’t want to be associated with a brand for the name only. Millennials value brands that in a way improve their lives. According to Hubspot, 84% of consumers research online, and 70% read online reviews before buying online. Learn what your subscriber wants and make sure your emails provide the same. Stay away from using false and luring subject lines or misguiding offers & promotions. Offer loyalty rewards to your customers who have been associated with your brands. Personalize Beyond the First Name Imagine your email campaign to be a party and your subscribers as the party attendees. Each email is like a conversation you have with them. No one would want to talk to someone who doesn’t even know their name. But in this era of hyper-personalization, just referring your customers by the first name doesn’t cut it anymore. People want customized and tailored information in exchange for their personal details. So segment your list. Suggest recommendations based on their purchase history. Learn their preferences and treat your subscribers like people instead of faceless names on an emailing list. Ask for Feedback Millennials like to be vocal. As per a research, 70% millennials feel a responsibility to share feedback with companies after a good or bad experience. So integrate a feedback form in your email or redirect them to a landing page where the subscribers can give feedback. This is a win-win, as based on the feedbacks received, brands can make necessary changes to their marketing strategies. Wrapping Up Millennials are stereotyped to be picky and never tend to stick to anything for a long stretch of time, but on the contrary, once you succeed in building (and retaining) their loyalty, the buying power of millennials is an easy resource to tap into. And the stepping stone to a good relationship is to provide a good customer experience and based on the above suggestions, your emails can be fruitful to cater that.


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Here’s Your Sneak Peek at a New Benchmark Interface

Here’s Your Sneak Peek at a New Benchmark Interface

Beyond • December 18, 2017

Powerfully simple. Simply powerful. What does that mean? It means having the tools you need to accomplish your goals. It also means those tools are intuitive and have a low learning curve so that anyone can use them with ease. We’re about to take a major step forward to address the latter. Powerfully Simple and Simply Powerful Solutions Identifying the areas for improvement was only the first part. Creating solutions that were lean-focused and user-friendly is where the real work came in. We’re confident you’ll be pleased with what we’ve done. Clear and Concise Navigation The first thing you’ll notice in Benchmark Email’s new user interface is a clear and concise navigation. All of your favorite features are now easier to find. At any point, while using our tools, you will have a better understanding of where you’re at and from where you have come. In addition to a better navigation experience, we’ve also made sure the labels on your user account options are more clear as well. Continued Speed Enhancements We don’t need to get into how. What you need to know is that you’re in for a faster experience while creating email campaigns and automations with Benchmark. That means less load time when moving from one feature to another, reports load faster, and you’re free to move on to other important tasks that much quicker. Other Important Changes to Note In addition to these main updates, we’ve made a few other enhancements to the new interface. Improved Email Reports Our team has improved the way your information is displayed in your reports. You will be able to glance at your data and immediately interpret it without wasting any time having to determine the success of your efforts. A More Seamless Experience Across Devices and Screen Sizes The new user interface is responsive. That means you can check your email reports easily from your phone or tablet. It also means you can add contacts from any device on the fly. More business is conducted on-the-go than ever before. Now that means growing your email list, tracking the success of your emails and more. Here’s What to Expect There is a lot to be excited about. A better Benchmark experience is right around the corner. A faster tool with improved navigation and incredible reports that can be easily analyzed from your phone or anywhere else are almost here. None of your active automations, scheduled email campaigns, drafts or any data will be affected by this change. Everything will still be working as you intended it. Change is something many of us fear. We understand that. We want this update to be a seamless experience and have done everything we can to ensure that. If you’re already using Benchmark Email, you’ll see the new interface when you log in once it goes live. Don’t fret; we’re not just dropping you in the deep end. You’ll be greeted with a tour to show you the ropes of the new interface. If change doesn’t come easily to you, the slides will also show you how to go back to the old interface. Once you’ve gone back to the old interface, we’ll also provide instructions on how you can rejoin the rest of us using the new interface for when you’re ready.


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Customer List Management vs Customer Relationship Management

Customer List Management vs Customer Relationship Management

Beyond • December 11, 2017

Do you know the difference between Customer List Management and Customer Relationship Management? Did you even know there was a difference? For a long time, it’s been our job to show you the practical strategies to grow your email list, the best ways to maintain them and the benefits of doing both. Great marketing is customer-centric. The ability to do that comes from having the right tools for the job. Customer List Management plays a role but doesn’t include what happens outside of the inbox. That’s where CRM becomes so important. Benchmark CRM’s Project Manager, Paul Rijnders, spelled out the difference between Customer List Management and Customer Relationship Management on the Benchmark CRM blog. We’ll be introducing some of the posts from the CRM blog in this space that we think may help our email marketing audience as well. Check them out!


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Marketing Automation: Welcome Series

Marketing Automation: Welcome Series

Practical Marketer • December 10, 2017

Marketing Automation is not a buzzword. It’s an industry standard at this point. If you have signup forms on your website, blog, social channels or anywhere else, you should have an automation to at least welcome those new subscribers. Time is of the essence here, and when someone is showing interest in your company, it’s extremely important to engage with them ASAP. Some of you may say, “I know, I know. I need to set up Automation… but I just don’t have time! It’s too complicated” or whatever excuse you want to use. The Case for Marketing Automation The bottom line here is that creating an automation will save you time and when it comes to the idea of it being too complicated well, that’s why I am writing this blog. To demonstrate how any business can create simple automations to at least welcome new subscribers, leads, contacts, etc. The days of sending an email once a week/month to your newly added subscribers for that time are over. People want your information as soon as they sign up. If they don’t get it from you promptly … they will find someone else. Marketing Automation has proven to drive excellent ROI and experience to businesses and subscribers. A study by Nucleus Research shows that businesses who use marketing automation see an increase in sales by 14.5% and a reduction in marketing overhead of about 12.2%. A quick calculation of email ROI makes that a… well… at least +15% increase in ROI by only starting with marketing automation. Start with \"Welcome\" On top of saving you time and money while increasing sales you are also providing an excellent experience to your subscribers. Having a welcome series automation allows you to set a standard for the user experience. This means that every time a new visitor goes to your website and subscribes, you know exactly what they receive and when. This sets a clear standard and will help you identify issues when optimizing your marketing efforts. If you see your open rates are low, you can work on adjusting the send time or Subject line and From name of your automation. If you see low engagement rate, you can work on adjusting the content of the email and CTAs. Sending welcome emails manually opens up a huge issue when trying to identify where to optimize since each email is sent at a different time from the moment your subscriber signs up and may even include different text. I don’t want to hear, “I have a reminder that notifies me every day at 9:00 AM to send my welcome emails…” What if you are sick? On holiday? Or snooze the reminder to “do it later?” Save yourself time and stress, and get rid of unnecessary reminders and create a welcome email series. You have no excuse to avoid this. Marketing Automation Made Easy We have heard it all! We made sure to make your experience creating a welcome series extremely easy. With Marketing Automation Pro tool, we created a few templates to get you started right away. I clocked myself using the Welcome Series template, and I was able to create a full welcome series automation (with tips and tricks) in under 15 min. Your first time around may take a little longer than that, but trust me, you will be so proud and happy once it’s done! Get Started with Marketing Automation If you are reading this blog, you are already a step closer to getting on board with Automation. The next step is to login to your Benchmark Email account (click here if you don’t have an account) and get to work! We even created a downloadable PDF that explains our Welcome Series Template and how to use it: Welcome Your New Subscribers Final tips and thoughts on the Welcome Series Automation: Keep it simple. If you are just getting started with marketing automation, one email is enough to welcome your subscribers. You can edit your automation later on as you gain experience. Warm Welcome. Remember the purpose of the email. It’s to welcome your new subscribers. Unless you state it at the point of signup, avoid selling in a welcome email. Think of building a long-lasting relationship. The welcome email is intended to give a warm welcome and to connect with your subscribers. Calls to Action. As most, if not all emails, avoid too many calls to action but most definitely include at least one! To help build a long-lasting relationship it is important to do this from day one. Include a link to your website, social channels or a really interesting blog. This will help your subscriber get used to clicking on your emails so when you start sending promotional emails in the future, your subscriber is already familiar with engaging with your messages. It also tells your subscribers email provider (Gmail, Outlook, etc.) that they like to engage with your emails, resulting in a higher priority to ensure your emails always land in the inbox. Reporting. Once you create the welcome series, set yourself a timeframe to review the results. If it is your first automation, a 30-day window is great. That doesn’t mean you have to change anything. It’s just a time to review the automation and think of improvements. You may find that it’s working great and no changes need to be made! If that is the case, check back around in another 60 - 90 days. Don’t forget about Holidays and other events within your company. You may want to make a special welcome series depending on the time of the year. Welcome Series Per Channel or Signup Method. Start with your most influential channel or signup method. If most of your subscribers come from your blog or website, start there for your first welcome series. As you nail down the most important one, you can go on to the next one. This may be your social channels or other avenues you may have. Can you have just one welcome series for all of your channels? Sure! But I recommend giving somewhat of a custom experience based on where the subscriber came from. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel, just play with the wording or message to match the place they came from. BONUS: List Management. This is optional, but I highly recommend keeping your “New Subscribers” separate from your “Existing Subscribers.” This may not apply to your single email welcome automation, but it makes much more sense when you have a longer welcome series with multiple emails. Doing this allows you to separate new subscribers from the rest. Why is this important? Two main reasons: Filter freebie signups. If you are giving something away in exchange of the signup, (e.g. A free report, pdf, infographic, etc.) you will get a lot of signups looking for that free asset. But when it comes to potential buyers… you will want to filter the freebie chasers out. Having a longer welcome series can help you identify quality subscribers who may show interest in your product or service by tracking the engagement with your emails. Towards the end of the welcome automation series, you can add conditions to check who your most engaged subscribers were and automatically add these to your “Main Subscriber” list for more aggressive sales follow-ups later on. It’s a good way to weed out “junk” signups and focus on real interested signups. Promotions. Imagine it is your slow seasons and you want to send a special promotion to try to boost sales for that month. Keeping your lists separated allows you to target new subscribers with specials to earn their business and avoid sending to subscribers that may have already purchased at the full price. You can learn more about using goal-based lists for marketing automation in a post we recently published. As mentioned, marketing automation can seem intimidating, and many times you give up because you just don’t know where to start. Take it with bite-size pieces and start to automate what already works for your business. This is why we highly recommend to start your automation experience with a welcome series. Its simple, has value and its an excellent way to get your feet wet and see the power of automation. Join Us For Automation Fridays If you have a welcome series to share with us, or a success story after implementing automation for your business, please post it below in the comments or join us for Automation Friday! We meet every week to discuss automation tips, strategies and examples.


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10 Essential Event Email Design Tips to Drive Registration

10 Essential Event Email Design Tips to Drive Registration

Practical Marketer • November 30, 2017

Among the billions of emails that are sent daily, there is a common goal among all of them: to drive action. Whether that action is to subscribe, to donate, or to simply open the message, an email’s objective is to always persuade the reader to engage in some way. For event marketers, their email strategy oftentimes revolves around a single action: registering for the event. According to the Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends report, most marketers (40%) believe email to be the best channel for promoting events—more than digital ads, social media or content marketing. This comes as no surprise as email continues to be the go-to form of communication for many businesses. The challenge then becomes crafting the ideal email strategy that aligns with the goals of an event marketer. To assist with email crafting process, here are 10 event email design tips that help to drive event registration. Event email marketing is a nuanced kind of email strategy and these tips make sure to address the specific needs of event marketers. 1. The Rule of Three Perhaps the most important rule when it comes to event email design, or any kind of email design for that matter, is simplicity. The most visually appealing emails are the ones that are not too cluttered and easily readable. The key is to make the message memorable for the reader and nothing achieves that more quickly than simplicity. A good rule of thumb keep in mind is to not to exceed three subsections within an email. This will ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for the reader. As you can see in the example below, Wistia, a video marketing platform, follows the rule of three beautifully. Notice that there is very minimal text because most of the key information is already included in the graphics. This example illustrates that an email with simple, minimal design makes for an enjoyable read while also leaving the recipient wanting more. 2. Apply a Consistent Color Scheme A very specific event email design principle to adhere to is keeping a consistent color scheme throughout the email. Doing so creates a visually unified aesthetic while also showcasing your  event branding. The above example shows how the Forecast 2017 conference maintains a repetitive color scheme throughout, using accents where appropriate. 3. Harness the Power of Video Video marketing continues to be core strategy for marketers so it only make sense to utilize it within email campaigns as well. This study from Syndacast shows that simply including the word “video” in the subject line increased clicked-through rates by 65%. The above example shows how Unbounce used a video a main speaker to persuade people to register. Having an eye-catching thumbnail image also helps to invite more clicks. 4. Strategically Place CTA buttons As mentioned before, the goal of an email is to drive action. Often times the main action that is presented to the reader is a call-to-action button. Within the context of event marketing, this button usually leads to a registration page. Since driving the reader to click on the button is the key action, the placement and design of the button is crucial. One way to make the CTA button stand out is to use a color that is different from the rest of the email but still agrees with the overall aesthetic, as shown in the example above. In terms of placement, make sure it is in line with the overall flow of the email. This is why many CTA buttons are often times at the end of the email. You can also include the button a second or third time to emphasize its importance, as shown in the example from Invision. So as long as the placement makes sense contextually, you should feel free to arrange the buttons as you see fit. 5. Leverage Social Proof There are few things as persuasive as the opinions of others, especially within the context of conferences. Social proof is the concept of solidifying one’s perspective through the collective influence of others. Thus if you have positive reviews from your previous events, make sure to use them within the email to further drive event registration. The above example shows how Amy Porterfield, a business coach for entrepreneurs, promoted her webinar through the praise of previous webinar attendees. Social proof can come in the form of social media mentions, survey responses, video testimonials, or any other kind of evidence that establishes the awesomeness of your event. 6. Spotlight Your Speakers Many attendees and prospective attendees will be most excited about the speaker lineup. To further amp up the hype, you can design the event registration email to solely spotlight your speakers while giving more context about each one. HubSpot’s INBOUND conference always has stellar speakers and they’re not shy about showing them off in their emails. Even if your lineup isn’t as impressive as the one above, there are plenty of ways to create enthusiasm around your speakers. You could give a short summary of their experience, offer a sneak-peek of their speaking topic, or list their accolades. If you’ve chosen them to speak at your event, there is definitely a way to show them off. 7. Add a Personal Touch Personalization is a cardinal rule for effective event email design. One study showed that personalization throughout an email improved click-through rates by 14% and increased conversions by 10%. The above example shows how the Bizzabo platform provides a wide range of personalization tokens within its email marketing feature. By personalizing the email in the right context, you create a message that resonates with your target audience. 8. Apply a Concise Subject Lines Remember that effective event email design begins before the email is actually opened. The subject line is the first thing the reader will see so it is important to optimize this portion of the message. Research has shown that short, catchy subject line usually results in higher open rates. According to a study by Informz, subject lines with less than 10 characters had open rates of nearly 54%. Of course this statistic shouldn’t be applied to all emails as some require more information in the subject line, but this is a good reminder to maintain short, pithy subject lines when possible. Doing so will pique your reader\'s’ interest and entice them to open the email. 9. Create Sense of Urgency Another form of effective event email design would be to include a countdown clock. This timer would count down to the final day of registration which creates a feeling of urgency for prospective attendees. Below you can see that The Web Summit does a great job of making the countdown the largest part of the email to maximize its effect. Including a countdown clock is a simple yet dynamic visual graphic that causes the exact effect you’re looking for. A sense of urgency equals a reason to take action, which results in more registrations. As shown in the example above from Web Summit, a simple countdown clock with a brief explanation of the event is enough content to communicate the necessary information while inducing a feeling of urgency, a perfect balance to drive registrations. 10. Optimize for Mobile An overarching design principle to keep in mind is to optimize your email for mobile devices. Because 65% of email users access their email through a mobile device, it’s imperative to create an optimal mobile reading experience. Overlooking this key feature will result in an unpleasant association with your event brand. Wrapping Up To offer a quick summary, here are a few key points from the aforementioned examples. Maintain simplicity both in terms of content and visuals. Doing so will make your email more memorable and stand out from the rest. Leverage your best assets, which includes your speaker lineup and previous attendee testimonials. Both of these can be strong forms of persuasion. Think of creative ways to use video. Utilizing dynamic content will increase the likelihood of your reader engaging with the email. Mix and match these event email design tips to create the perfect formula for your particular event brand. And while these tips specifically focused on increasing event registration, these best practices can be applied to help achieve your overall email marketing goals.


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Email Marketing Tactics to Help Boost SEO

Email Marketing Tactics to Help Boost SEO

Beyond • November 28, 2017

Although email marketing and SEO campaigns are made up of very different components and utilize different tools, they both ultimately share the same goal – driving traffic to your website. Simply implementing an email marketing campaign into your business strategy will not directly impact SEO results, because search engines can’t rank and crawl emails like they do web page listings. However, there are tactics involved in email marketing that help steer audiences to your company’s website and social media pages, thus furthering SEO initiatives. Encourage Engagement SEO marketing professionals know the key to building authority for your site is making it popular. The more time someone spends on a page, the more Google values it. Email marketing can help encourage consumers to engage on your blog or social media pages by persuading them to leave comments or share on their pages. Interacting with your social media pages or blog helps you gain exposure and also increases the time spent on your pages. Sending out mass emails can also drive more people to your website than ever before. By creating powerful messages about your product or service and linking them back to landing pages on your website through a button or image, you are boosting SEO. Ongoing Engagement is Even Better Convincing people to leave comments and share your social media and blog posts once or twice is helpful, but attracting regular followers and subscribers is much more beneficial. Give your email subscribers (and non-subscribers) the option to sign up for more specific emailing lists, such as daily or weekly emails. Also, encouraging subscribers to follow your social media channels by sending previews of social content to entice them can be helpful. For example, send a few images from your Instagram with a link to your profile, telling people they can view more if they follow you. Turn Emails into Blogs Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way Google could track the content in e-newsletters? Well, repurposing the content into blog posts and loading it up with keywords is a great solution that directly impacts SEO. It also gives people who are not email subscribers a chance to see the content. If an email is too short to be used a blog post, you could either add external content to it or combine multiple short emails into one blog. Choose the Right Email Service Provider Choosing the right Email Service Provider (ESP) is crucial for an email marketing campaign for a number of reasons, including SEO. For your campaign, the ESP will provide you with an IP address, reporting and analytics including clicks and bounce rates, and most importantly, assistance with Internet Service Providers (ISP). The relationship between the ESP and ISP can get quite complex during an email marketing campaign, which is why choosing an ESP that will manage that relationship properly is essential. Incorporate Email into SEO Although it would make life easier for SEO marketers if search engine results included content and keywords from emails directly, it is still extremely valuable to implement email marketing campaigns for their indirect benefits to SEO. Being creative and thinking outside of the box is required when it comes to developing new ways of boosting SEO.


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How to Use GIFs with Email Marketing

How to Use GIFs with Email Marketing

Practical Marketer • November 26, 2017

Perhaps you\'ve noticed amazing email campaigns that have graphics featuring a lot of movement. Would you like to do the same in your in your next email send? Creating moving graphics is a piece of cake. I will show you here how to create videos and add them to your emails as GIFs. First, you should know a GIF is just an image that moves, and you can upload a GIF in the editor as a regular image. Let\'s start making a GIF a video. For that, let\'s take as an example next video: When using a video, we recommend using short videos no more than 10 seconds. Remember, GIFs will be embedded into your email as an image. People will usually only pay attention for that long. Also, GIFs don\'t have any sound. Way #1 Start by downloading a GIF app like GIF Brewery or Giphy. Both allow you to record your screen and save the content as a GIF. With Brewery and Giphy, just open the app and click on Record screen (if you want to demonstrate something) or record video or window. Now, select the area you want to capture and click on rec button, and don\'t worry about errors. When you finish your recording, you can set the start or the end to avoid some mistakes. Then click on create. [embed]https://giphy.com/gifs/gif-of-a-video-3ov9jDKJu9HDYvzyog[/embed] Very important: remember our Editor only allows you to upload an image of 200 kb. Here is the reason: one of every two people read emails from their phones. When they open emails, they are looking for two things speed and readability. Do not make them spend their time loading images. We do this to ensure the delivery of your email. So, please be careful to make GIFs within that size. If your GIF is heavier than 200kb, it will be shown as a regular image with no movement. Here is how you will see an email with the GIF we have created: Way #2 Playable Playable is a video email creator. You can drag and drop your 10-second video to the platform and Playable will give you an embed code. [caption id=\"attachment_7788\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"615\"] Upload your video.[/caption] [caption id=\"attachment_7789\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"1168\"] Copy the code.[/caption] [embed]https://giphy.com/gifs/upload-a-gif-to-benchmark-email-l1J9qyu6NHlrDhMkw[/embed] As you can see in the GIF above, you will add the code in a text block. The advantages of Playable are that you don\'t have to record a screen, make editions or be worried about image size. Just be careful to select a 10-second video. If you are a professional, I know you can use Adobe Suite or any other available software to do this, but by trying this way can save you time. There are many reasons to start using GIFs. Not only do they help enhance a brand’s message with visual content, but they are friendly with mobile devices and can be embedded in your email, and hopefully, readers don\'t leave your email to watch it. Confucius used to say \"a picture says more than 1000 words\" but Giphy\'s Ceo Alex Chung says \"the average GIF contains sixty frames, then they’re capable of conveying 60,000 words – the same as the average novel.” Let your emails become more interesting for your audience and start using GIFs and let us know in the comments how it goes.


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What is Marketing Automation?

What is Marketing Automation?

Beyond • November 23, 2017

By now, you must have heard about marketing automation. Some may see it as a buzz-word of the moment, and some others may be taking it very seriously, but what is it and why does it matter? Marketing Automation refers to a piece of software that allows you to (as its name says) automate sales and marketing actions or processes. The scope of actions can range from: welcoming your new subscribers to even retargeting leads that may have gone cold. How far you go with it will usually depend on the nature of your business, and your creativity. What is true is that Marketing Automation makes repetitive marketing and sales tasks be performed with little effort. A statement that marketers agree with, according to VB insight, Three-quarters of marketers say the biggest benefit of automation is saving time. Other benefits include increased customer engagement (68%), more timely communications (58%) and increased opportunities such as upselling (58%). What can you do with it? I use this phrase more than I’d like to, but: The possibilities are endless. Nurturing your customers helps them be more engaged with your business or product and Offering them what you know is needed to convert them at the right time can be a game changer for your business or product. Actions like turning a one-time customer into a repeat customer, upselling, cross-selling, cycle-based selling, etc. Are strategies that if automated will not only give you more time to focus on getting new leads but always keep the machine going. Are you In need of customer feedback? You can take your marketing game to the next level by giving users that completed your survey a special ‘thank you’ offer, and even think of a reward program if they share your content. Conducting awesome strategies like these without automation would require a large amount of time and leave other important strategies neglected in the background. FOMA Fear of Marketing Automation in some marketers is very real and sometimes understandably so. Usually, when you hear of all the great things you can do with MA it can be very exciting, but for some, it can quickly get intimidating especially once they start thinking of the time they have to set aside to define things such as content and customer flows. Overcoming this fear is actually very simple, once you find out that: Four in five users increased their leads by using marketing automation software and almost as many (77%) saw an increase in conversions. That is a lot of saved time for sales and marketing. So, this fear may be depriving you of reaping great benefits that you could be in need of. Should you invest in Marketing Automation? Can Marketing Automation be beneficial to your business? In very simple terms: yes it can. Now, Should you invest in marketing automation? That’s for you to answer, but ask yourself before you decide: Do you see an opportunity to grow indicators such as the number of qualified leads you generate? Do you think you can get more from your customers by engaging in a smarter way with them? Do you see steps of your sales funnel that are neglected and need nurturing? A smart thing to do is to calculate your Customer Lifetime Value to help you understand how much you should invest in acquiring new customers and retaining them, our friends at Shopify did a great job on making a step by step guide on how to figure that number out. At Benchmark, if you already use Benchmark Email Pro you will have access to our automation platform: Automation Pro at no extra cost, all templates, all actions. We believe in how much it will benefit our customers that we have created a series of live weekly webinars where we answer all questions you may have about Automation Pro and marketing automation in general. Want to waste no time? You can chat with a specialist today.


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