Benchmark Email has been showcasing cool stuff for small businesses for almost a year now and we want 2012 to be even bigger! In 2011 we hosted exclusive blogs from the likes of Chris Brogan, Jordie van Rijn, Ez Texting and many more. If you\'ve got insight to share with our readers about marketing, both online and face to face, we want you to write for us! How to Blog for Benchmark Email We\'re looking for serious content that deals with the following topics: Marketing best practices Social media strategies SEO (specifically how to, what to steer clear of and broader articles on meeting the search engines\' evolving standards) Online tools & applications (what works best for you in your online marketing and which apps do you use in your personal life?) Growing your company Branding PR Email marketing (natch) Guidelines for Benchmark Email Bloggers You may have a great idea for a blog that doesn\'t quite fall in one of the categories above. That\'s perfectly reasonable and we\'ll take a look at it. But if it doesn\'t fit for us, we can\'t accept it. And before you start sending in any articles, please read the following guidelines all guest bloggers must follow: Blogs must be 400-700 words. If you would like to write a longer blog, it must be broken up into a series. If there isn\'t enough for a series, the blog will be edited down to conform to this standard. Blog topics should pertain to your expertise, be advice for online or small businesses, or editorials. Blogs must be factual and helpful, not an advertisement for your product or business. Guest blogs can be one-time or recurring. If the content is reliable (and usable), you may write a monthly blog. Both Star Marketing and Thumbtack write great monthly articles for Benchmark Email about their respective industries If these conditions are agreeable to you then we can create a guest profile for either you or your company. See our Guest Blogger Page for examples of bios and links. To discuss guest blogging for Benchmark Email, contact Pierce Nahigyan, Content Manager for Benchmark Email, at email@example.com.
I love email marketing, which puts me at odds with some of my social media brethren who like to tell me that Facebook messages are the new email. Short answer: they\'re wrong. Longer answer: They\'re really wrong. For you, I want to share my five best email marketing tricks and tips, which have given me open rates as high as 78% on my list. 1.) Be Personal I write all my email newsletters in the first person. I write them with a custom firstname field and do a lot to evoke a very personal and one-to-one tone. I never use \"you guys\" or \"all of you\" or anything that intimates that the conversation is beyond you and me. 2.) Be Brief No one has time to read more than 500 words. Maybe that\'s even too much. We\'re a world of people who scan the preview pane to determine whether we should read further. Honor that. 3.) Be Succinct Use only one call to action per email. Any more than that and you run the risk of getting nowhere. Too many links mean too few clicks of what you want them to click. Stop sending catalog pages through the mail. 4.) Be Consistent Send out email as consistently as you can muster without annoying people. I see email marketers really ramp up and over-message their lists when they have a desperate need to sell something. That just fatigues your list and forces unsubscribes. Was your cost-to-acquire those subs worth you bullying them into pushing the spam button? 5.) End with Social Sharing Your email service provider should have social sharing, like \"post to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter,\" etc. If not, you\'re missing the biggest reach-booster ever invented for email. Demand it if they aren\'t providing it. It\'s a few lines of HTML. These tips have really pushed my email efforts well. I follow the rule of never sending an email I wouldn\'t want to receive myself. I hope you find that useful. See for yourself by subscribing to my free newsletter for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Chris Brogan is President of Human Business Works, where we provide tools and smarts for small businesses.