Tags: Email Marketing

How can you re-confirm a database?

How can you re-confirm a database?

Practical Marketer • May 23, 2018

Have you updated your privacy policy? Do you just want to keep the most engaged subscribers? Perhaps you want to re-confirm the consent of your database as a preventive measure for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)? In this video, we show you how you can reconfirm a database with Benchmark. Re-confirm your database:   The text you need to use: Opt-in tag:  [opt-in: here you can write in text] Unsubscribe tag: [unsubscribe: here you can write in text] The text is 100% customizable. You just need to modify the italic text. Save the contacts that have re-confirmed in a separate list   Maybe you want to consider sending a campaign again to those who have not opened or to the whole list, excluding the new list of contacts, that have already confirmed. If you want to know more about the GDPR, we invite you to read and watch the webinar we held and in which we explain all the sensitive points that affect your email marketing strategy. Leave your comments or questions below and keep learning with Benchmark!


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How Benchmark adapts to the GDPR

How Benchmark adapts to the GDPR

Practical Marketer • May 18, 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. In this article, we want to make a recap of how has Benchmark adapted to the GDPR and about all the changes we have implemented and which you might need to know: “Right to be forgotten” This right is one of the biggest changes of this Regulation. For the very first time, this right is regulated and obliges the controller to completely remove the data if the data subject requests. To exercise the right to be forgotten, we have two different scenarios: Benchmark | Customer If a Benchmark customer wants to be “forgotten,” he or she needs to request the deletion of the data by writing to support@benchmarkemail.com and we will proceed with the removal of their data. Benchmark | Customer | Subscriber Any of our client’s subscribers can request to be deleted from lists and/or records. It’s the customer’s responsibility to delete a subscriber from our (and other) systems, with one exception: if the subscriber has already unsubscribed, the client will not be able to remove the data from the “Unsubscribe” list. If this happens, the customer should forward the user’s email to support@benchmarkemail.com and we will proceed with the elimination of the subscriber from the list. In this FAQ, we explain all the steps to follow. Accessibility / rectification / unsubscribe An email marketer must include the “Manage Subscription” option on all email campaigns:   Adding this option, the client gives the data subject the option to access, rectify and unsubscribe from his/her data. When the subscriber clicks on that link, he/she will find this screen:   The subscriber can exercise his/her rights here. At Benchmark, we are currently preparing to allow the data subject to be able to rectify the rest of the fields and not just the email, name and surname. Consent We have also updated our classic and pop-up signup forms to be compliant with the GDPR. You have to include the required check box linked to your privacy policy. Find out how to do this by reading: How can you create GDPR-compliant sign up forms?   International transfer of personal data Article 45 mentions that a transfer of personal data to a third country or an international organization may take place where the Commission has decided that the third country, a territory or one or more specified sectors within that third country, or the international organisation in question ensures an adequate level of protection. Such a transfer shall not require any specific authorization. This international transfer of personal data is guaranteed under the EU-US Privacy Shield Agreement whose certification is held by Benchmark: Privacy policy We have updated our Privacy Policy, explaining the role Benchmark has according to the GDPR and which roles our clients fulfil themselves. Also, we have determined the period of time which we are going to keep your data for and we give you more details about what we do with your data. Additionally, we have created a new Cookie Policy which you will need to read and accept if you want to peruse our website. Server location It was actually NEVER an obligation to have servers in Europe, but with the new GDPR it is even less necessary. One of the goals of the GDPR is to equate the data protection that the European companies are fulfilling with the one applied by companies from abroad, in a way that all companies are obliged to compete in equal conditions. Contract between the controller and the processor Article 28 explains the possibility to sign a contract between the controller and the processor and provides all the details about it. We have created this contract and will make it available for you through the tool. If you want to check the regulation, you can do it here. If this article has been interesting for you, please, share it with your colleagues and friends.


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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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Why Are My Emails Going To The Spam Folder?

Why Are My Emails Going To The Spam Folder?

Practical Marketer • April 10, 2018

This is a question that has been asked for a very long time. I’m sure when asked, you’ll get the runaround or an answer that doesn’t feel satisfactory. This is because figuring out why an email went into a spam folder is like trying to solve a murder mystery with no smoking gun. First, we need to understand how an email is sent. When an email is created, it first needs to be copied for all the individual contacts you’re sending to. Then it travels through the internet until it finally reaches your subscriber, but there is a gate with a security guard in the way. That’s the spam filter and he’s making sure that only the qualified emails are getting through. What is considered a qualified email? Unfortunately, there are many different criteria for a qualified email. Yahoo has its own criteria and so does Gmail. This is not to be mistaken for Gmail’s smart labels (promotions and social tabs), that\'s a different story. There are also private domains, that will have their own criteria. They will usually have subscribed to services like Spamhaus to reject emails based on their own qualifications, and Spamhaus is a well-known spam fighting, non-profit organization. Spamhaus also publishes blacklists that will cause emails from senders on that list, to be automatically placed in spam. Blacklists are the worst case scenario, though, and when you use a service provider, they will give your warnings before you land on a blacklist. Now that we know how an email is sent, there are normally two reasons why an email lands in the spam folder: Email Content Sending Speed/Frequency Email content is important because how your email is coded, what words your use, and how it looks all matters when it comes to deliverability, or whether your email goes into the inbox or spam box. When creating your email, for each image you may want to add a couple lines of text. Balancing out images, hyperlinks and text so that there’s not too much of either one. Of course, avoid using symbols, all caps and words that might involve a Nigerian prince. This is not widely known, but how often your send and how fast you send also matter. If your email was meant to be sent monthly, send monthly! Don’t be sporadic with your sending because it makes you, in a sense, “unreliable” to your subscribers and can lower your sending reputation. Your sending reputation determines whether an email may be accepted or rejected altogether. For those who are in a grey area, they may be sent to spam. Sending speed surprisingly plays a role. By sending way too fast, your email can be rejected entirely. It will show as “deferred” in your bounce logs. There are some services that may accept the email still, but according to reports from support, it can also land in the spam folder. After an email gets past the filter, we don’t actually know whether it lands in the spam folder. However, we do receive reports from our users and their subscribers. We know how emails are judged and sent, we don’t have concrete evidence to say definitively why an email went to spam. With public domain users like Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL, we’ll probably never know why. They don’t have any obligations to report that information to the senders. I recall seeing Gmail may generally state why an email may be in the spam folder. For Private Domain users, your IT manager who manages your emails may be able to find out, if they log that information. It could all just be automated for some. So a lot of times when this question gets asked, it’s very difficult to answer because there is no smoking gun.


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