Tags: Email Marketing

Get started with Marketing Automation

Get started with Marketing Automation

Practical Marketer • March 9, 2019

Perhaps you’ve already heard about Marketing Automation or you have a rough idea about it. If not, it’s OK! With this article, we want to show you how to create a marketing automation strategy for your email marketing. You’ll be ready to launch your first own automation with the simple but efficient Automation PRO tool. What is Marketing Automation? \"Marketing Automation is the design, management and execution of sales and marketing strategies through a software that automates the tasks and processes of scheduling, sending and tracking marketing campaigns according to the actions that the subscribers take on the campaigns and on the website. \" Is it the same as doing Email Marketing? Email marketing isn’t quite the same. Generally, basic email marketing strategy involves sending unique one off campaigns to a database, with the aim of informing, selling or promoting certain products or services. Marketing Automation includes email marketing as part of its elements, but both are some key differences. What are the benefits of Marketing Automation? Send relevant information to clients and leads, based on the pages they visit on your website. Automatically segment clients and leads based on their behavior, interests, page visits, purchases and more Develop marketing and sales journeys aimed at improving conversion funnels How many impacts should a lead receive to become a client? According to Nimble, between five and seven impacts are necessary for a lead, from the moment they get to knows us until they becomes a paying client. What is an ‘impact?’ An impact, or touchpoint, is each moment when there is interaction between the brand and the lead, either through the website, an email, social media, a call, an ad on Facebook or Google Ads, a meeting or a demo. The goal of Marketing Automation is to organize all these touchpoints in order to create funnels or conversion paths that automatically turn a lead into a client, without having to have large teams behind each impact. Or even better yet, without having to be aware of the current point the lead runs through in order to create a new touch point. Show empathy with the client Marketing Automation means contacting the ideal customer within the sales funnels, using the right message at the right time. Getting this right is not easy because in business we tend to think more about us, our goals and the messages we want to share, than what the customer really needs at every moment. To empathize with the lead and client means to put ourselves in their place, and to think as if we were them. Therefore it is necessary to ask a series of questions before starting to create any automation: When the client visits the website for the first time, will they need any further information or will he find all he needs to know? Am I providing all the client needs to know in my welcome campaign, or am I rather trying to sell myself? Are the subscribers interacting with the campaigns I am sending them? Worry about your subscribers! Send them messages that are genuinely useful and make them feel that you are communicating with them personally. To do this, always try to be very aware of the open rates, clicks, the unsubscribes (and their reasons), and always perform AB tests. In marketing it is very difficult to get the best results at the first try, everything is based on experience. PARTS OF A SALES FUNNEL Considerations before creating an automation or sales / marketing funnel Draw it: Don’t try to translate the visualization you see in your mind directly into the software. Take your time to draw it on a piece of paper. This will help to find weak points and improve it even before you start setting it up. Keep it simple: Creating a marketing or sales funnel does not mean sending dozens of email campaigns triggered by dozens of conditions. It’s all about inspiring subscribers, by sending the right content at the time they need it. We rather recommend designing several simple automations focused on each moment of the customer experience, than having a big and complicated funnel, which will be very complicated to manage and might lead to hidden mistakes. Go step by step: Always keep in mind what the leads might expect from you at each point and what they will be grateful and happy to receive. Right after signing up is not the best moment to push them to buy but rather to share some surprising information and content they will enjoy. Start with a test: There is no \"perfect\" automation, we are sorry. It is important to draw, think and prepare your automation but only practical reality can show you if you were right or not. Depending on the kind of automation it is recommendable to set up a test automation first and see how a sample reacts. Measure, learn and improve: The first automations should serve you to find out if the experience you want to offer the clients works or not. Analyze the most important metrics like visits, openings, clicks and purchases and decide if you have to adapt the journey. Find these 4 templates for your automated sales funnel TEMPLATE 1: NEED/NECESSITY The lead has just registered. They might have done it because you promised a download, discount code or similar. So this first automation would be the welcome automation, ideal to provide the most important information about your product, and send the promised welcome gift. The lead will be saved into a different list for further steps. TEMPLATE 2: ENGAGEMENT At this time the subscribers are comparing our product or service with other competitors. What information will they need to finally buy from us? With this automation we must solve the initial doubts that the client has about our product or service. We also have the chance to make clear what differentiates us from the competitors and provide testimonies of happy and satisfied customers. TEMPLATE 3: CONSIDERATION With this template, we should be able to close a demo or a call with the subscribers or make them sign up for a free trial. They are showing interest in us. This is an excellent moment to give a better idea about, how our product or service works. TEMPLATE 4: ABANDONED CART It is quite normal that subscribers do not finish the process of purchasing, but it would definitely not be normal, not to remind them and offer the necessary assistance and support to solve possible problems or doubts that might have prevented them from buying. These are some of the templates based on the funnel we had a look at the beginning. You will be able to fully customize and adapt them to the needs of your business and create easily your first Marketing Automation. Watch our webinar about how to create an automated sales funnel like this: https://bmesrv.wistia.com/medias/lzdjj7pfd6?embedType=iframe&videoWidth=640 Actually, the most difficult thing about Marketing Automation is to start. If you are managing a small company and you have never done it before, marketing, automation may look a bit scary at the beginning. But all you have to do is to follow these steps above and start learning from the results. Keep in mind that automation is the most efficient and time saving way to provide each client with the information and input they might need at any time!


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Free Holiday Email Templates

Free Holiday Email Templates

Practical Marketer • November 7, 2018

The season to be jolly is right around the corner! That’s right! Holiday cups are back at Starbucks, Christmas music is already playing in every store you walk into. Decorations are right around the corner. It always feels too early to start celebrating the holidays, but it’s never too early to plan your holiday email marketing. After all, email marketing accounts for 20 percent of holiday sales, according to Mailcharts. Holiday Email Templates Who doesn’t enjoy spreading some holiday cheer? Benchmark Email helps you get your email marketing in the holiday spirit with dozens of festive holiday email templates. Here are some things to keep in mind when using a holiday email template: Stay true to your branding. Don’t make your logo a color your subscribers have never seen it before, just to match the holiday motif. Same goes for buttons and other colors that are consistent across your email campaigns. Dress it up for the holidays, but don’t become something unrecognizable to your subscribers. Keep it simple. Don’t overdo it. You don’t want to be the house on the block with lights covering every square inch of the exterior and lawn with lights. You can’t look at that house without sunglasses. Don’t limit it to the template. Extend the holiday cheer to your subject line as well. That way it won’t be a surprise when your subscribers open your holiday email. Don’t just promote your sales. Promote your products too. A common mistake many businesses make is to only inform their subscribers of their promotions. That assumes they know everything you offer. Be sure to highlight your products too. The promo and the product together are the knockout combo you want. Templates To Automate Aside from the great holiday email templates available to you, we’ve also created strategy templates to let you automate your holiday email marketing. You can send a promotion and follow-up with your subscribers based on if they opened the email, clicked a link or visited a specific page on your website. Don’t wait for 2018 to take your email marketing to the next level. Get a head start on your New Year’s resolution and close out 2017 strong. We also put together some tips and ideas for your Christmas and Chanukah marketing campaigns to be automated. Holiday Email Marketing Tips Now that you know how to pick the right template and what to do with it, let’s look at some strategies and suggestions for your holiday email marketing campaigns. Make A Plan Everything will go smoother for your holiday email marketing if you start with a good plan. Holiday emails campaigns sent in the first half of November tend to get the best open rates, according to GoDaddy. The first step in creating a holiday email marketing plan is to know which holidays you should be creating campaigns for. These are the big ones: Thanksgiving, November 22 Black Friday, November 23 Small Business Saturday, November 24 Cyber Monday, November 26 Giving Tuesday, November 27 Hanukkah, December 2-10 Christmas, December 25 Figure out which of those holidays make sense for your business. Don’t contort to uncomfortable, Stretch Armstrong-esque lengths to make all of these holidays work for your brand. You may also not have the time or resources to do campaigns for all of them. Be reasonable and focus on the ones that will work best for your goals. What emails should you be sending for any (or all) of these holidays? A sequence of three emails is your best bet for successful holiday email marketing: First, you should send an email to announce your holiday promotion. You can send this up to two weeks prior to your sale. Next, you’ll want to send a reminder for your holiday promotion. If you sent the first one two weeks out, the follow-up email should go out a week later (one week before your sale). Lastly, you should send an email the day off the promotion. This one should really create some urgency and get your subscribers to act now. Segment Your List(s) Relevance is key with any emails you send, but especially so with your holiday email marketing. Most inboxes are even more crowded during the holiday season making it all the more important to stand out. Email list segmentation or targeted emailing are your best bets for sending targeted, relevant content to your subscribers. You can use purchase history, click history, demographic or location data to sort your list in order to send the best possible content to each subscriber. Holiday Email Marketing Content Ideas Giving gifts to our loved ones can be difficult. We want to give them something that will feel personal and picked out just for them. But where to start? Many businesses create gift guides to help their subscribers choose the right gift for everyone on their list. One way to create a gift guide is to sort it by price. Here’s a holiday email campaign from Bed, Bath & Beyond that sorts their campaign into sections by cost. It makes it easy to find the right item for everything from office holiday parties to something for your loved ones. Another way to organize your gift guide is by who the gift is for. It can be gifts for him or her, your kids, parents, etc. If you sell products for kids big and small, you can even create a gift guide sorted by age groups, from newborns to those of us with an inner child that still burns strong. This holiday email from Target shows how you can make it easy to find gifts for all your nieces, nephews, sons and daughters. Outside of gift guides, there are plenty of other holiday sales you can use email marketing to promote. Some companies offer a special gift to the first group of customers through the door in the morning. For some businesses, this results in customers camping out to receive the free giveaway! What better social media buzz than a line of anxious customers braving the elements to come to your store. This Black Friday from Chan Luu executes this strategy well: Other than giving customers a percentage off their total, you can also offer free shipping for your online shoppers. That’s what J Crew did with a recent Cyber Monday campaign: J Crew also creates a sense of urgency by telling their subscribers that free shipping deal is for that day only. One additional way to boost your holiday email marketing efforts is to include a charitable component with your promotions. If all of the proceeds from certain items or total sales are donated to charity, it increases the likelihood that a subscriber will make a purchase. PayPal itself wanted to inspire everyone to donate to charities during the holiday season. They announced that PayPal would add 1% to any donation made to a charity during the month of December. In 2017, more than $8.5 billion was donated through PayPal, in part due to this holiday promotion. Share Your Tips Have you run a successful holiday email marketing campaign in the past? Or maybe a favorite one you’ve received? Share your tips in the comments. We love to hear them!


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Email Marketing vs. Marketing Automation: What Your Business Needs To Know

Email Marketing vs. Marketing Automation: What Your Business Needs To Know

Beyond • August 20, 2018

A lot of people are wondering what email marketing is and how it differs from marketing automation. Are they the same? They also want to recognize if their company is ready to switch. These are the issues that business owners are facing. And this blog post will try to resolve all of these issues. Most of us understand how useful and vital email marketing is to your advertising toolkit. However, carrying out marketing automation could significantly enhance the performance of the email marketing technique you currently have in place. There are several distinctions between an email marketing and a marketing automation application. An email provider will give you the capability to send out mass emails and track open rates. However, it’s not scalable. With marketing automation, however, you can access effective functions like multiple campaigns, lead analytics, and scoring. These features are useful in making your email strategies far more calculated. In that case, if you solely depend on email marketing without marketing automation, you’ll never meet your expectations. You’re mostly likely confronting a couple of obstacles, especially as you expand. [caption id=\"\" align=\"alignnone\" width=\"1400\"] Email Marketing vs. Marketing Automation: What Your Business Needs To Know[/caption] What difficulties could you be confronting with email marketing alone? It Takes Time That’s an email provider is incapable of doing automation or adjusting your campaigns. You need to do a great deal of manual work to make certain that your target market received the email blasts at the correct time. Within email marketing automation, you can focus on producing multi-stage, digital campaigns to support your leads while you obtain various other work done. In fact, three-quarters of online marketers agree that the most significant advantage of having marketing automation is to save time. It’s especially true when marketing a rental property. Not just in marketing a property. You can also use it to boost your tenant retention while reducing your workload. With marketing automation, you can set up automated and perfectly timed messages to build better connections with your tenants. No Idea of What Leads to Follow-Up That’s because email marketing on its own cannot provide win-ready leads to your sales teams. The point you are tracking after sending a mass email is click through and open rate, and when your sales groups start doing phone call after the blasts, they could not be obtaining excellent outcomes because the leads you’re getting are not all set to acquire. And for a sales representative, there’s no larger wild-goose chase compared to ferreting out a lead that is not prepared to buy or who isn’t qualified. That\'s because only 25 percent of the leads are legitimate. And 50 percent of your leads are not ready to purchase. If you opt for marketing automation, you can see to it that sales are subsequent with leads that are sure to purchase. Besides, marketing automation systems could score your leads based on how they involve with campaigns or content. According to this study, four out of five users improved their leads through marketing automation software. And 77 percent of those users saw a boost in conversions. Can’t Maintain Leads That Are Engaged with Your Communications You can have a massive data source of leads that you are unable to utilize, and you seem like you’re having difficulty to ensure that they are involved. You send a number of blasts a month. However, you have no idea where your target audience is in the purchasing cycle or if your material is resonating. It takes a lot of time to develop an email blast, how can you be sure that your strategy works? With marketing automation, you can utilize lead nurturing, which enables you to sector out your data source and lead them via your channel by developing automatic campaigns that will maintain your leads involved. Difficulty Scaling Relying on standard email marketing isn’t scalable if you’re an expanding company. The more leads you have in your data source or campaigns you intend to run, the more time consuming it ends up being to develop mass blasts. However, if you integrate marketing automation into your marketing campaign, this issue will be significantly remedied. You could run numerous campaigns, produce lead nurturing programs, score your leads and attribute profits straight to every marketing program. Unable to Associate Revenue with Email Marketing Initiatives You intend to know how marketing adds to the bottom line. Likewise, you wish to know how you could boost your method and strategies each time you produce a campaign. If you are counting on email marketing alone, you are most likely to have a tough time linking your programs to your profits. Marketing automation offers you the functionality that can monitor your initiatives and supplies you with detailed analytics for every campaign. You can also sync up your advertising automation system to your CRM to give a more comprehensive metrics. With all these issues, should your company use marketing automation, too? If you are still unclear whether it is time to use marketing automation system, have a look at your organization and marketing methods. You should consider it if your consumer purchasing process lasts longer compared to a week. If sending out emails alone does not appear to drive sales, then marketing automation must be implemented. Your company might also benefit it if your marketing group requires a less complicated means to develop and send out targeted campaigns with a personal touch. If your marketing division does not have adequate time to do whatever they should do to make it with its existing resources, then marketing automation is needed. Marketing automation is also vital if you market various products to different demographic or if you wish to send out multiple messages to various titles and sectors. You also need marketing automation if your sales individuals are whining about the quality of leads that your marketing group is supplying. Another thing to consider is if you wish to know which campaign is the most reliable. And if you cannot tell if you need to be investing more money in marketing, you have to use marketing automation. Benefits of Marketing Channels Automation This system allows online marketing professionals to prepare expanded consumer communications without calling for manual intervention. Email marketing service firms, like Benchmark, allow you to construct pre-programmed email series by using reasoning. If your consumer opens and reads an email message, then he/she is put right into a series tailored for call to action email opens. Alternatively, if the client overlooks or removes the message, he/she is sent out one more personalized series. Along with email open, consumer activities, like clicking on a link, most likely to a webpage and completing a lead-generation type, immediately sort consumers into series designed to generate multi-step communications. Although email marketing tools can develop that first communication, they’re commonly created to funnel people into the consumer database, as opposed to channel them in and continue engaging with them throughout the sales channel. Takes Interaction Further Another distinction between the two remains how communications are developed. In email marketing, you can use layouts to assist your style and word your interactions Marketing automation tools, on the other hand, offer development tools. But these tools take communications a step further. The series of discussions or workflows can be custom-made. In that case, you can determine who gets what email and when based on client activities. The could be developed employing pre-designed layouts. You may pre-install workflow layouts that map a consumer’s actions from their email open to their initial acquisition to a second deal sent out. Workflow design templates consist of event invites and follow-ups, abandoned cart follow-ups and yearly birthday wishes, or consumer education series that magnify the depth of details supplied to consumers about business, specifically beneficial for B2B sales. Keep in mind that more than 50 percent of companies that use step by step marketing automation outpaced their competition. Mumsnet, which is one of the largest parenting sites in the UK, utilizes marketing automation to personalize its message to the subscriber. Subscribers who registered for the site’s newsletter will receive messages throughout their pregnancy. It uses the subscriber’s due date as its trigger in sending emails. This method takes the interaction with the subscriber even further, from the moment she signed up. Lead Segmenting Marketing automation tools can track and recognize how customers connect with your message. They perform certain functions that email marketing tools can’t provide or don’t do. Marketing automation, for example, designates to your contacts to allow you to recognize how responsive they are to your communications. With these scores, you can segment customers into groups. The highest possible lead rating can be organized into lists that are likely to see more offers regularly. This could seem like an additional advantage. However, as your email list expands, you’ll count significantly on automation to sort and send your messages to your contacts. The smarter your lead score, the more timely your emails will come to be with optimised return on investment. The capacity to send a targeted message based on what you understand about an individual is excellent for consumers and prospects and business. If a person has a reduced chance of buying your product as a result of the budget, the more you can stay clear of pressing him/her to the sales discussion. Kissmetrics provided examples of marketing automation through lead segmentation. Opportunities to Improve As your automation system provides you with more data about how clients engage with your messaging, you will have the ability to take that knowledge and adjust when you need to send out communications. If a person has the habit of opening up messages at midnight on Wednesday, then your data will advise you to send them an email message at that time. Here’s a guide on understanding your reports to how to find out whether or not your audience is engaging with your messaging. Conclusion Marketing automation encourages multiple channel communications. These channel communications are increasing each day. One of them is your website, where you can release content for different visitors based on context. On-site conversations is another way to communicate with your audience. If you wish an omnichannel that lets you view those things, then marketing automation is your better bet. What do you think of marketing automation and email marketing? Which of the two would you use for your campaign?


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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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The Deliverability Formula: 5 Steps to Reach the Inbox

The Deliverability Formula: 5 Steps to Reach the Inbox

Practical Marketer • April 8, 2018

Getting to your subscribers’ inbox is as simple as hitting send, right? Yes. More accurately, yes, but… There are a few steps that come into play before that happens. If done correctly, then it is as simple as hitting send. The Deliverability Formula: 5 Steps to Reach the Inbox Our team of experts has compiled years of experience into a new guide sure to help you thrive with email marketing. If you’re not seeing the results you desire, or even if you just want to see your Return On Investment grow, these five steps will help you get there. Step 1: Define the Private Domain Best Suited For Your Business The address from which you do your email marketing is important. Aside from helping your email deliverability, it also factors into security issues as well. Not only that, but a private domain commands respect that a Gmail, Yahoo, etc. address does not. Our new guide provides resources to help you do this … and that’s just step one. Step 2: Authenticate Your Emails By Adding A Sender Policy Framework Record Sender Policy Framework (SPF) Records identify which mail servers are permitted to send email on behalf of your domain. If that sounds complicated, it’s not. Think about it like when you look through the peephole in a door. You want to make sure the person on the other side is who they say they are. SPF Records are email marketing’s version of that. Step 3: List Verification Verifying your list doesn’t mean you didn’t have a good list to begin with. It’s improving upon what you already have and eliminating human error. List verification helps you remove email addresses that are no longer active, due to individuals changing jobs or addresses. It’s also dropping the ones that were typed incorrectly when they subscribed. This process can help your deliverability and even reduce costs, as you won’t want to pay to send to invalid email addresses. Step 4: Craft Subject Lines That Get Your Emails Opened Subject lines are your first impression. They’re a major factor in what determines whether or not your email will be opened. If you know how to write them, you’re on your way to better email marketing just from this step alone. This guide shows you how. Step 5: Apply the Best Content and Design Tactics to Avoid Spam Filters What you write in your email and how you put it together also play a role in the delivery of your emails. It’s simple things like knowing certain words or phrases to avoid or the best practices for using images. Get Your Copy Today What are you waiting for?! Download The Deliverability Formula: 5 Steps to Reach the Inbox Blog.


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General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): Everything You Need To Know

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): Everything You Need To Know

Beyond • April 2, 2018

The main objective of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is to strengthen and combine the handling of personal data from various member countries and adapt them under one European Union (EU) regulation. Currently, the 28 member countries of the EU each have their own data protection regulations and apply those laws to their international commerce, which makes exercising the rights of personal data protection quite difficult. The new GDPR comes with a wide range of rules that impact all companies, regardless of size or sector, and will quite often need to be prepared to focus on different areas of their business. The new regulation concerning the protection of natural persons with regards to the processing and free circulation of personal data goes into effect on May 25th, 2018, two years after Regulation 2016/679 was passed by both the European Parliament and the Council. In this article, we want to help you understand what you can and cannot do in order to meet the requirements of this new regulation and reassure you that Benchmark, your email marketing tool, is also meeting the requirements of this new regulation. The new GDPR does not eliminate each of the member countries own Data Protection legislations currently in place. Instead it helps to sync all the member countries of the EU. Some of the decisions will still be made at a national level for each of the member countries, but be mindful that the responsible parties must now reference the GDPR as the norm and not its own countries Data Protection regulations. If you currently meet the requirements for Data Protection for your country, then you already have a good foundation. However, you will still need to revise and change some aspects to comply with the new regulations. There are three main points you need to keep in mind with your email marketing strategy, they are: consent, access and data collection. Consent According to article 4 (11), ‘consent’ of the data subject means any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject\'s wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her; As stated in the definition, the consent of the user must be unequivocal and also explicit. These two words eliminate any doubt or ambiguity. (32) Consent should be given by a clear affirmative act establishing a freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject\'s agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her, such as by a written statement, including by electronic means, or an oral statement. This could include ticking a box when visiting an internet website, choosing technical settings for information society services or another statement or conduct which clearly indicates in this context the data subject\'s acceptance of the proposed processing of his or her personal data. Silence, pre-ticked boxes or inactivity should not therefore constitute consent. Consent should cover all processing activities carried out for the same purpose or purposes. When the processing has multiple purposes, consent should be given for all of them. If the data subject\'s consent is to be given following a request by electronic means, the request must be clear, concise and not unnecessarily disruptive to the use of the service for which it is provided. Example: I recently took part in a tradeshow and throughout the day I amassed quite a few business cards, which I will use to create a database that I will then upload to my Benchmark account with the goal of sending newsletters. With the new Regulations, is this legal? No. The networking achieved between you and the individuals at the tradeshow does not give you the right to use their personal data, even with verbal confirmation from the individual. The GDPR now requires that evidence of this agreement between both parties exist. The GDPR states that there must be unequivocal and explicit consent from the individual that can be backed up with evidence in case of an audit. There needs to be evidence that the individual is giving their consent for their personal data to be used. RECOMMENDATION: Review your methods for data collection and eliminate any ambiguity that may exist. Analyze your database and only the data for which you can provide proof that consent was given to you by the individual. Access The party responsible for handling personal data must provide each user with simple and straightforward access to modify their own personal details. The party responsible must also provide an outlet in which the individual can confirm that they are giving their consent via electronic means, be it through their own website, sign-up forms or email confirmation. The party responsible will have one month to provide the client with an answer, with the possibility of extending it to two months in the event that it be a complex request, in which the necessary steps are being taken to complete the individuals request. In the case of our Email Marketing tool, the Manage Subscriptions option allows the individual to access their personal data and modify the data if needed or cancel the subscription outright. Within this point, there is a new right, which is the RIGHT TO ERASURE (Article 17), the user can exercise their “right to be forgotten” and have their personal data removed from the database permanently. We have selected two of the six reasons that are included in sub-point 1, which provide the individual the ability to exercise their right: a) the personal data is no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or otherwise processed; d) the personal data has been unlawfully processed; Compilation: The GDPR advocates for simplicity in the collection of personal data. As marketers we tend to ask for more details than necessary when all we are doing is sending out a weekly newsletter. For that reason, these new regulations encourage that only a minimum of personal data is collected and compiled for our current strategy and not the collection of additional data that you think might be useful in the future. If your goal is to inform your database of upcoming promotions, the compilation of an individual\'s name and email address is more than sufficient to meet your goal. Brexit The UK will officially leave and will no longer be a part of the EU in 2019. With this exit, the regulations will not be applicable to them. We currently do not know how the UK, or companies within the UK, will handle data protection but we believe that they will pass similar regulations that will be comparable with the EU. What happens if I do not meet the new GDPR requirements? The General Data Protection Regulation establishes a set of tools in order to comply with the new regulation, including sanctions and fines. A number of factors will be taken into consideration and carefully evaluated when a fine is imposed due to noncompliance with the new GDPR such as: the gravity/duration of the violation; the number of data subjects affected and level of damage suffered by them; the intentional character of the infringement; any actions taken to mitigate the damage; the degree of co-operation with the supervisory authority. The regulations set two ceilings for fines if the rules are not respected. The first ceiling sets fines up to a maximum of €10 million or, in case of an undertaking, up to 2% of worldwide annual turnover. This first category of fine would be applied for instance if a controllers does not conduct impact assessments, as required by the Regulation. The higher ceiling of fines reaches up to a maximum of €20 million or 4% of worldwide annual turnover. An example would be an infringement of the data subjects\' rights under the Regulation. Fines are adjusted according to the circumstances of each individual case. You will need to keep the above main points (Consent, Access and Compilation) in mind when the time comes to plan your email marketing strategy. Benchmark At Benchmark, we are working hard to update our Privacy Policy in order to comply with the requirements of the regulations. In the case of the GDPR there is no certification given to us that states that we are in compliance with the new regulations as with the Privacy Shield Framework. We at Benchmark, want to reassure you that your personal data is being handled in compliance with the new GDPR. For the very first time, the EU shows leadership and unity in how personal data needs to be treated and forces the rest of the world without exception for any country to follow these regulations if they want to handle European personal data. Do not forget to share this article with your audience and leave your comments. Thanks for reading! Watch our Webinar [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw2W8RHlP5U&amp=&amp=&amp=&feature=youtu.be[/embed]


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4 Creative Ideas To Build Your Email List Fast

4 Creative Ideas To Build Your Email List Fast

Practical Marketer • March 28, 2018

Every time I get a welcome pop-up on a new website that asks for my email for subscription, I usually ignore it and click on the cross on the top right side to remove the pop-up from my screen. Why do I do that, you might ask? Well, these requests for subscription are either too boring for my liking and have no incentive to offer or because I don’t fancy getting my inbox jammed with unnecessary and irrelevant emails. I am sure there are many others like me who do the same and chances are, if you have these unappealing subscription pop-ups on your website, that’s probably the reason why your email database isn’t going up. Turn your business into an automated machine Being able to build your email list fast with some unique and attractive ideas is, undoubtedly, of great importance. However, before you proceed, you need to understand that for people to give you their email and to look forward to hearing from you, you need to up your game. One way of doing this is by automating the procedure using online software that helps you send personalized emails without turning them into repetitive and uninteresting templates. Not only would doing this lead to an automatic customer profile enrichment but in the long term, it will even boost your email list. However, if you want to tweak things around fast with creativity and ease, here’s what you need to do. There is hardly anyone who doesn’t get excited at the prospect of winning something without making an effort and that too, for free. And if subscribing and giving my email is all it takes, I, for one, am going to participate! Think about it. If a landing page asks you for your email address, why would you give it, unless it was going to give you something in exchange? You can use this strategy to your advantage and increase your email list by giving people an incentive in return for their email. The giveaway could be free access to an e-book, a report, a gift hamper, or perhaps a lucky draw where people enter their emails and get a chance to win. A tantalizing offer is all you need for people to comply. For example: A strong call to action might just get you the desired response Yes, pop-ups on websites and online pages are annoying and dreary, but that doesn’t mean they always have to be that way. What if you could tweak them in such a way that visitors are left with no other option than to subscribe and plug in their email? You just need to give a quick boost to your creativity and connect with them on a personal level. Perhaps something like what Ramit Sethi, an American personal finance advisor, and entrepreneur, has done on his confirmation page - a timer and a picture of him with a sad face - may do the trick for you too. Here’s what it looks like: Calls-to-action (CTAs) are a great way to send incoming traffic to your landing page, and they also generate interesting lead conversations. Simultaneously, they also help you grow your email list and expand your list of contacts at a great pace. Live video broadcasts? Why not! With Facebook receiving more than 8 million daily video impressions in 2016 and studies suggesting that nearly 74% of all internet traffic will be video based content by 2017, video is slowly taking over the world of internet marketing. And what could be more appealing and fun than a live video broadcast? Not only would you have a lot of views but those viewers can be turned into potential subscribers that instant! Live streaming, unarguably, comes with a lot of perks and advantages, the most important being the ability to reach out to hundreds and thousands of people at a time. Also, it doesn’t only allow you to reach a huge audience but also creates a sense of engagement between you and your viewers. The live video option on Facebook, for example, can be increasingly used to your advantage, where you can connect with so many people at the same time. While you are at it, you can create a live contest too, through your live video, and get your audience on your email list by asking them to participate by leaving their email in the comment section. This is a fast, easy, fun and free of cost way that is going to increase traffic on your email database. A hard-to-resist-bonus for every referral? Sounds like a great deal! If you could receive a bonus, discount or a $30-off coupon for referring your friends to a website or a Facebook page for their products, wouldn’t you be doing it all the time? And if that very friend also receives it, wouldn’t you both yearn to spread the word and make referrals about that particular site or page? This could be a brilliant strategy to hack your email subscriptions if done cleverly and properly. For example, giftbasketsoverseas.com offers its customers a $20-off coupon for referring a friend to their products. The referred friend also receives 20% off on their first purchase. Setting such a referral system could be a great game-changer for you and could grow your email list in no time. You could also keep coming with different offers like a 50% off discount card or a buy-one-get-one-free deal so that your customers keep coming back to you for more and also spread the word about you among their friends and family. If you don’t wish to adopt any of the above-mentioned strategies to build your email list, you can also use blogger outreach programs and software that help promote your company, product or service. They post about you on their site in exchange for product, payment or any service, as a result of which you get mentioned in several places online which is likely to create email traffic for you. Whichever strategy you decide to use, just make sure to target the right kind of audience at the right time so that you get the kind of response you truly desire.


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