Tags: Email Marketing

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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Improve Open Rates With Targeted Emailing

Improve Open Rates With Targeted Emailing

Beyond • March 2, 2018

So, if you ask me what was the first thing I did when I started doing email marketing, it was  building a list. That is one thing that any marketer can do from the beginning. Having a list is the best way to deepen your relationship with the audience. Having said so, it is equally important to master the art of targeting in order to unleash the full power of your email lists. Having a list of your most engaged clients or subscribers is a most important asset for a business. It\'s All About Being On Target Targeted emailing is a key for building a foundation for your effective email outreach. Some marketers never realize the importance of targeting and end up generating leads that aren’t qualified. You have to realize that your email list consists of people with varying interests, behaviors and profiles. We have to remember one size doesn’t fit all. So, why treat them the same? The solution is to split them into small groups and send personalized email campaigns to each segment. The common mistakes some marketers make is treating their email list as a single entity. According to the case study done by Marketing Sherpa, artbeads.com saw conversion rates jump by 208% when they used targeted emailing instead of email blast. 32% of marketers say segmenting their email database is one of their top priority for the year. Furthermore, 52% of marketers believe that they are in great need to improve their list segmentation. What Are They Missing Out On? Jupiter Research found targeted email marketing campaigns can generate nine times more revenue than broadcast mailings. The more personalization that is included in each email sent to your subscribers, users are more likely to open the emails, clicks on call-to-action and then convert to buyers. On average, untargeted email campaigns have open rates of only 20%, a click-through rate of only 9.5% and conversion rates of only about 1%. On the other hand, targeted email campaigns have a 33% open rate on average, a 14% click-through rate, and a conversion rate of 3.9%. With a targeted list, you will always have a group of loyal customers. For instance, if you are a bookseller and have a chain of retail outlets, then you can segment your list into people who prefer certain genres of books, age-groups, most valued customers etc. You can also classify your list on the basis of the purchases your customers make. This means you may have a separate category for people who make purchases between $300 and $500 or between $500 and $1000 or above $1000. Benchmark Email provides you Targeted Emailing tool to help you get better ROI from your email lists. Targeted Emailing takes your campaigns and compares all the opens or clicks to create segmented lists for you to target. Targeting specific contacts is a great way to improve your engagement in your emails.  It isn\'t the size of your list, it is also the quality of your list.  Targeted Emailing can also be used to clean your lists as well, as it creates a list of contacts that have not opened your emails. Targeting specific contacts is a great way to improve your engagement in your emails.  It isn\'t the size of your list, it is also the quality of your list.  Targeted Emailing can also be used to clean your lists as well, as it creates a list of contacts that have not opened your emails. You can access this feature in your navigation bar. There are two ways you can create targeted lists. The first one is based on opens & unopens of your email campaigns. The second list is based on the URLs clicked in your campaigns. General Clicks and Opens The process for Targeted Emailing is this: Select up to 10 campaigns to compare Choose whether to base the comparison on engaged or non-engaged contacts Based on each individual emails or all your emails Opens or Clicks Save So in the first step, you\'ll need to select the campaigns you want to compare. It\'s recommended you compare similar campaigns to accurately segment or target your campaigns, but is not required.  Just to reiterate, as it is important, you can only select from the most recent 50 campaigns that are older than three days. Then you can only select up to 10 campaigns to compare. The third step is to select whether to compare your campaigns individually (Some or one Emails), or compare them all against each other (All Emails). Depending on what you choose, you can have a very different number. The Some (or one) Emails option, will combine through all 10 emails and depending on opens or clicks, it will place the contact in the list at the end. The All Emails option will take all 10 of your campaigns and looks for contacts that opened or click all of your emails that you\'ve selected. This will produce a significantly lower number. Lastly, you simply choose whether you want a list of opens or a list of clicks or both!  After this, you\'ll be able to create a second list based on different settings. At this step, you can also calculate the number of each set so that you can also visualize the number of contacts for each, as it takes time to assemble the list.  Don\'t forget to name it and then save your list! Click Focus Click Focus is different from Clicks & Opens. This will compare not the emails themselves, but the URLs within the emails. So if you are a retailer with promotions, or if your emails contain a lot of URLs, this may be the best option for you.  Comparing all the products and URLs is difficult manually, but Click Focus automates the comparison and allows users to create lists based on certain settings. Much like Opens & Clicks, you can select from the most recent 50 campaigns that are older than three days and you can select up to 10 campaigns. A little similar to Clicks & Opens, but still different. The difference between the previous option and Click Focus is that this extra step you select the URLs you want to gain contacts from.  For example, if you are a sports retailer and have sent several emails related to different sports.  You can create a Click Focus lists of contacts who are interested in Soccer products, then create a strategy to market to only Soccer players based on what they clicked.  That\'s exactly how Targeted Emailing is meant to work. So the First step is to choose the campaigns you want to look at, then second you choose the URLs you want to see contact.  You can only select up to 10 campaigns and 10 URLs to compare. The next step is to select ANY or ALL of the lists.  This is much like the same concept as before that is sometimes hard to grasp.  If you choose ANY, the system will collect contacts that have clicked on at least one URL in ANY email.  If you ALL, the system will look at all the campaigns, and collect contacts that have clicked on ALL of the emails.  The ALL option will most likely produce a significant number than the other.  Then name the list and click save. What You Need To Do If you have just started then it can be an intimidating task, if you do not have a clear direction. So to start with, you’ll need to determine what your objectives are for each targeted email marketing segment and how success will be measured. You’ll also need to figure out what your strategy will accomplish. Benchmark email’s Targeted emailing tool makes it easy to identify your most loyal subscribers. If you haven’t used it yet, test the tool in and out and let me know your feedback.


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How to Pick the Best Free HTML Email Templates

How to Pick the Best Free HTML Email Templates

Practical Marketer • March 1, 2018

We all see beautifully designed emails in our inbox every day. Even local mom and pop shops or kitchen table operations seem to have them. Do all those businesses have a budget for a top-notch designer? They must, right? I mean, look at how awesome those emails look. Nope! They don’t have to. That’s why free HTML email templates exist. With a free HTML email template, you can choose the design elements, graphics and layout that fits your brand. From there, you can customize it with your logo, company updates, product information and more. There are styles of templates for any email marketing need you could possibly have. Newsletters, holiday promotions, press releases, sales, events or anything else you could think of. In fact, perusing the types of templates could even give you inspiration for various types of email marketing campaigns you could be sending! With the help of free HTML email templates, it’s liking having a graphic designer on call 24/7 without paying a retainer or hefty hourly rates. Sorry, graphic designers. There is plenty of work for you to go around elsewhere. We promise. But we digress... Now that you know that free HTML email templates are there for you to take advantage of, let’s take a look at how to find the best one for the job at hand. Types of Free HTML Email Templates There’s an email template for every task. No matter the occasion or objective, you can find a template to help you get the job done. Do you know what to look for? A practical approach for selecting the right template is to gain an understanding of what others are doing well. See what you like, what you don’t like and what you think you can improve upon. The next step in finding the right email template for your campaign is generally pretty simple. Most ESPs will sort their templates into various categories such as newsletters, holidays or even provide options for one, two or three columns. That way you have options for every occasion or even the amount of information you want to share. You can choose a template there, edit it and then easily export it to Benchmark. Newsletter Templates For many, the gateway to email marketing is via the newsletter. It’s a type of campaign that almost everyone understands and sees in his or her inbox each and every day. In fact, newsletters top the list for types of email campaigns used. According to Pardot, 66% of email marketers send newsletters, followed by promotional content at 54% and a welcome email at 42%. For the marketer looking to begin a newsletter, or revamp the one they currently have, it all begins with the newsletter template. We understand that between email marketing, social media, PPC, retargeting and the many other marketing strategies on your plate, you may not have as much time as you’d like to browse the many newsletter templates offered by Benchmark. Let’s look at an example of an effective newsletter as inspiration: Apartment Therapy I’ve finally reached the point of my life where an unmade bed and a pile of clothes does not a bedroom make. So, I’ve been paying extra close attention to the Apartment Therapy daily newsletter. They do a good job of highlighting each new story or idea, with a headline, small teaser and a call to action to read more. Holiday Templates Halloween isn’t the only holiday for which you can adopt a template “costume.” Christmas, New Years, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, 4th of July and many more are all email marketing opportunities for which holiday email templates exist. We’ve previously put together a blog post dedicated to the best ways to use our holiday email templates, but here’s a refresher: Stay true to your branding Keep it simple Don’t limit your holiday theme to the template Here’s an example of a well put-together holiday email campaign: Etsy For Valentine’s Day, Etsy did a great job of both promoting their gift cards and giving some good gift ideas which could be used by a significant other that very day to avoid the dog house. They used the hero image to promote their gift cards and then split the template into a two-column approach to share gift ideas. Check it out: Templates That Inform If the goal of your email campaign is to provide your subscribers with information, you should be looking for a template layout that will allow you to accomplish this. Here is an example of a design that does a good job of informing: Thrillist This is a daily newsletter, which I read every morning without fail. Because of this frequency, I know that the lead Thrillist story is always the new or top content posted that day. Sometimes I’ve read that story before I even get out of bed. It tells me the best new restaurants that have opened lately, events going on in my city and sometimes there are crazy stories from bartenders, waiters or flight attendants. The template succeeds in sharing content and informing me on what’s available to do come date night. Check it out: Templates That Sell Obviously, everyone wants to get a big Return On Investment with their email marketing. That’s not always the primary focus when choosing a template, but it is sometimes. Here’s an example of a brand picking an email layout that helps them sell more: Bullymake I stumbled upon Bullymake in pursuit of chew toys that my pitbull/lab mix could not destroy in minutes. I quickly identified with the bully breed owner vibe of the company. After two months of my Bullymake subscription, I had acquired a stockpile of indestructible toys and couldn’t see adding to it every month. So, I canceled my subscription to Bullymake but did not unsubscribe to their newsletters. That’s because their template enables them to connect with me on an emotional, dog-loving level... …and if still does a good job of showing me what I could purchase from their website outside of the subscription box model. Not only that, the section below even sells their subscription model. Templates That Engage One problem that email markers face is that they consider their email marketing to be a one-way communication channel. It’s not, nor should it be. It’s important to create quality, ongoing engagement with your subscribers. That’s how you create loyal customers and even brand evangelists. Here’s one company that has done a great job in bringing their customers along the journey of a template redesign, which is sure to create great engagement: ActionRocket This weekly newsletter from ActionRocket is branded as #emailweekly. The template features the same top block with personalized copy that welcomes you each and every week. Next, there are six blocks sharing their favorite email marketing posts from the past week. If I were writing this post two months ago, I’d show you this template and include it in the Templates That Inform category: However, the email marketing geniuses at ActionRocket have taken a turn that engages their subscribers. They’re doing a live, on-going redesign of their #emailweekly newsletter. It should be noted that a long history of quality weekly newsletters earned them the right to try things out with their subscribers. Because of this, I eagerly await each new #emailweekly newsletter to see the latest progress in the redesign. Subscribe to see how to work towards a new newsletter template for #emailweekly. ac What have we learned? A good newsletter template has content that engages above the fold. That hero image, story or general warm welcome that brings you into the newsletter from the get go. It also does a good job of sharing additional content that helps support the goals of the newsletter. How you select the best newsletter template for your business comes down to answering a few simple questions: Does the template support the goal of your newsletter? Can the template be customized to support your branding? Does the layout match that of your website or at least give a similar feeling? Let’s not forget one of the most important facts in email marketing: there is a real person behind each email address. Email marketing must be customer centric. Yes, you want to sell more and create more engagement with your customers, but that is a byproduct of customer centric marketing. You’re not the only one sending marketing emails. They may get a few or a few dozen every day. They key to standing tall in a crowded inbox is to provide value. It doesn’t have to be savings, it can be information or entertainment as well. If you’re adding value to your subscriber’s, it will cut through the noise and they’ll open your email campaigns and possibly even look forward to their arrival. Ready to Put What You’ve Learned to Work? Login or create an account to choose or design the newsletter template for you! Feedback We’d love to hear some tips from you on how you select your templates. Even better, share your own examples in the comments below!


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2 Ways to Use Automation Pro: Onboarding & Conversions

2 Ways to Use Automation Pro: Onboarding & Conversions

Practical Marketer • February 21, 2018

Automation Pro is here! Simply put, it’s the clear solution to create quality, ongoing customer engagement. With the launch of Automation Pro, we’ve built in a handful of templates that demonstrate practical strategies that any marketer can execute. In this post, we’ll focus on two of them and provide some real-life examples of what can be accomplished with our powerful new automation tool. Onboarding This template is designed to help you turn website visitors into subscribers. According to the Data & Marketing Association, 66% of online consumers have made a purchase as a result of an email engagement campaign. Armed with that data, there’s no reason not to create an automated sales funnel based on website visitors. Now we think it is a great example of when to use a prebuilt email automation. In this way. It saves time, you can learn / explore and gets you started faster. Also we did the standard settings so you can be worry free that the basics are all there. Practically speaking, these are already good leads as they are people who have shown interest in your goods or services by visiting your website and even the page for a specific product or service. So, how can you put this into action? Let’s say you’re a brand that is launching a new product. You’re running various marketing campaigns that direct potential customers to a landing page for that product. The first step is to create a popup signup form to place on that page. We suggest adding an incentive for subscribing, such as a 10% discount or something else that would encourage someone to buy. Other incentives can include an exclusive PDF, webinar or any other educational resource that may be of value to your subscribers. Be sure to assign your popup form to a new list for onboarding. Next, install the tracking code on the desired web page or landing page. This is how Automation Pro will know if an individual visited your website or page. Now it’s time to build your onboarding journey. First, you’ll set the Added To List Entry point to match your designated onboarding list, which is attached to the popup signup form you’ve created. As people visit your page, the popup form will be prompted with the 10% discount offer. Once they subscribe, they will automatically be added to the list you selected and the journey begins. Next, you’ll create a Welcome Email for the Send Email node. As Subscribers are added to your onboarding list, this next part of the journey is triggered and the Welcome Email is sent. This should include the promo code for their 10% discount (you will need to input the promo code of your choosing into your eCommerce platform). Conversion Now that you’ve created a practical solution to onboard new subscribers, it’s time to turn those new opt-ins into customers. If we’re continuing the above example, the goal is now to entice your new subscribers to act on the 10% discount incentive you offered before. To do this, you will send a series of emails highlighting the product or service’s benefits and reminding subscribers of their discount. For this example, we’ll be showing you how to create a 7-day cycle aimed at converting your leads. Here are the steps to take before you create your conversion journey: Create a “Customers List.” This is the list that your subscribers will automatically be transferred to if they complete a purchase on your site. Plan your engagement campaign. Think of the journey you want your leads to experience. Create a “Purchase Confirmation” Journey. This is a small journey that will constantly check for subscribers who make a purchase. Once a purchase is made, this journey will move the subscriber from your “Onboarding List” to your “Customers List.” It is extremely important that your Automation Pro tracking code is installed on your Thank You page. Let’s look at the steps to take to create your Conversions Journey. Like the previous journey, this one begins with the Added To List Entry Point for your onboarding list. Since you sent the Welcome Email immediately for the previous journey, it’s important to add a wait time with your next node. That way you won’t overwhelm your subscribers with too many emails at once. Now, put yourself in your subscriber’s shoes. While the goal is to inspire conversions, you must keep the potential customer in mind. So, multiple CTAs to buy may not be effective. What will likely work better, is a series of emails that demonstrates the value of your product(s) or service(s). This can include customer testimonials. After all, 55% of shoppers say that online reviews influence their purchasing decision according to Kissmetrics. In this example, we’ll create a three email journey. Don’t forget to add a wait time between each engagement email you’ll be sending. Otherwise, they’ll all send at once! First, you should send a discount reminder on Day 3 after an individual subscribes to your onboarding list. For some, that’s all it will take and they’ll be moved to your Customers List. For those that remain in your Onboarding List, try sending an engagement campaign with a product highlight or testimonial on Day 6. If you still haven’t converted a subscriber after your first two attempts, try a free shipping offer on Day 7. According to the Walker Sands Future of Retail 2016 study, nine out of 10 surveyed listed free shipping as the top incentive when asked what would make them more likely to shop online. The goal for this journey is to generate sales. It is important to set an end date for the journey so you can look back at what you created and then make improvements for the next journey. If you have a never ending journey, it will be hard to measure, compare and use the data to improve for future journeys.


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Practical Strategies for List Segmentation & Automation Pro

Practical Strategies for List Segmentation & Automation Pro

Practical Marketer • February 21, 2018

List segmentation with email automation is the best way to send targeted, relevant content to your customers that will create a feeling of personalization for each individual subscriber. Being able to follow-up with subscribers based on their interactions with your email campaigns and website while combining that with list segments, creates multiple levels of personalization that will create ongoing engagement. Before we jump into some strategy for you to execute for your next customer journey, let’s take a look at why doing this is so important. Car Insurance Automation Fail A few years back, my car got in the line of fire from a neighbor moving their possessions out and through our lot into a truck. So, I called my insurance company and they sent someone out to take a look at the damages. They told me that since the damages existed in two places (a dresser was dropped on my car), I would have to pay two deductibles. This also included a possible increase in my rates. However, across the alley from our parking lot was an auto body shop. So, I asked the guy at the shop what he thought of the insurance assessment. He told me he would fix it for me at a much lower cost if I chose not to go through insurance. It was a number I could live with and I’d avoid the headache of higher car insurance premiums. I canceled my claim. My car was fixed and I forgot about it completely. That is until I got an email from my car insurance company that included: I got a note from our claims department that you were pretty happy with the way we handled your claim. I’m glad that worked out for you. Not only that, but they tried to upsell me with renters insurance to boot. This was an automation that was triggered upon a claim being closed. However, without segments, the automation assumed all closed claims were happy customers. Wrong. Now, do you see why segmentation is an important part of your automation? How You Could Use List Segmentation & Automation We love our pets around here. See? It should surprise nobody that we continually use a pet store as an example. Say a customer comes into the store and agrees to join your email list upon their visit. You notice they’ve bought dog food, some chew toys and bones and some dog treats. You can add them to your customer list, but it would be to your advantage to add them to a Dog Owner segment of that list. That way a customer journey can be automated for dog owners upon entry to that segment. Follow-ups can include campaigns centered around new toys, the latest treats and other items to enrich the life of a dog. As a dog owner, I know how susceptible I am to wanting to buy all of the cute things and treats that I have to remind myself not to eat. You don’t have to believe me, though. According to the DMA, targeted and segmented campaigns generate 58% of all email marketing revenue. Let’s take it a step further. If you’ve used the website engagement feature in Automation Pro, you can follow up with the people in your Dog Owner segment based on the goods they view on your website. Follow-ups can be triggered if they’re looking at new dog beds or the new line of Star Wars toys (of which my dog destroyed her BB-8 fetch toy in a matter of seconds). They’re already showing interest in those items, so a triggered campaign containing those goods may just be the reminder they need to purchase. Continuing with more segmentation, maybe all Dog Owners go into one list for you. The segments are created based on their dog food of choice. If you’re paying attention to their purchase history, you’ll see what’s been bought and maybe even how often. You can automate follow-ups based on when they’re almost in need of more food. Have a campaign sent at that point, maybe even with a small discount to buy then, and you’ll have a loyal customer earned thanks to list segmentation and automation. So, next time you go to create a new customer journey remember how much more relevant your email campaigns can be if you combine list segmentation with email marketing. It’s your best chance at creating that feeling of one-to-one communication with your subscribers … even when it’s an automated campaign that’s running while you’re out at the dog park.


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Top 4 Reasons Email Marketing Fails

Top 4 Reasons Email Marketing Fails

Beyond • January 19, 2018

I’m sure you’ve seen the same statistics as I have – only 4% of consumers who click through to a website are going to make a purchase. That number might seem low, but it’s twice as high as the rate for search engines and social media. Those two platforms are placed on a pedestal and worshipped by the same people who slam email marketing. Do you want the simple truth? If your email marketing efforts are falling flat, then the problem is your overall campaign. It’s not that email marketing itself is a failing trend. This blog is going to review some of the factors that will cause email marketing campaigns to fail. Prospects are already jaded about emails because they receive a bunch of useless spam, so you’re already at a disadvantage. The reason so many email marketing campaigns fail is because they do not go into it with the mindset that their audience is jaded. If your emails are not being opened, then don’t panic just yet. You are probably making one of the mistakes that plague so many entrepreneurs. Here are the top reasons why email marketing fails. Inefficient Subject Lines On average, an office worker will receive upwards of 121 emails every day. There is absolutely no way they can open and read all of these emails. But they will see all of the subject lines. The likelihood of someone opening an email with a poor or cliché subject line is quite slim. Writing headlines is a form of art. It’s not something that you should take for granted. The subject line of your email is going to directly affect its open rate. So, it needs to hype the reader, so they open the email. Just be careful that you don’t accidentally create click bait! For those who don’t know, clickbait are headlines that are overhyped to bait people into clicking. Then the content does not deliver on the promise. People have learned to easily spot this style. Digital Marketing proved it in a recent study that it’s possible to improve your open rates 3x just by tweaking your subject lines. There’s absolutely no reason you can’t do the same thing. Digital Marketing used subject lines to hype readers into opening their emails. Then those emails were designed to earn trust by helping the recipient solve a problem. Once they earn a customer’s trust, they can start sprinkling in sales pitches. Not Segmenting Email Lists Email subscribers are not members of a cult, so why would you send them all the same messages? Only cult members think and act the same so unless you’re leading a cult, you should be sending your subscriber\'s different messages based on how they act. According to  the  2015  National  Client  Email  Report from the DMA, 77% of email marketing ROI came from segmented, targeted and triggered campaigns. Additionally, of the marketers who do use segmentation, 43% use up to six segments on average. Sending Emails that Offer Little Value A lot of entrepreneurs go into email marketing with the mindset that users will subscribe to their list, open their emails, and then click a link to buy something. While this is a realistic end game for email marketing, you should base your campaign around the idea of creating trust by offering value to your subscribers. Email campaigns are complex and consist of dozens of different elements like subject lines, text, call to action, products, scheduling, and target market. No wonder so many entrepreneurs are overwhelmed by email marketing! The result is that these entrepreneurs end up sending the same routine type of email, at predictable times. Travelzoo has proven that creating valuable content is done through simplicity. First of all, let me give you the highlights of Travelzoo. Their website highlights all of the best travel and entertainment and travel deals. Travelzoo goes a bit against the grain by sending the same email template with the same subject line at the same time every week. The subject line is simply, “This Week’s Top 20.” It’s a text only, very simplistic email that is easy to scan. Why does this email convert at such a high rate? The answer is quite simple. It offers value to the subscriber. It’s easy to scan. And it’s consistent. Subscribers are going to trust these emails because they provide true value. Emails That Offer Too Much Information This goes hand-in-hand with the previous section, so I will keep it short. While you are supposed to create value with your emails, make sure that you do not include too much information. Subscribers do not want to be overwhelmed with information in their inbox. Ask a question and answer it as quickly as possible. Or use a setup like Travelzoo to create simplistic, valuable and consistent content. Kickstarter is an amazing example of keeping it short. Kickstarter has a lot of new projects posted every week, but they only include the top three in their weekly newsletter. They keep it simple and as a result, their emails convert well. Transform a Failing Email Campaign into a Successful One We’ve gone through the failures that cause so many email campaigns to fall flat on their face. They don’t seem that bad after facing them head-on, do they? In most cases, entrepreneurs that make it far enough to market their business through email already understand the basics. They just need a few minor tweaks to their overall email marketing campaign. Step 1: Create Better Headlines Your email’s personality matters. The truth is that there’s no universal formula for creating amazing headlines. It’s dependant on the email. You are probably going to have to experiment and test new subject lines until you find the right fit. Step 2: Simpler, More Efficient Emails Shorter is almost always better. Punchy sentences backed by compelling points of interest are always going to win over long, drawn-out paragraphs. If subscribers want to read content, then they can visit your website. Step 3: Avoid the Dreaded Unsubscribe What is it that makes people click on that dreaded unsubscribe button? While there are a lot of reasons behind unsubscribes, the number one reason is frequency. Receiving too many emails is annoying while receiving too few emails will cause subscribers to forget you. The key to avoiding unsubscribes is to find the optimal frequency of emails. This will require testing and consistency. It’s also important to send emails that are relevant and of value to your subscribers. Final Thoughts You now have a place to get started with improving your email campaigns. We have tried to cover the most important areas, but we understand that there are more ways that an email campaign can go wrong. Are you having trouble getting your emails to convert? Have you experienced some of the mistakes that we discussed and found a more efficient way to correct them? If so, then the comments section awaits!


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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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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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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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