Tags: email

Give your emails and newsletters a second life: Create an online archive

Beyond • May 1, 2009

After you\'ve sent out your email or newsletter and viewed all your stats, wouldn\'t it be perfect if you could put it online so everyone could find it? Well, here\'s the good news. Now you can. The Benchmark Email archive feature gives you a neat, easily found online home to store all your emails and newsletters. Here\'s how it works. You create your email or newsletter. In the final stage of the process, you\'ll be asked if you want to archive it. Click on that button and you can create your own custom archive with a unique Web address you can send to your customers. Your archive can look exactly how you want it to, using the colors of your Website, your logo and more. You can even choose which newsletters and emails you want featured in your archive: Here are just some of the benefits of having an online archive: You can link it to your Website, making it easy for all your customers to find back issues Once your archive is online, outsiders can find your newsletters via a Web search You can add a list builder to your archive and sign up new email subscribers By having your archive online, you can build a whole new base of customers You can post links your archive from your Facebook, myspace site and more You can use Twitter to promote your archive, sending other people on Twitter to it via a link If you use your newsletter or emails to promote your goods, but also post how-to articles, product demonstrations and more, your archive is an invaluable tool that not only shows off what you have to sell, but gives Web surfers valuable content they can find in a simple search. By adding new pages to your Website in the form of archived newsletters and emails, you\'ll even improve your site\'s rank in search engines, funneling more people to your site to browse, buy, or even just subscribe to your newsletter.


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Email Opens Geographic Map in Benchmark Email

Email Opens Geographic Map in Benchmark Email

Beyond • April 27, 2009

After you send out your campaign, you can see who opened your email or newsletter in your reports section. But have you ever wondered where those email openers are located? Thanks to our new Opens Map feature, you\'ll get a visual on where on the planet the people who opened your emails live and work. Here are the benefits of using our free Opens Map feature: Get the Big Picture of where most of your customers are located Create custom email lists based on geographic location Build and send custom campaigns targeting customers in certain countries and cities Focus your efforts on pockets of people in different areas This new feature can be used for all campaigns sent after April 25th. If you send a campaign on or after that date, all you need to do is go into you reports section to view your Opens Map to get an accurate picture of where your customers are located.


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How to enhance your email delivery

Beyond • April 10, 2009

Great email delivery is one of the most important parts of a successful email campaign. In the long run, it will not only save you money and time, but increase your audience and ultimately boost your sales. At Benchmark, we go the extra mile to make sure you have the very best delivery and open rates, constantly adjusting our strategy to move past any roadblock email clients put in place. But did you know there are things you can do on your end – as an email marketer – to improve your deliverability?Here are some things you can do on your end to ensure most of your emails and newsletters make it to the inbox: 1. Slow down your email send rate Some ISPs set a threshold for how many emails you can send during one session. If you exceed this threshold or limit, their system can flag you as a spammer and will block the rest of your email newsletters. One way to avoid this is to send your messages in small bursts, with a pause of a few minutes between these bursts. 2. Tuesday / Wednesday 2-3pm = increased response If you send during this time frame on these days, your subscribers will come to expect that your email will arrive in their inbox on the same day and at the same time every week. This means that they want to read your content and will generally be more receptive to any special offers or promotions you may include. If you keep things consistent, customers are less likely to get confused about your newsletter or email and report it as spam. 3. Use a tag line at the beginning of the subject line Mark your newsletters with a tag line so customers recognize that they\'re coming from you. Here\'s an example: ‘[BME Newsletter] TEST. 297, 04.07.2009—Email Marketing — Tips’. Stay consistent and put a tag line in your subject line every time. The more you do this, the less chance you\'ll get a spam complaint. 4. Always insert the current date in your content A correct date that indicates when the newsletter was sent is more important than you probably think it is. If the date isn’t mentioned or is provided incorrectly, the newsletter is given spam score points. 5. HTML is OK, but only if MIME-Multipart is used When sending newsletters as HTML, make sure that the plain text version is also attached. Messages sent in MIME-Multipart-Format are automatically sent in a way that subscribers without active HTML viewers still get a decently formatted e-mail. It is important that both plain text and the HTML-versions have the same or very similar content. The percentage of text should be higher than the percentage of HTML or images. 6. Use CSS very Carefully In most cases it is better to use in-line CSS-styling in HTML instead of referring to the CSS- file in HTML. However, referring to external CSS-files is better than sending them with the newsletter. 7. Avoid graphics and complex HTML elements Spam-filters consider number issues related to HTML when deciding whether or not to deliver your emails. For instance, if the newsletter has too many closed tags, too many images or table elements, it gets just as many spam score points. Also, keep this in mind that many readers use software (Outlook, for example) which automatically blocks images. If users don’t understand what the mail is about they will report it as spam. Complex HTML is generously awarded with many spam score points. Thanks to this, we suggest that you keep it simple. Colorful backgrounds, tables, JavaScript and Web forms should not be in your newsletters. 8. Ask / Request that your users add you to their whitelist To ensure the bulletproof email delivery, ask your readers to add you to whitelist. 9. Use the same \"from\" address Keep your \"From\" address constant and same. This helps subscribers that have added your email address to their whitelist continue receiving messages from you. 10. Monitor new subscribers Monitor new subscribers to your email lists. Set suspicious email addresses such as \"abuse@\", \"nospam@\", \"postmaster@\" and \"marketerspam@\" as inactive subscribers. these email addresses should not be in your email list. 11. Verify your subscribers with signup confirmation Always make your mailing lists double / confirmed opt-in. This means that when a user subscribes to your mailing list through your website or any other source, they will be sent an email with a link that they must click on to confirm their subscription. This is very important because many people can accidentally enter an incorrect email address or even the email address of someone else on purpose. When that person receives a newsletter they did not subscribe to, they will assume they have been spammed and they will report your newsletter as such. Using confirmed opt-in subscription method will also help you to keep invalid email addresses out from your email list, which reduces the volume and percentage of undeliverable messages or hard bounces.


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Video Email has arrived!

Beyond • March 31, 2009

Ever wondered how great it would be to drop a video right into your emails? What if you could use video to show off a new product, display a heartfelt testimonial or run an educational piece on how best to use one of your goods? Well, wonder no more. Now you can do it with Benchmark Email. With our video email feature, all you need is to add the embed codes to a YouTube or Google video to your video gallery, drop the video it right into your email template, and send it out to all your opt-in recipients. If the video is blocked by the recipient\'s email service provider, don\'t worry. They can click on it and we\'ll open up a new window and send them to a mirror site where they can see it in full. With Benchmark\'s video email feature, you can: Use any YouTube or Google video Store videos in your gallery Drop videos into your email layouts and HTML templates Send email marketing campaigns featuring your videos Our video email feature is not only included with every paid plan, but you can check it out during a no risk 30-day free trial. Sign up for a free trial – you don\'t even need a credit card – and you can start Introduction Section using video in all your campaigns.


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Managing Email Bounces

Beyond • March 20, 2009

Emails sent in campaigns can bounce for a number reasons. Common reasons could be \"user over quota\", \"recipients server temporarily unavailable\", \"content rejected\". These bounces are classified into soft bounces and hard bounces. Soft Bounce: When the email has bounced with a reason indicating short term issues with the recipient, they are flagged as soft bounce. These email addresses could later be available in future campaigns. They include reasons like \"Quota exceeded\", \"Too much sessions in a connection\", \"Temporary local problem\", \"Out of Office Auto Reply\" Hard Bounce: When the email has bounced with a reason indicating permanent issues with the recipient, they are flagged as hard bounces. Chances that these emails could later be available for future campaigns is less. The reasons for such bounces could be : \"Mailbox not found\", \"unknown user\", \"mailbox is no longer active\", \"incorrect domain\". Benchmark email recommends cleaning up such emails to improve your statistics for future campaigns. In case the same contact has hard bounces in three consecutive campaigns, Benchmark email automatically flags the contact as a \"Confirmed Bounce\". A \"Confirmed Bounce\" contact will be excluded from your active contact count, and will not be sent any email, if the contact list is selected again. In case a previously bounced email is opened in another campaign before it has been flagged as \"Confirmed Bounce\", the contact\'s bounce counter is reset to zero. This allows bounced emails, to remain in the active contact count and not be flagged as \"Confirmed Bounce\". The \"Confirmed Bounce\" contacts are listed separately in your contact list.


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HTML Email Tips for Web Designers

Beyond • February 25, 2009

Note: This article is valid only for people using their own custom HTML. If you use our pre-designed email templates you don\'t have to worry about this. An HTML email communication might look good on your computer but fail completely on the contact\'s because it depends on graphics, fonts, and CSS files which only reside on your system. When you are creating your email in outside HTML editors like Microsoft Publisher, Dreamweaver, or FrontPage, remember that you are designing for email and not a website. If you design the email as if it were a web page, it may not display correctly in your contacts\' different email and web mail clients. Do not reference external CSS files. Most email clients (Gmail, Yahoo, .Mac, AOL Web, etc) wont reference these external files, because it interferes with their own CSS coding. Use in-line CSS if you have to use CSS at all, and make sure you test your email in the top email clients so you can check for mistakes and inconsistencies.i) Reference to external CSS file will not work <link href=\"css1.css\" rel=\"stylesheet\" type=\"text/css\">ii) Putting css style in the head of the email and calling the it in the body will not work <style> .main{font-size:16px;} .subhead{font-size:14px; font-weight:bold; color:#cc0000;} </style> <span class=\"subhead\">Newsletter Article</span> Use Inline Stylesheet: <span style=\"font-size:14px; font-weight:bold; color:#cc0000;\">Newsletter Article</span> Do not use one large image that takes up your whole email. Most email programs will block images by default, so all your recipients will see a blank screen when you send it. Make sure your email is not too wide. The idea is to design an email that will fit in the viewing area of most email clients. A width of 650 pixels is ideal and would fit in most email client windows. If you have any doubts about this, set up a few free accounts with Yahoo!, Gmail and the like, and send your email to see how it shows up. Remove junk code from your HTML. If you have used Microsoft Front Page, Microsoft Word, or Microsoft Publisher to design your email, please note that your template will include all sorts of junk code that can break up your layout and cause problems. At worst, sloppy code can get your email filtered into the spam file. Make certain you clean up unwanted/empty tags, unnecessary attributes, comments and other junk code before you you upload your email. The following are some examples: <v:shape> <o:column> <b:Xl> ![endif] Flash, JavaScript, ActiveX, embedded movies and sound files do not work in an HTML email. Even though those things may make your email cooler, anti-virus software will block all those things. Save the movies, sound files and more for your landing pages and link to them from your email. Make sure all links to images are complete, Web-based URLs. In many cases where this has become a problem, we\'ve found that clients have linked to images on their hard drive rather than on a Web page.Relative URL (will not work): <p><a href=\"lastpage.htm\">This text</a> is a link to a local page, either on your computer or within the same website.</p>Full URL (will work): <p><a href=\"http://www.microsoft.com/\">This text</a> is a link to a live webpage on the World Wide Web.</p> Test your emails in at least three or four email clients like Yahoo!, Gmail, AOL and Hotmail, just so you can check your layout and see any mistakes. You should send a test email to all the free email accounts you\'ve created and check your layout to make sure the images show up, your links work, your colors look like you want them to and more.


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Announcing the launch of new Benchmark Email!

Announcing the launch of new Benchmark Email!

Beyond • January 20, 2009

In August 2008, we began a broad, sweeping plan to re-imagine Benchmark Email. We\'re almost ready for launch. The new Benchmark Email will be faster and more powerful, completely redesigned and far easier to navigate than ever before. We\'ve kept the core features of Benchmark Email and added a slate of new ones, taking the things you loved most about the old system and re-packaging them in a dynamite new format. On the back end, every single line of code has been optimized. We\'ve even added a brand new infrastructure to make 100% certain that Benchmark is more powerful, scalable, stable and secure than ever before. We can\'t wait to unveil the new Benchmark and show you what we\'ve been working on, and we\'re certain you\'ll love it as well. Here\'s a list of some of the improvements we\'ve made: New Design and BrandingView Screenshots   Email Creation made very simple One thing we went for with the new email creation module is simplicity. Some of you complained that the old system had too many steps and different elements, making things too confusing to create an email campaign in a flash. We\'ve listened to what you\'ve had to say and streamlined the entire process. We\'ve made things sleeker and faster than ever before. The last system had email creation and email campaigns in two separate sections. You had to go through two sets of steps. For the new Benchmark, we\'ve combined the two processes under one umbrella: \"Emails\" . We\'ve added an extra layer of efficiency to cut back on all those steps. Now you can pop in, select your layout, edit it and schedule your campaign in record time. If you\'re running up against the clock and have to create a campaign on a moment\'s notice, you\'ll now have that option. View Screenshots Surveys made very powerful Our new survey and polling section gives you even more options than before. You have two choices: create an email survey or paste one on your Website. You can even do both at the same time! We\'ve also created a set of pre-made email templates complete with generic questions. You can edit those questions to suit your needs or leave them intact. You can also customize your surveys down to the very last detail, adding your logo, changing the colors and fonts and more. Spreading the word on your survey is easy. Place a link in your email campaigns or paste the code directly on your site. Invite your clients to take your survey with an email invite. With our sophisticated, real-time reports, you can view the answers to your survey immediately after customers complete it, and even track how many surveys were completed. You can now export the survey results to a PDF. View Screenshots Email Campaign ArchiveDon\'t trash your emails after you\'ve sent them – put them online and gain an entirely new audience! With our email campaign archive feature, you can take your emails, gather them in one easy-to-find place, and turn them into Web pages that both your current customers and potential new customers can find. Let your viewers see your past promotions, how-to tips, company emails and newsletters and more, long after you\'ve sent them out to your audience. View Screenshots Graphical ReportsWith the new Benchmark Email graphical reports section, your data never looked so good. View your email campaigns autoresponders as colorful pie charts. See bar diagrams of your surveys and polls. Gain revealing, up-to-the-second insight and feedback via graphics and charts that can be refreshed and updated around the clock. View Screenshots But Wait, There\'s More! Here\'s a list of other changes that we think you\'re gonna like... All new Embed Videos -Embed YouTube videos in your emails. In case the email client does not support embedded videos, we redirect the viewer to a web version of your email to play the video All new \'Segment\' your Lists - Slice and dice your email lists based on any field in your Contact List. You can create a segment based on the sign up date, zip code or customer type. Any field, or combination of fields, can be the basis of your segment. All New Dashboard - The dashboard is now an actual dashboard. You get a birds eye view of your account, with statistics on your last sent Emails, graphs for Emails sent, Image Gallery usage. Revamped Infrastructure - We\'ve improved the underlying architecture of Benchmark to make everything faster, more stable, and even more secure. As a result, you can expect some very powerful new reports and new ways to manipulate your data in upcoming releases. Test Campaigns Work More Like Real Campaigns - In the past, test campaigns had some broken links and merge tags, and looked a little \"broken.\" In the new Benchmark Email, we made significant changes that make test campaigns work a lot more like real campaigns. Compare Email Performance - You can now compare your Email performance based on Opens, Bounces and Clicks. Survey Templates - We now have preformatted templates to kick-start your survey creation process. You can update the questions and options to suit your needs. Export Results to PDF - We now support export of most of your reports in PDF format. We\'ll be posting more about the new Benchmark Email as we get closer to launch. Right now, we’re undergoing final QA. The new Benchmark Email will launch in February, and will be automatic and totally free for all our customers.


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