Tags: holiday

The Most Epic Holiday Email Campaigns

The Most Epic Holiday Email Campaigns

Beyond • December 17, 2015

Now that we’re well-versed with holiday marketing hacks, it’s time to level up and get inspired by some of the most epic holiday email campaigns. The best time to start your holiday email campaign is right in advance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can create a holiday “preview” sale and include a coupon that’s only available through your email marketing campaign. A lot of people will do this. What makes your company stand out is in how creative your email design is going to be. Is it going to be a run of the mill graphic design or will it be inspired to think differently. Think differently by creating a photo spread or using more modern design elements. If you have the capability, have an interactive email marketing campaign that links to an interactive landing page. This works brilliantly for retail industries. The landing page could be a photo of a real family living room with a Christmas tree and fireplace. The styling you go with will depend on your audience: contemporary modern or classic. You can have gifts under the tree and visitors can click on the gifts to see what’s inside, each one being a product. An interactive landing page stirs the imagination and gets people virtually engaged with your products. If they can imagine it under your tree, they can imagine it under their tree. You can also play on the “12 Days of Christmas” Theme and have a 12 day email campaign that features one product at a time. If you’re featuring one product, you’re going to really need to engage readers with that product. Include a video if you can, get a popular guest blogger involved if possible. It also helps create buzz if you offer an email integrated giveaway for reach product. If you’re going to do a giveaway, make sure you’re taking advantage of the opportunity by creating FOMO (fear of missing out) ahead of time, through social media, prior email campaigns and your website. Also make sure you’re making it easier for people to subscribe to your email campaigns since this type of campaign will increase subscribers. Creative holiday campaigns don’t just need to be about the email campaign itself. You can use the email campaign to draw attention to a creative holiday “gift” or service. Consider what Netflix did. They offered a video of a warm fireplace called “Your Home – Official Trailer.” The idea was that you could use Netflix to turn your TV into a live video of a cozy fireplace. You’re still using Netflix, and you’re getting something personalized out of it. It’s genius. How you use your email marketing campaigns can – and should – vary. Do what works for you and your growing organization. If it’s strictly about content, great. If it’s to draw users to a landing page, even better. The goal is to move beyond just promotional content during the holidays and find a way to personalize your company and what it has to offer an audience base. As a rule, it’s always better to send more holiday email campaigns that are varied in style and content, rather than just the one-off creative holiday campaign. This is the time of year for you to get noticed and a creative email campaign has the potential to do just that.


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Holiday Marketing Hacks

Holiday Marketing Hacks

Beyond • December 17, 2015

For most companies, sending one holiday email campaign is an astronomical feat. It can be challenging to organize internal marketing efforts around the holidays, when business flow tends to be at its highest all year. Whether sales are going up or clients are trying to maximize the services available to them for the year, the last thing on minds of enterprise level marketing departments is to up their email marketing campaigns. Just like this is a high point to maximize business for customers and clients, it’s equally a high season for you to increase your visibility. An amplified email marketing initiative can do that. There’s really no better time in the year than during the holidays, considering the holidays afford an added opportunity to for content variation. Whether you’re creating informative pieces, end of year summaries and highlights, or offering a resource or charity gathering, there’s ample opportunity to hack into holiday marketing, including the tips below. Segmented Email Marketing This is a standard email marketing rule that most growing marketing departments don’t take advantage of primarily because it requires a little extra work to develop segment-friendly marketing content. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. When creating segmented holiday marketing campaigns, you don’t need to go back to the drawing board for each campaign. You can use the same template (saving on time and designer cost). The only thing you would really need to alter is the content. Consider your audience: what type of content would appeal to each? How can you alter your messaging or the products you’re sharing to cater to each? Consider Key Dates The holidays aren’t just about Christmas and New Year’s. Consider the other types of special dates that fall into this month. Giving Tuesday, the first Tuesday of the month, is a pretty big deal. Even if you’re not a charitable organization, you can take advantage of the spirit of giving on that day and during the season to draw attention to a charity you’re passionate about. In fact, charitable giving is a culture and brand defining trait, with several larger companies hiring consultants to guide them in their giving practice. In addition to Giving Tuesday, be mindful of other religious and cultural celebrations this month and going into the New Year. Local Opportunities If you’re a location-based business or organization, take advantage of your local community during the season. The holidays are a major time for communities coming together. For business, this means cultivating rapport, increasing your local brand recognition, and meet people face to face. So get involved. See what’s going on in your community locally and reach out to see what part your business can play. Doing this means starting well ahead of the holiday season so you can market this in your email campaigns, segmented to a local audience. Annual Survey As the New Year approaches, there’s a lot of reflecting that will be going on internally with your company and with your clients as well. This is a great time to reach out to your audience and ask them to reflect on how you performed this year. Using Survey Monkey, keep the surveys short and sweet, along an opportunity in a field to fill out some additional thoughts or notes should anyone wish to share more. If you’re still stuck on what additional campaigns to create this season, consider what your company has done in the past during this time of year that you wish you’d highlighted more.


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How to Churn an Email Campaign From Your Holiday Party

How to Churn an Email Campaign From Your Holiday Party

Beyond • December 15, 2015

By now, most companies will already have planned out their yearly holiday party. In fact, companies typically spend more on their office Christmas party than they will on bonuses or birthdays or any other recreational event for their employees throughout the year. Considering that the holiday party is such an investment of time and money, it comes as pretty big surprise that most companies don’t maximize on this investment. The first mistake organizations make when hosting their annual holiday party is that they forget one very big part of their business: their clients. While some companies will invite their clients, others won’t. In the case of those who do invite clients, the reality is that not everyone can make it. If they do make it, they’re still really limited in their experience of the engagement. The point is, companies are missing the chance to highlight and reinforce their culture during this time of year. The annual office Christmas party is a chance to humanize your brand. Whether or not a client has attended your annual event, the fact is you should be reinforcing that brand my creating an end-of-year email marketing campaign out of your holiday party. This way, those who didn’t attend can partake in it remotely. Those who attended are reinforced. Your marketing manager might be wondering what exactly goes in the email campaign highlighting your holiday party. Ideally, you’re going to work with your designer beforehand and discuss a few options to see what can be feasibly done in the free time your designer has between other client-related projects. My absolute favorite pairing would be to create a really fun card-like template that captures the spirit of the season. Include photos of the event and the names and roles of the people in them. Capture photos of the venue too and definitely capture candid shots rather than just staged photos behind a backdrop. If possible, include a video of the person giving the toast. If you’re pairing a charity event or inviting a special guest, make sure that’s featured as well. The goal of the holiday email campaign is to create a sensation of warmth that invites the reader. The challenge – often seen when companies post-holiday party photos on social media – is to create a connection with your reader rather than looking like you’re in your own world. A way to break through that sort of barrier is to include quotes from the people in the photos as well. This can be gathered after the fact, but it could be about what the employee loved most that year. If you have a smaller number of clients or a specific client you’re targeting, those quotes can be specifically about that client. Most organizations will host the party in early December while prices are still reasonable at local venues. The mistake would be in thinking that the email campaign needs to go out the next week. Don’t do that. Formulate your campaign and send it out in an email campaign and on social about a week or so before Christmas, so that it’s more in keeping with the heightened festivities around that time. From there the email campaign to follow the week after Christmas can be reflective piece from the CEO on the year behind us and the year to come. There are a few ways to approach the email that follows next, but however you approach it, it should still follow the theme of humanizing your brand. This means don’t send of end of year promotional email. If you do plan on doing that – which many retail organizations do – make sure you’re sending out your two heart-led email campaigns first: your Christmas party and your end of year message.


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One-Off Holiday Email Marketing Ideas for Retail

One-Off Holiday Email Marketing Ideas for Retail

Beyond • July 30, 2015

Whether you’re here after reading “Guide: Planning out Newsletters for the Rest of the Year,” or you’re desperate to figure out a holiday marketing strategy – either way you’re at the right place. Below you’ll find a treasure trove of ideas for one-off email marketing ideas for the holiday season. A Holiday Preview Sale It’s sort of like a trunk sale, but it’s a sneak peak of what’s in store for the holiday season. Not only does this give customers the chance to buy in earlier, but it also helps create buzz. Now all you need is to make sure you’ve got an excellent product to preview. The Holiday Gift Guide The gift guide goes hand in hand with a preview sale in terms of functionality. However, the gift guide sees a much higher ROI. Create a gift guide for all the different types of recipients your business can cater to: men, women, children, hostesses, bosses/co-workers, etc. Say you’re only offering products for women, in which case you can break it down on the type of woman a customer might purchase for. Gift guides are always a win – and they tend to get social shared more often than not. Gifting on a Budget Gifting isn’t just about who you’re giving something to. For some people, it’s just as much about who it’s from as who it’s going to. So along the lines of a holiday gift guide, you can create a guide for gifting on a budget. This gives those with a tight budget an opportunity to think about offering something meaningful without breaking the bank. Gift Packages As you probably figured out from the holiday gift guide, people aren’t really a big fan of figuring out what to give to other people. So make it easier for them. In addition to the holiday gift guide, you can offer gift packages that give a few different options on what can be offered. These sorts of packages work great for gourmet snack and dessert retailers like Harry and David’s…all the way to cosmetic giants like Sephora. There’s no reason why it can’t work for you too. Sample Sale This works great for the beauty industry. Offer as a sample sale a few months before the holiday kick-off. This gives women a chance to purchase multiple products at an affordable price range, before they further invest. The beauty industry is its busiest during the holiday season. Offer a sample sale gets people to “preview” products and keeps your products on their radar. If you can host a sample sale in-store, that would be even better. Free Shipping During the Holidays With the cost of holiday decorations, wrapping paper and all the other trimmings, it’s nice to know that you can save a little bit of money here and there. Free shipping is always a great incentive for products over $50. Bonus Gift Card You can offer to give a customer a $10 gift card bonus in exchange for every $100 spent. Make sure you remind them that $10 gift cards would make a great stocking stuffer.


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Benchmark Holiday Email Marketing Calendar

Benchmark Holiday Email Marketing Calendar

Beyond • March 11, 2015

Standard email marketing best practices suggest you should send to your contacts at least once per month. That way, they won’t forget about you. This is most often accomplished with a monthly newsletter. However, there are other options available to you, which will allow you to break the monthly newsletter mold and have a bit more fun. Holiday email marketing allows you to deliver some cheer to the inbox of your subscribers. However, that’s not all that it does for you. You can also use a holiday themed template to switch up the look and feel of your email campaigns. This will keep things fresh for your subscribers and keep your emails from feeling stale. Many holidays lend themselves to sales, but don’t underestimate the branding power of simply wishing your subscribers a happy and healthy holiday. Or perhaps you can share a favorite personal memory from a given holiday. Test things out and see what works for you. Benchmark Email has long offered all sorts of holiday themed email templates. They look awesome and create quick, fun and easy email campaigns. This year, we’ve also created a holiday email marketing calendar. There’s a landing page with tips and ideas for each holiday. Plus, with these instructions you can set up notifications to be reminded of each pending holiday. Subscribe to the Google Calendar How to set up notifications for Google Calendar. Subscribe with Mac Mail or Outlook. How to set up notifications for Mac Mail.


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Benchmark Email Magento Go Integration: Stay in Touch with Holiday Traffic Year-Round

Benchmark Email Magento Go Integration: Stay in Touch with Holiday Traffic Year-Round

Beyond • January 12, 2015

Customers are eager to start their online Christmas shopping and online retailers are just as excited to showcase their amazing products and can’t-missed promotions. At the same time, retailers need to make sure their site and every little function is working smoothly. There is nothing worse than scurrying to buy presents for your family and friends and then a certain button won’t work or there was no smooth transition from one feature to the next. Before creating your marketing campaigns or social media blurbs, make sure that your website is running perfectly. After all, you wouldn’t want to be building a house on sand, right? You need a strong foundation first, hence a solid website. That is what enabled Charlotte Tilbury to reach success when launching her first online store. Charlotte Tilbury was already a successful and highly-sought after makeup artist for 20 years and was finally coming out with her own line of cosmetics. Already having launched at the Selfridges store in London, she was ready to bring it digital. First things first, a site was needed that provides multi-national user experience, third party integrations, and more. Tilbury was specific in what she wanted in that she wanted it to reflect her brand and style but wouldn’t sacrifice on retail features and functionality on all devices. In addition, she was seeking for a site that includes easy bundling tools for a series of shop-the-look options for cross-sell and up-sell, and of course the standard features such as search, email, wish list, reviews, gift cards, and full page caching. With Magneto Enterprise Edition, she and the team were able to design an online store, which started with a simple build and slowly begin adding integrations for search, email and marketing. Since visual media was crucial for a makeup line, the animations and video tutorials greatly enhanced the entire site. In just four months, the site was completed and saw amazing results. There was a 229% increase in transactions and 105% increase in visits, 193% increase in revenue, 60% increase in conversion rate, and 29% decrease in bounce rate. Very impressive what Magento can do indeed! With the Benchmark Email Magento Go integration, you can add a signup form to your Magento Go pages. Capitalize on your holiday site traffic! Grow your email list with a signup form that lives right on your Magento Go page and automatically syncs with your Benchmark Email list(s). Available free with every email marketing account.


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Office Holidays: What Your Gift Says About You

Office Holidays: What Your Gift Says About You

Beyond • December 11, 2014

Holiday gift giving isn’t just about a once a year transaction. Rather, it’s an opportunity to show your team members who you are as a person. This is particularly important in cases where you’re office interaction is limited and when you’re trying to be recognized as management material. How you choose your gift can make you either the butt end of a joke, where all you’re seen as is a joke, or it can work in your favor to showcase your strengths. If strengths are all you really have, the right gift can also humanize you to your colleagues and make them see you as “one of them.” In this way, the holiday gift exchange is more of a political maneuver that just another end of year event. As a pairing to my other post, “Top Holiday Gift Idea for the Office,” I decided to write a more general piece that offers a host of ideas for all of you stuck with not-so-secret-Santa or some version of a white elephant party. But rather than just shoot out another list, of which there are already so many, I’ve taken a more strategic approach. Each of the two gift ideas below offers a solution or bridges a gap in some way. Gifts That Subtly Say “Promote Me. I’m Awesome.” If you’re trying to create talking points with someone in leadership, it would be a great idea to give them a subscription to a magazine like Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc, or Fast Company. Since this is essentially a “gift to come”, make sure it’s paired with a more tangible present they can enjoy immediately. The genius behind a magazine subscription gift is that it creates monthly opportunities to have ‘water cooler’ talks about key ideas. Of course, this also means you’re going to need to subscribe to the same magazine. It’s an effortless way of creating conversation that highlights you as being on-trend in business. Forbes’ Jacquelyn Smith offers another great idea in her article titled, “The Best Holiday Gifts For Your Boss,” where she writes: “If he or she has a special hobby like photography or golf, don’t get your boss a coffee table book or golf balls. Go one step further and reserve a tee time or a spot in a photography class, instead. This shows that you’ve paid attention to his or her interests.” Gifts That Show You Have a Sense of Humor Gifts that show a sense of humor and a generic one at that which can be applied to a white elephant party setting, are even trickier. Here you’ve got to think of everyone rather than focus on just the preferences of one person. Brit + Co has a great article by Anjelika Temple with a long list of totally affordable gift ideas that are sure to be a talking point at your white elephant party. The idea behind a white elephant party is to give a gift that is going to get “stolen” for the maximum number of times. Psychologically, this is important because you’re trying to directly link yourself to something that’s highly desirable – in this case, a totally great wild card gift. My personal favorite in this list would have to be the Nicholas Cage pillows and the fish bath plug. When it comes to holiday office gift-giving, what you give speaks volumes about who you are as a person. All of us can recall boring, uninspired, or even inappropriate gifts that certainly left a mark on your relationship with our colleagues. If the gift is flat out cheap or thoughtless, it’s human nature to brand those feelings as representative of the giver’s character. Conversely, if it was a personalized, thoughtful, or creative gift, we equally impress those traits onto our colleagues. You should really be putting just as much thought into your gift idea as you do into anything else that matters for your actual job.


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Top Holiday Gift Idea for the Office

Top Holiday Gift Idea for the Office

Beyond • December 10, 2014

One of the more stressful activities during this season’s holiday festivities is your yearly office holiday party. While it’s an opportunity ripe for creative expression, it’s also a time when there’s a magnifying glass behind which is an entire staff closely examining your gift of choice. What you ultimately decide to wrap up and place under the tree at the office is going to say a lot about who you are as a team member – and sometimes even as a leader. For the idea challenged, I’ve come up with an idea sure to get you kudos for creativity and prime you for success this holiday season. Most creative offices now have a reading nook, be it a bookshelf or a private collection that showcases thought leadership. This collection is usually a composite of some industry books paired with some heavy hitter titles written by the genius minds of Malcolm Gladwell, Seth Godin and the like. Your holiday gift this season will add to that collection – moreover, in the eyes of the recipient, it will forever link you with that brilliant collection because one of these books came from you. What Do You Do With An Idea? is that book. It’s a children’s book, technically, but sometimes a children’s book isn’t just a children’s book. Especially if you work in a creative field that values the power of innovation and entrepreneurship. If that sounds like your office environment, you might want to consider this book written by Kobi Yamada. As one Goodreads reader phrased it, “This is a great book for motivating anyone that has an idea that needs to be nurtured and protected. In this fast paced world so many forget about the small ideas that have had an impact on others lives. This book is a refreshing reminder of the importance of ideas and why we should strive to keep them going.” The core concept in the book is that as your confidence grows, so does your idea. The idea is presented as an egg with a golden crown on. As you turn the pages, the book slowly ripens with color as this idea grows. Growth is shown in the increasing size of the egg and by how the main character, a little boy in this case, interacts with the idea – like carrying it in a knapsack on your back. Finally, you possess the idea; it isn’t just some external manifestation anymore. Once the idea is yours, the crown on the egg is now on your head, and your world bursts with color. It’s brilliant and scores ten points for creativity. Another Goodreads reader had this to say, “The main character…at first was overwhelmed by the fact and didn’t know what to do about [the idea]. He tried abandoning it, but he grew closer to it and started to make it better, and believed in it, showing it to others. The only real conflict was mental for the boy, first he was afraid of it, but then he gets put down by others.” What Do You Do With An Idea? covers all your gift-giving bases. Your office gift giving should be a reflection of both you as a team member and of your recipient. You want to show originality and thought leadership, but you also want to show you understand the spirit of your team and the preferences of the recipient. This time of year, especially in more relaxed office, it’s very common to get extra cheers for giving gag gifts – but real leadership isn’t about making people laugh. It’s about making people think. Your gift should be a point of conversation and not the topic of a joke.


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Video Email Tips & Tricks – The Weekly Wrap

Video Email Tips & Tricks – The Weekly Wrap

Beyond • December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas, everybody. Can you believe it\'s already here? I can\'t. I hope you all have a great weekend with your family and friends - whether you\'re celebrating the holiday or not. At the very least, go eat some Chinese food and see a movie. That\'s what my people do. Speaking of what people do, here\'s what we were up to at Benchmark Email this week. Support Update: Link Directly to Documents Christmas time means new toys for all the good girls and boys...and for our users. That is if you consider a new feature a new toy. We do. Check out our latest support update on how to upload documents into your emails and newsletters. New Benchmark Email Software Features More new toys! Just go with it. Color coded code! Say that 10 times fast. OK, It\'s not that hard, but it seemed like a fun idea. Check out these new Benchmark Email software features. HTML Tips & Tricks #3 - Header Alignment & Breaks There is currently a jackhammer going full blast outside our offices, making it increasingly difficult to write witty summaries for each blog post. It did have me thinking what the annoying thing for jackhammer operators would be, as they are for me. I\'ll take a quick break to ponder that while you read about HTML breaks in our HTML Tips & Tricks #3 - Header Alignment & Breaks. New Year\'s Resolutions for the Savvy Email Marketer It\'s that time of year. Have you made your New Year\'s resolutions yet? I say if you never make them, you can\'t break them. If you do want some goals to achieve, read through our newest guide: New Year\'s Resolutions for the Savvy Email Marketer. New Boxing Day Templates for the Holiday of Champions Do you know what Boxing Day is? I didn\'t. The evidence online was inconclusive. Making up my own answer was more fun. Won\'t you come take a stab at what Boxing Day is? Use a Boxing Day email template, and ask your subscribers what they think it is. ¡Feliz Nochebuena! Customize a Template for the Good Night The real Christmas party takes place in Spain and Latin American countries. Nochebuena is a late night celebration on Christmas Eve that sounds like way more fun than the traditional Christmases I have participated in. Wish your subscribers a ¡Feliz Nochebuena! Customize a Nochebuena email template. Making Good Email Videos Part 1: Why Doesn\'t My Voice Sound Professional? Video can be an incredibly powerful tool in your email marketing campaigns. If they don\'t look and sound professional, they won\'t be. People will often focus on the visual aspect, but how it sounds is just as important. Check out part 1 of making great email videos with Benchmark Email. Making Good Email Videos Part 2: Enough Sound, Let\'s Discuss the Visual Aspect This isn\'t a fashion magazine, it\'s a blog about email marketing. That doesn\'t mean we can\'t talk about looking good. Learn how to make your videos pop, and how to make successful email videos. Email Outperforms Many Online Activities Across Age Groups A study from the Pew Research Center looked at the internet habits of various generations. The results were interesting, and particularly in favor of email. Read on, and see how email dominates each generations\' online activity. Who Can Fatten Your Inbox? The Spammer Man Can (Part 2) Last week I spoofed a song for you and we introduced the top spamming industries. This week, learn how to stop bots from compromising your computer. That\'s more important than song spoofs anyways (a little piece of me died writing that sentence).


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Festivus, a Holiday Opportunity for the Rest of Us

Festivus, a Holiday Opportunity for the Rest of Us

Beyond • December 17, 2010

I am a walking pop culture encyclopedia. I can hold entire conversations by only spewing movie lines. There is one show, however, that gets quoted more often than any other. That would, of course, be Seinfeld. There is hardly a situation in my life that I can\'t compare to an episode of Seinfeld. When I was in college, I had a roommate that was as equally obsessed with the show as I am. He was student teaching the year I lived with him. He would return home from teaching about the same time I was done with my own classes. Coincidentally, this was also the time that an hour-long block of syndicated Seinfeld would hit the air. We\'d each take our regular spots on our own couches, and by the end of the hour we\'d both be sound asleep. Who says nap time is just for preschool? There are many classic Seinfeld episodes. To say the Festivus episode is the best of them all would leave out so many more greats. Soup Nazi, the Puffy Shirt, and many others may have something to say about that. Religious holidays aren\'t for everyone. However, \"Festivus is for the rest of us!\" Here are the details on Festivus, to share with your readers. Perhaps you can even share your favorite Seinfeld episode. We\'d love to hear them in the comments too. - Rather than a tree, there is an unadorned aluminum Festivus pole - Airing of Grievances (my family doesn\'t even need a holiday for this one): done once the meal has been served. Here one airs their grievances about others and the world in general and how they have been disappointed this year. - Feats of Strength: After the meal has been completed, the head of the household challenges one guest to a wrestling match. While I am a sucker for tradition, I don\'t necessarily condone violence. Sometimes getting a laugh out of your subscribers is as good a reason as any to send an email campaign. Many companies stick to the generic \"happy holidays\" campaigns around this time of year. I\'m not saying that\'s a bad thing, because it isn\'t. However, you may just be remembered for sending a Festivus email. Check out more December and holiday email templates by following the link.


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