Tags: list

How to Accelerate Email List Management to Drive Business

How to Accelerate Email List Management to Drive Business

Beyond • November 14, 2015

If you were to host a party tomorrow with the goal of just impressing one specific guest, who would you invite? What considerations would you need to make when sending out the guest list. If your goal is to highlight you favorably, your guest list needs to include people who (a) can do that and (b) complement one another. It’s a pretty simple concept. Targeted email lists aren’t that different from your goal-oriented party. The thing they both have in common is a goal. The key to list management is to first define your goal. Many people will have targeted lists based on location, spending habits, etc. – and that’s fine. But you also want to be more holistic in your approach. Your list isn’t just a list; your list is a driver for your end goal. The biggest mistake any marketing manager – and in fact, any marketing agency – makes is that they’re not goal oriented. They’re nothing thinking about what their overarching purpose is. Here’s how that gets translated into an actual campaign: Say you’re partnering up during the holidays with a coveted business to drive donations. You send out an email campaign for invitations for a local event and you only have room for 30 guests. If you send out a first wave mass email to your local list, you’re running into a potential problem of having too many interested people exciting about attending. You’re going to have to rescind your invite, which reflects poorly on your reputation and will strain relationships. Instead, using your customer sales management tools (like Salesforce), or even through knowing people personally, your first wave of send out can be strategically delivered only to those people who are naturally involved and invested in philanthropy. Give them a deadline to respond by, then send out a second wave of invites with a note that you have limited spacing. This way, there’s more of a chance that the guests who attend are philanthropic, reflect well on your ability to generate participation, and may get further involved in future partnerships. Managing your email lists really boils down to being able to cultivate a custom experience through which to funnel your marketing efforts. And that’s really what drives email marketing and successful engagement – the ability to create connections that are clearly intimate and going beyond the practice of generic or blanket attempts at communication. This also means that when you’re curating your list, two other things need to happen. First, create check boxes for people based on what your business needs demand. Do you need to know their annual income or would you need to know if they’re interested in any causes? Secondly, work on getting to know people personally as much as you can. Move them beyond just names on a list so you can better understand what motivates and drives them. Part of this also folds back into email marketing in that your campaigns don’t need to be just message oriented that push an offer or update. They can be tailored to be micro campaigns that further better connecting with micro audiences within your list.


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List Management: Benchmark Email Highrise Integration

Beyond • October 26, 2015

A place for everything and everything in its place. We used to nod impatiently when our moms repeated this as she oversaw us putting away our laundry in the appropriate drawer; sweaters in the bottom and socks in the top. We might have just brushed it off, but at that moment when one sock somehow lands in the bottom, or a sweater ends up crumbled in a corner of your room, didn’t it just throw everything off? It’s visually and mentally disturbing and you just have that itch to put things back in their rightful place. So not only does Mother knows best, but Mother knows how to run a business because in a company setting, for sure everything must be in place. There is a 99% chance that any expert writing about running a successful business will mention something about organization. After all, how can you make sales if you don’t organize a list of prospects to pitch to, and how can you implement a social media campaign if you don’t organize which content to post on which day? In his article “Get It Together: 7 Quick Ways to Make Your Business More Organized,” Peter Daisyme states that “at that heart of every business is the need to be productive, which is determined by how efficient and organized you can make all functions within the company.” There is no argument against that; to produce an amazing product, you need to have a well-oiled machine with every gadget performing its duty. So what does that mean for businesses today, especially in this digital age? It means that we got stay organized the digital way. Every project, contact info, internal meeting notes, even down to the company lunch menu is best imputed into a system where everything is in one place and where everyone can easily access. That’s why a CRM software tool is a definite must have for your business. Every position in a company can benefit from using one: sales, marketing, accounting, project manager, customer service. Not only will it keep your company in tip- top shape, but the organization will lead to the overall success for your business. So which CRM to use? Highrise has been constantly ranked as one of the simplest yet effective CRMs in the market. Highrise also offers extras and add-ons that will boost your business, such as the Benchmark Email Highrise integration. With this, you can add your contacts from your Highrise account into your email list, with no setup required! Mother would be so proud!


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Heart of Business Round Table: Types of List Segmentation

Heart of Business Round Table: Types of List Segmentation

Beyond • September 13, 2015

In anticipation of our upcoming webinar, \"Target Marketing: How to Hit Your Bullseye,\" we decided to have the Heart of Business Round Table team sit down and discuss list segmentation. Your ability to do target marketing stems directly from the data you have and how well you segment your lists, so it\'s an important step not to be overlooked. We go through a list of various ways in which an email marketer can do list segmentation. Don\'t miss this very special webinar, being hosted by Benchmark Email Director of Sales & Marketing Daniel Miller and Insightpool CEO Devon Wijesinghe. Target Marketing in email and social media will be the focus, as Devon and Daniel demonstrate the best ways in which to deliver the most relevant content to your audience. The webinar is on Tuesday, September 15th at 11:00AM PDT. Don\'t miss out! Register for \"Target Marketing: How To Hit Your Bullseye.\"


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3 Epic Hacks for Building Your Email List

3 Epic Hacks for Building Your Email List

Beyond • June 4, 2015

Your email marketing campaigns are only as effective as your email lists. Your email list is the coveted list of subscribers who have opted in on being part of your wonderful world. However, this is not as simple as it looks. Even customers and clients who have known you for years may not easily be converted as subscribers. In fact, they may not even know you have an email list or that it’s of any value to be part of it. This is where email list building hacks come in. Building your epic email list is as much perseverance as it is strategy. Of course, it’s a given that your email campaigns should have share-worthy content, and you can certainly encourage readers to share those campaigns. However, email list building strategies are about more than doing the obvious; it’s about thinking outside the box to create something of value. #1 The Right Kind of Pop-up The fact is, people are busy and their attention is divided just about any which way you can image. This is why if you create a pop up subscription form on your website, you’re meeting your subscriber half way. Make it easier for them and they will sign up. Social Media Examiner, for example, notes that about 70% of their nearly 200k subscribers are all sourced from email subscription pop-ups. #2 Launch a Contest Contests are great ways to get your audience excited about your email marketing campaign. Rules for entry can be as simple as being a subscriber and answering a question that either has a right answer or calls for a creative answer. If you do decide to run a contest, be sure to set clear terms. Determine whether you’re going to launch a monthly contest, a weekly contest or a one-time contest. Also, be sure to share your content notification on social media as well, which is where of your potential subscribers are. And of course, make a big deal of winners on social media. #3 Create Segmentation Options People are going to be interested in different things and it’s to your advantage to offer customization in your email campaigns. For example, I’m much more likely to opt in for an email subscription that gives me a few selections to choose from. In the context of a news website, I’ll opt in for weekly updates and features. This works to both parties’ advantage: I get what I want and the company has me opting in twice, ensuring that they’ll be able to create more opportunities for visibility and engagement. The same goes for your business. Some subscribers are vendors and some clients – and neither really needs to (nor wants to) see email marketing campaigns directed at the other. If you’re an agency, then perhaps your clients only want to opt in for email newsletters that cater to their own interests rather. If you’re a publication that features 3 or 4 different subjects, then your subscribers are also more likely to opt in for one or two, versus all four. Having subscription segmentation also gives you an inside look at what your subscribers want to see. You might be surprised by the results.


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Top 5 List Growing Myths

Top 5 List Growing Myths

Beyond • March 3, 2014

For the last few months the Digioh team built a Benchmark integration to help customers send files and capture email subscribers. This is a guest blog post by Rishi Shah, an email marketing expert and the founder of Digioh. He has helped companies like NBC, San Jose Mercury News, and Kaplan. It took me a while to warm up to email marketing. I would keep reading success stories and think I was a total failure. 8 years later and having advised thousands of clients, I know what the biggest myths on email marketing. Here are top 5 myths I wish I knew when I was getting started. Myth #1: Your Email List is Constantly Growing Most email lists stagnates for a few months or a few years. A few ways to kill the stagnation is to offer digital incentives like a coupon or PDF or ask for them to join your list when they sign up for your service. Myth #2: No One Ever Unsubscribes People unsubscribe; it’s what they do. Unsubscribing is healthy for your list because it keeps your open and click rates higher which in turn increases your deliverability score. Your customer could outgrow your product or could just be doing some email spring-cleaning. You can decrease unsubscribe rates by asking for how frequent they would like to be contacted at sign up. According to MarketingProfs the average unsubscribe rate is 0.25%, so anything below that is great! Myth #3: Adding a Twitter Button will Grow Your List Great content and amazing products help you grow your list. Twitter and Facebook buttons make it easier to share, but aren’t the reason people share. Myth #4: The Best Place for Your Content is Your Own Blog The best place for your content is where the most traffic is. If you can get more eyeballs on your posts you will be guaranteed more email subscribers. One way to get more eyeballs is by submitting a guest blog post on a high traffic blog. Make sure you use a lead magnet like Digioh or an Unbounce landing page in your guest blog post to capture email addresses. Myth #5: People will Join Your List because You’re Awesome Nobody cares about you (unless you’re a celebrity)! People will join your list to become awesome. Make bold claims on how you will improve their business or life dramatically and then give them content that actually does that. PS If you liked this blog post you will love his free eBook: 10 Paying Customers in 10 Days!


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12 Ideas to Explode Your Email List With Contests And Sweepstakes in 2014

12 Ideas to Explode Your Email List With Contests And Sweepstakes in 2014

Beyond • February 6, 2014

Doing better, bigger, braver. This is what I aim for this year. How do you feel? Have you dreamed of sending better emails? Or sending them to more people? I am sure you really want this latter one, and you are not alone. To help you we created an infographic from the best ideas so you can start the year with a big bang. 12 Viral Contest Ideas: One For Each And Every Month Of The Year Before going to the details, remember that the best part is that these promotions are fun to enter for the subscriber. Besides, who would mind a little bribe here and there? I am okay with being bribed! Actually these incentivized opt-ins are common. According to the research of Marketing Sherpa more than half of the most effective list building techniques include an incentive of some sort, like a whitepaper, a gift card or a coupon. Another positive side effect of contests and sweepstakes are that they are viral. Subscribers need to invite their friends to increase their own chances of winning, or to be eligible to enter. Facebook has some functions that help the promotion to spread (auto posting, sharing, etc.). That’s the natural space for your subscribers to share with friends. Anyway, here are the 12 suggestions: Okay, there are a lot of promotion types mentioned in this info-graphic. Let me shed some light on which one is for what reason: sweepstakes are mainly for lead generation, contests are more for engagement and reaching the friends of fans, and deals are mostly for driving sales. For sweepstakes (quiz, poll, draw) you can grant bonus entry points after they invite their friends. The more friends they invite, the better their chances of winning. For contests (video-, photo-, essay contest) the winner might be decided based on the number of votes they receive for their entry. So entrants will be asking friends to vote. Over to you What would you add to the list? Do you use contests and sweepstakes as a form of lead generation? Here are some case studies on Antavo’s site that may help with inspiration (some of them are extremely successful … instead of being jealous please be aware that you can do the same). Antavo is a Benchmark Email partner. The subscribers collected with contests and sweepstakes can by synchronized with your Benchmark account.


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Wined, Dined, but Not on Your List This Time

Wined, Dined, but Not on Your List This Time

Beyond • December 30, 2010

A Magnificent California Winery This past weekend I had one of the best times at a winery that I\'ve ever had. Mind you, it\'s only the third time that I\'ve actually been to a winery in seven years. But it really was a great time. We live in California - Southern California – so we\'re not going to drive up to world-famous Napa and back on a Sunday. But the beautiful Temecula region is close enough for a day trip. (For the record, our tasting and drive home were about six hours apart. Please don\'t drink and drive.) Google Didn\'t Say It Was the Best, but the Top Searches Results Did In the morning we knew we wanted to go to Temecula, but where was another matter entirely. Searching for \"Temecula Wineries\" and \"best wine tasting in Temecula\" only served to confuse me more, especially as I know a bit about SEO. But I did find a few review sites with links to the various wineries\' pages. We chose our eventual destination based on a preponderance of good reviews and a website that made it look like the winery had it all together. An easy to find phone number with a call answered by a real person (on the premises!) made us excited to book our walking and tasting tour. A Great Guide As excited as we were by the website, we were amazed to find that it was beautifully representative of the real estate. It was pretty as a postcard, even with throngs of wine limos and busses parked outside. We quickly, gladly paid our fee and waited by the landmark for our guide. I\'ll change her name to Carol for the story. She was awesome. She offered so much information that we felt attached to the wines before we even tasted them. A sip wasn\'t just about flavor, it was a story, a skill, a passion. She shared what bordered on the edge of trade secrets in order for us to appreciate their craft. Did I tell you I loved the gewürztraminer? Or how divine this merlot was? I felt whatever the price of our humble ticket, we were educated way beyond its value. After the tour was just about over we were seated in a room with some big round tables to learn about hors d\'oeuvre pairings. This time there was an unexpected rosé that really knocked our socks off. Why We Missed Once Carol was great, and we would support this winery solely based on her personality. And if we ever found out she wasn\'t there, we\'d drink someone else\'s substandard wine (if just once) so that we could hear her spiel. But we didn\'t get on an email marketing list. If there was one on the wine club information she pointed out, we will never know. The wine glasses and hors d\'oeuvres were right in front of us, but the literature was in the middle of a large table. By the time we would have noticed them, we were engrossed in great conversation with our new friends. I can\'t help but wonder how it would have been different if the pretty flyers were within reading distance as opposed to an awkward long stretch just to touch it. I could have read it while we were sitting - between tastes, of course. A Few Bottles for Next Year... How About an Email Deal Too? After a walk on the beautiful grounds, we decided to visit the shop to buy a few bottles for New Year\'s. Again, we encountered a great person to help us with that. But we didn\'t leave the counter on anyone\'s email marketing list. Is there a form at the bottom of our bags? I don\'t know, but by the time I break open the bottles on December 31, filling out a form or logging on to a website will be far from my mind. I wonder if there had been some compelling offer to give up my email address, how quickly it would be theirs. Five percent off would have been great. Even the promise of email discounts in the future would have been enough for me to give up my ATM pin and email address. Let\'s Wash Down That Great Wine with Dinner! Before we departed, we put the bottles in the back of the car and decided to eat the great food we heard so much about. We left refreshed and refined, but still not on their email marketing list. Was there a section to fill out on the comment card tucked in the check presenter? I\'ll never know. Everything was so nice, we never gave filling it out a thought. We were selfish in enjoying the moment. We Were There for a Birthday This Time - Email Us to Come Do It Again I wonder again if there could have been some incentive that would have gently nudged us to fill out a comment card and leave our information. A birthday club? I think I\'d be thrilled to get a birthday email offering a free dessert. Surely giving up a five dollar dessert would be a great trade for the winery if we came back and spent a few hundred dollars all over again. I don\'t think I would have wanted the server to sell us on it, but if I opened the check presenter and saw a birthday cake graphic on the left, I\'d have bit. Do You Want the Name of the Winery? They missed a chance for our email address three times, but we will be back. Everything was great: the place, the food, the people were so top notch that we don\'t need an email reminder to come back. Or do we? How long will this great, satisfied feeling last? See how Benchmark Email can improve your winery email marketing. As for the name of the winery... ah, I just can\'t say it. Everyone was so wonderful, that I\'d never risk troubling any employee. They were all gold, email list or not. I will offer you a good hint though, so that you can find it for yourself: there are a few vines on the property!


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The Benchmark Email Feature Wish List Forum

The Benchmark Email Feature Wish List Forum

Beyond • June 3, 2010

Adding new email marketing features to our already vast repertoire is always an exciting thing for us here at Benchmark Email HQ. Not only because it allows us to puff out our chests a little more and be proud of our product, but also because we know it\'s going to make the lives of our customers a bit easier. Our latest feature, we are pleased to announce, is all about you. This week Benchmark Email introduced the Feature Wish List Forum. Any customer can tell us a feature they’d like to see implemented or vote for another idea that’s previously been suggested. It’s our way of letting you know that we’re listening. The idea you suggest might even become the latest and greatest feature that we’re blogging about! Even though the forum has only been live for a very short time, we’re already preparing to implement a new feature that came from the Wish List. The Feature Wish List Forum can be accessed from your homepage when you’re logged into your Benchmark Email account. Click on the red Feedback button on the left side of your screen. Each user is given 25 votes to begin with. You can designate up to three votes per feature suggestion. You can get those votes back once a feature you have voted for has been completed or deleted. You can also change your votes by clicking on them. The forum will send you an email digest of any activity on your ideas. This includes comments, status changes and responses from the admin. When in the forum, you can suggest an idea of your own at the top. You can also browse the list of features that have already been suggested, and they are organized by tabs. The first tab is called Top Ideas. These suggestions are the leading vote getters, and they are closest to being implemented in our services. The next tab is the Hot tab - the ideas that have received votes and comments in the past 15 days. Next is the New tab, where you can see the most recent suggestions from the past 15 days. The Accepted tab tells you the features that our programmers are currently working into our system, and the Completed tab denotes those features that have officially become a part of the Benchmark Email service. We hope that you are as excited about this new forum as we are because it’s all about you. We want what you want: the best possible product that satisfies all your wants and needs. This forum allows our customers to take ownership of that fact. Just like the people in the new Windows 7 commercials, you’ll brag that you’re responsible for our great new feature. The difference is that with the Benchmark Email Feature Wish List Forum, it really could be true.


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Best Buy Scores an Email Marketing Win with Autoresponders.

Best Buy Scores an Email Marketing Win with Autoresponders.

Beyond • May 26, 2010

Recently, I purchased a Flip HD camera from Best Buy. I had one a few years ago, and a friend of mine lost it at Lollapalooza 2009. Coachella 2010 was fast approaching, and I wanted to be able to capture some of the magic on video. I liked the product the first time around, and I found a newer version on sale with an online only deal at Best Buy. Being the impatient person that I am, I opted for the in-store pickup option. The purchase of this product trigged a whole chain of autoresponders. It was almost scary how efficient Best Buy is with them. I was asked to register with Best Buy at the beginning of my checkout process. Being an email marketing nerd, I opted-in to their newsletter. I received a welcome email before I even completed my checkout process. The welcome email described all the various advantages I would have with a registered BestBuy.com account. The email was designed to match the website. A quick welcome email with great information - good work, Best Buy, on this round. The purchase of the camera triggered several more emails. The first was the standard receipt. This let me know that my purchase went through and my credit card was being charged. They provided me with the complete details of my purchase, as well as a confirmation number. Most importantly, it explained the store pickup procedures. This means that not only was an order confirmation triggered, but also it was segmented into a group for in-store pickup. Props to Best Buy on this round, too. Using a similar template as the first email kept their branding intact while delivering informative content. Next was an email advising me of all sorts of accessories I could purchase to go with my new video camera. I deduced by the products listed that this was simply triggered by a purchase of any video camera, not just my Flip. I could tell this because they offered large camera bags, tripods, memory cards and extra batteries - none of which have any use to me with a Flip. Still, it’s an above average display of list segmentation. This email had more images and more of a catalog type feel to it. The branding and design remained intact. Then came an email telling me that my Flip was ready for pick up. I placed the order early on a Sunday morning before Best Buy opened. I was surprised to see an email informing me that my order was ready just before the store was set to open. That’s more of a compliment to the Best Buy staff and the in-store pickup program rather than their email marketing, though. Still, it was good to receive an email saying my Flip was ready instead of just leaving me with the 45-minute window the order confirmation email gave me. While I was on my way home from the store, I received an email confirming that I had picked up my camera. It was just the last reminder of how efficient the autoresponder campaign is that Best Buy had set up. Like the last, it fit the brand and design. It also thanked me for picking up my order. This is a great example of how to run a well put together and efficient autoresponder campaign. The campaign followed me through my purchase from order to pickup, and it even branched out into selling me on related products. Take note, and begin an autoresponder campaign of your own with Benchmark Email.


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