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Chocolates, hearts, cupid and….. emails!

Today Elite Email published the results of a study that analyzed the volume of emails scheduled for February 14, 2013 compared to last year.

You can view the full release here.

Overall, we found that email volume this year spiked a tremendous amount with an impressive 16% jump.

That is huge when you compare it to the 7% increase we witnessed in 2012 over 2011.

We reached out to some customers after they scheduled their email on Feb. 14 to get their take on why their volume was higher this year.

Lots of people said they have been aggressively trying to grow their mailing list. And, while size does not always equal engagement, having a larger audience of people to reach out to can certainly help. People reported that they put their mailing list signup forms/buttons in higher profile locations on their website, as well as adding a signup form to their Facebook page.

Many offline organizations said that they have been training their staff better with regards to the value of obtaining a customer’s email address. This has led to a substantial increase in new opt-in contacts.

When we ask this question we always get a lot of people telling us that they have boosted their email marketing efforts as a result of scaling back on traditional paper-based advertising. To their customers they claim they are becoming more eco-friendly, but ultimately we know that email provides better engagement, vastly superior analytics and a much greater ROI.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Elite Email Heart

 

It is always interesting to get a pulse on what people are talking about.

Twitter has their trending topic (or you can check out Trendsmap), Google has Google Hot Trends, Yahoo has their Top Trends…. but what about the world of email marketing?

What is trendy enough to warrant  the coveted space in an organizations newsletter or email campaign?

All email marketers know that a more relevant email will produce greater engagement, and being plugged-in to trending topics is a great way to be right on point.

To answer that question, we did another monthly installment of our “Email Marketing Trends” report where we analyze millions of emails to see what topics bubble to the top.

For the purposes of this analysis we only focused on organizations based out of the USA and Canada. So, these are really North American email marketing trends.

The top 3 trends for the first 3 weeks of January 2013 were:

  1. Super Bowl & NFL Playoffs
  2. New Year’s Resolutions
  3. Golden Globes

This year we saw some really interesting football related promotions where the special or discount that went live was based on the outcome of an upcoming game. These campaigns produced excellent engagement because for people who wanted a certain “deal” it was almost as if they had bet on the game.

Also worth mentioning, although it’s not all that surprising, is that organizations in the health & wellness category (such as gyms, personal trainers, retailers of exercise equipment, etc) had a huge spike in sending volume in January. This definitely ties in with “New Year’s Resolution” trend. I know one of my resolutions was to go to the gym more……. let’s just say that hasn’t panned out!

Read our full press release online.

January 2013 Email Trends

 

It’s Template Release Friday again, and Elite Email has 8 new templates for our customers.

This week we have 6 new cards and 2 new press release templates

Check them out below or in our huge template gallery

View More Email Templates

 

Card 302 Card 303 Card 304
Card 305 Card 306 Card 307
Press Release 298 Press Release 299

 

 

This week we are releasing 8 more new templates to our gallery.

We have three more templates for to add to our Social Media category, and for the second week in a row we are introducing a new category, “Press Release” with 5 new templates.

These new templates are all available in our template gallery today.

View More Email Templates

 

Press Release 292 Press Release 294 Press Release 295
Press Release 296 Press Release 297 Social Media 288
Social Media 289 Social Media 290

 

 

At Elite Email we love helping people. It’s basically our passion.

But, every little while we get to do something that goes above and beyond what we even hoped to achieve.

This leads me to an amazing story about the Village of Brookville in New York.

[You can read the full press release here.]

When Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeastern United States, it left the town without power, phone and internet. There was no way for the town leadership to communicate to residents at all….well, except for Elite Email, of course!

With an intermittent internet connection, the town leadership was able to connect to their Elite Email account to send out important updates to residents and officials about what was going on. It really helped that Elite Email is cloud-based because even without accesses to their offices, all they needed was any computer with an internet connection and they were all set to send out their newsletter.

Here is the exact quote from Winsome Citarella, the Clerk Treasurer:

Elite Email was a life saver for our Village during this recent crisis. After Hurricane Sandy hit the Village of Brookville lost power, phone and internet services leaving us completely out of touch with our residents and officials. Since I was not able to access my usual software to communicate I was saved by my Elite Email account. I was able to access your site from where ever I was able to get internet however intermittently and was able to send out important notifications to the residents which was extremely helpful to all of us. So thanks for providing a great service.

We know the town residents really appreciated these timely and critical newsletters because we were forwarded replies like this:

“The residents of our village are indeed very fortunate to have you as our Mayor. The endless hours you spent in contact with LIPA, personally traveling every street in the village and relaying information to us was truly outstanding.  We appreciate your daily updates and subsequent twice daily emails.”

“Thank you for the valuable update report.”

“Thank you very much for these updates. We are sincerely thankful for all of your hard work and all the Village has done. “

“Thank you so much for all your efforts – for the hours that went into planning and preparation, and for the excellent follow through.  
Your email communication has been invaluable and is much appreciated.
The entire community is in your debt .”

“Hi – I love these emails! Thank you for the daily update. “

“You are a wonderful leader for all of us.  Your emails are reassuring and help us to know that we are being well represented. “

“Just wanted to say thanks for all the hard work and keeping us informed.”

“Thank you for the frequent updates.  Although the news is never great, it’s better than being kept “in the dark”, sorry about the bad pun!  I really appreciate all that you guys are doing! “

WOW, are we glad to have helped make a difference in any way at all!

Remember, there are still many people in need, so please donate to the Red Cross.

 

I love email newsletters. You love email newsletters. We all love email newsletters!

But, how are small businesses actually using email newsletters to help achieve their goals?

To answer that question we conducted a quick flash poll of 250 small business owners and asked the question directly to them.

You can view the full press release online by clicking here.

#1 Build Stronger Relationships To Encourage Repeat Business
This was the top answer as given by 49% of all those surveyed. We all know it’s easier to get repeat business than earn new business and email is an amazing tactic to help keep your brand in front of the consumer. After all, if they forget about you, they cannot buy from you again. But, if they are on your mailing list and get emails from you once a month, then you’re definitely a lot harder to forget. Plus, these constant touch-points help build a stronger relationship between your company and the consumer, especially when you are giving them good useful content.

#2 Special Promotions or Discounts
Everyone loves a good deal, especially when that deal is a special thing just for you (… or all email newsletter subscribers). Putting a special offer directly into your customers hands is an incredibly effective way to drive sales. Since you don’t have to pay any printing fees or flyer distribution fees to your postal system, the ROI you can achieve from this type of tactic is huge. Many businesses are putting a “buy now” or “add to cart” button right in the email to make it really easy for customers to take advantage of the special promotion. We also see a lot of time sensitive discounts where a certain deal is only available today or for the next 24 hours. This encourages immediate purchases so people don’t say “I’ll come back to this later” and then forget about it.

#3 New Product Announcements
It’s new, it’s exciting, it’s the best thing since sliced bread, and with the click of a button you can send an email newsletter to all of your contacts.  Getting the word out about new products or services could have been challenging or costly in the past, but now with one email newsletter blast you can let everyone know right away. We have even seen a lot more businesses building hype for new products in advance of them being released, similar to how a movie trailer gets us excited about that great new flick coming out in a few months. With a well structured email that showcases a picture of the product and highlights the key features or benefits of the product, you can distribute a lot of information quickly, easily and effectively.

Although these were the top 3 results from our recent poll, here in the Elite Email offices we get to see all the different creative ways businesses use their email newsletters as a key tool in their marketing mix. Sometimes a little outside the box thinking can go a long way towards keeping your audience engaged, entertained, and buying your products!

 

As many people may have noticed, we recently unveiled a brand new design for our website.
You can see everything at www.eliteemail.com.

We have been so focused on releasing all the great new features with Elite Email Fusion that we didn’t really spend too much effort on our homepage and other informational pages.
(Plus, I’m happy to say that we get so many new customers from our existing customers saying great things about us… and we love them for it… that the look & feel of our homepage didn’t really get that much attention.)

But with the successful launch of Elite Email Fusion and the tremendous amount of positive feedback we’ve been receiving, we felt it was time for a complete overhaul.

We wanted a fresh new face for Elite Email and I think that is exactly what this new re-design brings us.

It’s a little sharper, a bit more bold, while still reflecting our key values of being powerful and easy to use.

The new design also makes use of some fancy new jQuery and HTML5 tools. And, as always, I like being on the cutting edge!

Read the Press Release

I want to thank all the customers that gave us feedback during the design process. Your thoughts, comments, and ideas were incredibly helpful and we could not have done it without you!

 

It’s really incredible how many different industries are using email marketing as an integral tool to achieve their marketing objectives. There’s no boundaries when it comes to what type of companies can use email marketing. At Elite Email,  we love helping new businesses achieve their goals, no matter how big or small they might be.

We are approached all the time by different companies for advice on what we think are the best ways to utilize our service to most greatly benefit their specific goals. We have many ideas on how and why a company should use a service like ours, but we learn best from asking our clients their best practices and learning what works best directly from them.

Recently, we have been participating in various restaurant trade shows and leading different seminars for restaurant owners. So, we decided to do a study to learn the top ways in which restaurants owners are using email marketing. We conducted a short survey of 250 restaurant owners in North America to get their direct input.

You can read the full press release here: http://www.prweb.com/releases/email-marketing/restaurant/prweb9559300.htm

To summarize, the top 3 ways in which restaurants are utilizing email marketing are:

  1. Sending out newsletters
  2. Sending out timely coupons
  3. Sending out ‘announcements’

As well, almost every restaurant owner said that they consistently send out birthday emails to their mailing list to ensure that their customers know that they are valued by the establishment.

 

We all know that over the years politicians have developed a less than stellar reputation. But, in the back of my mind, even through all the scandals, mud slinging and broken promises, I’d like to believe that deep down inside the key political figures of our time can still in some sense lead by example. As it turns out, especially from the perspective of an email marketing guy, that is not true.

Elite Email has learned that defeated Presidential Candidate New Gingrich is actually selling the email database of his donors in an effort to dig his campaign out of the $4 million debt.

Personally, I am disgusted by this because I cannot believe someone who was vying for the Presidency of the United States could so easily turn their back on supporters. I mean, if Newt Gingrich could not follow the privacy policy on his website (see below), how could he possibly have been in charge of foreign policy for America?!

The privacy policy on his campaign website says:

“We are committed to protecting your privacy online.”

Clearly they are not trying very hard! The campaign is selling the donor database (complete with email address and other personal details) through a brokerage firm named TMA Direct. What this means is that anyone who donated to the Newt 2012 campaign is going to have their information exposed and will likely start receiving a lot more spam. Moreover, this spam will be of the worst kind because the database isn’t just your email address, it’s your other personal details, too.

To make matters worse, the Gingrich campaign is also doing “email appending”. What this means is that if you donated to the campaign, but did NOT give your email address, they can still use all your other personal information to get your email address. Once they have that, they bundle it all together and sell your complete record.

This is covered by this part of the campaign’s privacy policy:

“We may obtain information about you from outside sources and add it to or combine it with the information we collect”

This is really a bad practice that all email markers frown upon because it means that even though you didn’t give your email address to the campaign and definitely did not provide consent to receive emails, they can still email you…. and now they are selling your data!

You can read our full press release here: http://www.prweb.com/releases/email-marketing/newt-gingrich/prweb9512721.htm

One of the first things we teach anyone who is working at Elite Email is about permission mailing lists, opt-in, and consent. We ensure that everyone here understands what “email marketing best practices” are, what the “spam laws” are, and how we can ensure the integrity of our network by only sending legitimate email marketing campaigns so they can teach & coach our customers. It is terrible to see a political candidate completely balk at all of this and do something so blatantly against the rules.

I understand that political campaigns are expensive, and I understand that the Gingrich campaign being in debt is not good news for then… but sacrificing the privacy of your donors as a remedy to me is way way over the line.

As one last little tidbit of interesting information…. the price that is being charged for your data is actually higher if you were a “big donor” and lower if you were a “small donor”.

 

We all know that there are a wide variety of ways you can use email marketing to help achieve your organization’s objectives. One of the great things about email marketing as a general marketing tool is that it’s so incredibly flexible and adaptable. At Elite Email we work with large and small organizations around the globe in every industry imaginable and it is always amazing to hear how people are deploying their email strategy.

Recently, we wanted to try to get a sense of the most popular way that small businesses are using email marketing. So we conducted a short survey of 200 small business owners in North America to get their direct input.

Our goal was to put together the top 5 ways to use small business email marketing.

You can read the full press release here: http://www.prweb.com/releases/email-marketing/small-business/prweb9339695.htm

To summarize, the top 5 ways small businesses use email marketing are:

  1. Drive immediate online/offline Sales (often through a “Buy Now” button in the email)
  2. Strengthen relationships with a newsletter (brand building)
  3. Promotions & Coupons
  4. Create content for social network (Facebook/Twitter/Google+) postings
  5. Promote & build hype for new products

One other recurring theme that was mentioned was from businesses that sell products that need to replenished or replaced at certain intervals. They reported that sending out “re-purchase” reminders was highly effective in driving repeat business.

I look forward to conducting this same study again next year to see how it may change as email becomes a stronger tool within the organizational marketing mix.

© 2013 Elite Email Inc. Blog Admin