Category Archive Email Marketing

Top email marketing practices that small businesses must follow

Creating an email marketing strategy is essential for the success of your small business. Many consumers shop online now, which means that you have to have a strong online presence. A Web site is only as good as the number of quality visitors you get, and email marketing is a great way to drive customers to your destination. Learning about email marketing best practices can help you interact with customers on a mailing list in a way that will compel them to click.

Email Marketing 101

Before creating an email marketing strategy, small business owners need to know the facts behind this kind of marketing. For example, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 instituted strict regulations for email marketing. You have to have permission to email people or you face a potential fine. You may also find all of your emails blocked by Internet service providers if you receive too many spam complaints. To avoid this, make sure you get explicit permission from customers to be put on your mailing list or work only with companies that understand every detail of these email marketing best practices. Insist that every email communication has a link to unsubscribe from the list and a reminder of how the recipient got on the list in the first place to avoid any misunderstandings. You do not want to risk your business’s reputation.

Creating an Email Marketing Plan

To maximize the benefits of your email marketing strategy, create a targeted list of individuals who will be interested in your business. Have signup forms on your Web site to offer visitors the chance to subscribe to your list and partner up with other businesses to piggyback on their mailings. If you choose to work with a data merchant in your industry, ask for references and do your research to see if you can uncover complaints of spamming. After you have an idea of whom you’ll be emailing, it’s time to start creating your messaging. Plan your emails ahead of time so you never have to scramble last minute and send out emails that are lackluster or boring.

Email Marketing Tips

To get the most out of email marketing, your strategy should contain a plan for offering the customers on your list more than just an advertisement. Include weekly tips or other free information that would be interesting to those who signed up for your mailings. Use graphic design products, such as Adobe Photoshop, for lively visuals to grab your customers’ attention. Provide links in the emails to videos, photos and other elements of your Web site that will keep visitors interested once they click over to it. Create how-to videos that offer your customers knowledge. Keeping the members of your list engaged and always looking forward to gaining something from your emails is key to an effective email marketing strategy.

A good email marketing strategy follows the applicable laws as well as garners your potential customers’ trust. To grow your small business, the relationship with your online customers should feel as personable as the relationship you have with those who visit your physical location.

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Top ways to create cinemagraph in email

People are lookingforwars to video content. Cinemagraph is a unique tableau with meticulously added cinematic effects. It is truly a revolution among revolutions. Hope you have read about the popularity and potential of cinemagraphs in email in our previous post. Monks take you a step ahead now with insights on how to create a cinemagraph.

Great idea

An idea is the first step to creating a cinemagraph. Look around for an idea and craft a plan. Choose your subject and the action that you want to capture in the video. Figure out the parts that should move and the parts that should remain still. Make sure you keep minimum movement in the cinemagraph and maintain its finesse. An idea gives way to another idea. Here are some that can inspire you for more.

Record video

Once you have zeroed down on an idea, go ahead and record the video. The primary requirement for recording a good video is having sufficient light. If you shoot out in the open, you will easily get good lighting. Keep the recording stable with the help of a tripod. While you are recording the video, your subject should have the least possible movement. You should record your video for 10 to 15 seconds to ensure that you can have a working space in the video with steady movements in the subject.

Import and clip

Import the video to Photoshop by choosing video frames to layers in the import option of file menu. Make sure you import only the necessary part of the video. You will see a dialog box that lets you clip the video. This is an important step because it allows you to cut down the number of video frames to work on. It will give you an option to limit the video frames too, but it is advisable that you do not limit the frame rate if you want enough frames to work on. You should be able to see the Timeline when you choose timeline in the Window menu. However, make sure that you do not mix it up with the video timeline of photoshop. After the video is imported, all the imported frames in your Timeline will be visible to you at the bottom of the photoshop window. Go to the timeline and select the speed at which you want your video to play and make the right choice according to the kind of cinemagraph you wish to create. It should neither be too slow nor too fast. To create an infinite loop, set the imeline to repeat forever. The next step is to play the video in photoshop and delete the frames other than the ones you wish to show.

Create mask

Assuming that you have a video just the way you wanted it to be, do proceed to creating a cinemagraph. You will need a layer to mask the layers on each frame and cover up all the areas except the one where you need movement. Choose the first frame in your Timeline, and in the Layers panel, duplicate the layer that you can see in the frame. Bring it up above all the remaining layers ensuring that it is visible. This is known as layer mask. You can rename it the way you want. At this point of time, your video will not show any movement as the mask has covered it. This implies that you have frozen your video. To create a cinemagraph, all you need to do is unfreeze the area.

Edit mask

Go to the layer panel and select the mask layer. At the bottom of the panel, you will be able to see add layer mask icon. Just select the new white mask layer, and not the image layer. Start to paint the areas where you wish to see movement. Use brush tool rather than the Eraser tool. Contrary to using Eraser, you can easily edit masks if you have masked a wrong area by mistake. Determine whether you want to reverse and after you are done with masking, you should decide whether you want to reverse the cinemagraph. If you decide to reverse the cinemagraph, you can select the frames in your timeline and then reverse them after duplicating the frames.

Export cinemagraph

Go to File menu and choose the save for web option to export the final cinemagraph. There are several options in the dialog box out of which the most important one is to save your file in gif format. Before saving, resize the image so that it performs well on your website or blog from the Image Size option. In case you are unable to resize the image to an optimum level, you can even do so with the help of online gif resizing tools. You can preview the gif in the dialog box and click save only after you feel content with your creation.

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Vital features that ESPs must have

ESPs are very important to have in the email marketing busines. From the first email system that was developed in 1971, emails have evolved and changed and have also gained popularity among masses. Today, 269 billion emails are sent daily, as per the 2017-2021 Radicati email statistical report. More so, by the end of 2021; worldwide email users is estimated to be over 4.1 billion – and that’s a huge market. Changes in terms of the UI, additional features or even simplification of existing features are an indication that ESPs are drastically changing to accommodate this massive email shift. In our coding journey we Monks come across many different ESPs and are on a lookout for some features that all ESPs should have.

Social sharing

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. are some of the few social platforms that have gained popularity over the years. These platforms are great to connect with prospective clients. However, some emails lack social sharing tabs that can otherwise help boost popularity and connections along with increasing open and click rates. It offers an option to add a social sharing feature within your email template, it limits you from creating custom social sharing tabs. You have to make do with the one provided by the ESP and unfortunately, other major ESPs do not have any provision for social sharing. This option is majorly used for the articles or newsletter emails that are worth sharing on social platforms. However, as this is not a feature included by any ESP, it is unfortunately not possible for all email marketers to have them in their Email Template.

Add event to calendar

Time management is a great yet rare skill. As humans, with so much to do and such little time in hand, it is natural to miss out on certain important dates and occasions. This will not only keep your life on track but will also help marketers increase conversion rates. Again, it is not available in all ESPs. But with one-off emails that are time bound and invitation based, it’s mandatory to send ICS or calendar invite helping them save the date.

Forward To Friend

Forwarding an email to your friend is something every email marketing manager will either love or hate the most. Hate because the rendering goes haywire if HTML email is forwarded from Outlook or Thunderbird. Love because this is a great way to allow subscribers to forward your email campaigns to their friends and get more opens and clicks. Doing this without the entire layout being ruined is a challenge if forward is done using email client. But including a Forward to a Friend link of ESP within all your email campaigns can help increase and boost open and click-through rates. A forward to a friend form must have certain required details such as your friend’s name, their email id, your name and email id and a message optional. This process creates a list and then forwards the exact email to your friend.

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