This video gets down to the nitty-gritty of working with Act’s Email Marketing template creator and editor.
Watch this short video each time you are about to use the editor, it will save you a lot of time and energy by reinforcing how the template editor works.
This is a great video that shows you how easy it is to work with Act Email Marketing’s templates. This tool has been created so you can easily drag-and-drop colors, rows and columns, images and more into your email templates. I would highly recommend that you watch this five minute video each and every time you embark on updating or creating a new template. In my previous post I had mentioned that it is rare to use this type of software daily. Most of you will use it on a limited basis in the time gaps between working in the template editor will make it easy to forget how to do things. This five minute video will remind you how the editor works and is worth its weight in gold. Spending five minutes on this video will save you a great deal of time working with the editor.
This video outlines the toolbox that appears on the left side of the act email marketing editor that control styles, layouts, images and files. You can add files to your template that include Word documents, Excel files, text files, CSV files and PDF files.
The 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 Rule
When I teach people about software like the act email marketing program I always mentioned the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 rule. My experience has been that regardless of the pictures, colors, and fonts you choose for your template, the feedback you receive on your final template will be as follows. If you ask three people their opinion of the template you’ll find that the first person will love it, the second person will hate it, and the third person will be in different. You will never please everyone. Therefore, don’t get caught up in the minor details, because it is not worth your time.
Act’s Email Marketing template editor has made it easy for the average computer user to create, modify and update email templates.
Emarketing – included with every Act! purchase With every Act! license or subscription, you instantly have powerful, easy-to-use emarketing tools at your disposal. Create, send, and track email campaigns to your contacts, all within Act!
How do you interpret the results of your Act Email Marketing campaign?
When you send an email campaign via Swiftpage Act Email Marketing (AEM) it is sent via email servers that are not your own. They are sent via the servers used by AEM. The emails you send will tell you a story that you can interpret based on your needs. When you send an email, there are some typical results that will occur when you send it via Act email marketing. The email is:
• not opened
• opted out of future emails
• clicked on a link
• replied to an offer
So how do you interpret all of this information? You can look at reports that are generated from that email. You can also use the call list to schedule follow-up calls or emails to individuals that interact with your email.
I have suggested that email marketing makes us lazy as salespeople. It also allows us to remain unfocused when it comes to reaching out to prospects if we let it. In my opinion, it is easy to send out an email without really thinking through the process. What are the goals of the email? How were you going to manage the results of the email? What are your next steps after you send that email out? What story is that simple email campaign telling you?
It seems to me based on my experience that every marketing and sales process has an open-ended question at the end of it. What do we do with the next step? After you send out an email campaign it is important to sit back and try to interpret what that campaign is telling you as a story about your contacts in Act.
My experience has been that act email marketing is only as effective as the amount of time you have to put into your email marketing project.
Now that you have an understanding of how act email marketing works, the question becomes how can you utilize it for your business? Understanding and reacting to the results of sending an email really comes down to time. How much time do you have to invest in the results that have been created by sending an email? Let me give you a few examples of some of the things that you need to think about after sending an email:
If someone opens an email, how do you plan on interacting with that person?
A follow-up email?
A phone call?
Do nothing. Wait for them to contact you.
Did the email you sent have an action item within it?
What information do you want to take away from that email?
If you have limited time and your goal is just to send the email out and see what comes back to you, that’s fine. However, if you have time to react to the email you will increase the effectiveness of your act email marketing campaign. You might decide that you need to upgrade from the basic email account that comes with all act accounts to either the pro or the team version. The above video explains how to upgrade and illustrates some of the differences are between the different types of programs.
If you are transitioning to act email marketing from another provider, you might want to import a template you have created at that provider. This video shows you how to do that with act email marketing.
Depending on the age of your template, you might want to create a new template from scratch rather than importing an old template. The reason is this: responsive emails as they pertain to responsive websites. If you have a website for your business or organization, you most likely have dealt with the fact that your website has to be designed in such a way as to adapt to the type of device that it is viewed on. Emails are no different. People read emails on their computers, mobile phones and tablets.
Responsive Email Design
It is a good design idea to make sure your marketing emails adapt and are responsive to the type of device they are read on. Having said all of that, this video will teach you how to import your old email templates.
Importing an Email Template into Act Email Marketing
Many people send out email marketing campaigns and then just sit back and wait for the sales to come rolling in. That is one strategy. A better strategy, is to use act’s new call list to reach out to prospects that have expressed an interest and have yet to respond.
How many times in your life have you not bought something simply because no one asked you to buy?
After you send out an email marketing campaign you can now use act’s call list feature to review the people that opened your email and interacted with it. The emails are scored. If you’d like me try to make a point of following up with clients and prospects you will love the call list that act offers.
The act call list empowers you to reach the people in your database that are the most relevant in helping you become more successful in what you do!
This tool is great if you have a sales staff or telemarketing staff. It is great if you were trying to communicate with people that are hard to reach. It is phenomenal if you have a team that works for you. This takes act as a sales tool to a whole new level and I urge you to really learn about how this can help you increase your sales, customer retention and fundamental understanding of who is relevant in your act database.
The Call List is a feature that is $15.00 per month and well worth it.
After you have sent an act email marketing campaign, the next step is to examine the email reports that communicate to you the results of your campaign.
I have always thought that reports are overrated. Not just email reports, but all reports. In my opinion, reports are only as good as the action you take based on what you see in the report. If it is not easy to react to a report they can be somewhat useless.
There are four basic outcomes when you send an email:
the email is opened
the email is unopened
the email bounces
they opt-out of your email
It is my belief that a 25% open rate is excellent on average. Having stated that, because of the fact that 75% of the people do not open it I have always suggested that the most important part of an email is the subject line. I suspect that more than 75% of all the people you send an email to see the subject line. Therefore, the subject line is very important. This blog post is not about the subject line, it is about reports. But the reality is that you have to keep reports in perspective.
Add Some Fields to Your Act Layout
I suggest you create a field in act called email marketing status. After I send the campaign I like to know all the people that opened my email. The potential exists that if 25% of the people open my email this time, another 25% might open it the next time. If I know all of the people that have ever opened one of my emails that tells me something. It also tells me which individuals have never opened my email. This particular field can be a checkbox or can be a regular field. I also suggest a date field called AEM Send Date. Act doesn’t update the last email field in act when you send a campaign; you’ll have to do this manually.
Over time, I can observe all the people that have never opened my email. If these individuals are important to me, I might want to send them a letter or pick up the phone and call them.
In addition to creating a new field that tracks the status, I also urge you to install in your layout two system fields that are updated automatically by act email marketing. They are checkbox fields. The first one is opt-outs and the second one is bounces. These are searchable fields that allow you to look up the contacts in which these apply to.
Act Email Marketing Reports Weaknesses
Imagine for a moment that you are in the ice cream business and you sell chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to send an email with a links in the email for specials on chocolate, vanilla and strawberry? Act will tell you how many people clicked on those links, but it will not tell you who clicked on those links. This is a weakness of act email marketing. For those of you who have used Swiftpage email in the past, you’ll know this is an option. Again, unless you have time to follow up on this information, it is highly overrated.
In summary, I believe it is very important to have realistic goals for your email marketing campaign. Reviewing these reports can be very effective in helping you assess your goals. Many users of act email marketing are small businesses that do not have a lot of time to follow up on the outcomes of these campaigns. If you do have the time, it can be very effective to scrub these reports for good information.
Here is an excellent video produced by Swiftpage that outlines the fundamental parts of working with Act Email Marketing
Act Email Marketing offers you 500 free emails per month. Let me explain what that 500 means in relation to all of your contacts. This is not 500 emails per day. It means you can send as many emails as you want to up to 500 contacts during a 30 day period. Next month, you can pick a different group of 500 contacts if you so desire. It is not email based, but it is contact based. If you want to send an email to 5000 people you have to increase your account so that it includes 5000 emails. What it really should say is 5000 contacts.
As you prepare to send your first email the most important thing you can do is create a good template for your first email and future emails. Realistically, as you learn how the Act Email Marketing template creation tool works you will revise your original template.
As I stated before in a previous tip, look at Act Email Marketing as a completely new software program that needs to be learned. With time and experience, you will get better at working with Act Email Marketing. One of the dilemmas many people face is that this tool is not something you’ll use every day. Typically, a lot of my clients might only use it once or twice a month. My experience has been that software you use occasionally is the hardest to learn because it lacks repetition.
Here are the key points you should take away from watching this video about Act Email Marketing:
creating an email template
stock images versus your own images
saving a template to a library
selecting contacts to send an email to
how to send your first email with Act Email Marketing
Act Email Marketing’s intelligent call list
reviewing previous Act Email Marketing campaigns
upgrading your account to include additional contacts
If you have previously used Swiftpage email, there are couple main differences between Act Email Marketing and Swiftpage email. They include the following:
Act Email Marketing does not update the last email field
Act Email Marketing offers responsive emails. Responsive emails adapt to the type of device they are viewed on. For example, a smart phone versus a large computer monitor
Swiftpage email is based on the number of emails you can send per day