[Video] How to track opens and clicks on Outlook Email Merges

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Thousands of Outlook users use EmailMerge for Outlook to send personalised emails to their customers. Now you can also know exactly who has opened or clicked on an email…and do follow-up merges to them.

EmailMerge is an Outlook addon that installs inside Outlook and lets you send news, marketing and sales emails to your customers using an easy step-by-step Wizard.

EXISTING USERS of EmailMerge: click here to trial the tracking at no cost.

The video above shows you exactly how easy it is to send and track your emails… but here’s a quick summary.

Tracking Emails

Use the Email Merge Wizard as normal. The last step of the Wizard has a tracking section as shown below.

Tracking Merged Emails

Tick the check box, give this merge a name and click Finish to create and send out your emails.

Viewing Tracking Data

You will be notified immediately if someone or a recipient opens or clicks on a link on your email.

notification

This notification is displayed at the bottom right hand corner of your screen but you can optionally get email notifications that tell you who has opened the email, where and using what device.

You can also view summaries and details of the tracking information on EmailCaddie.com, a website that we have created specially for tracking.

caddie 2

Doing Follow-Up Merges

EmailMerge doesn’t just tell you who has opened or clicked on an email. You can also use the information inside EmailMerge to do follow-up merges. For example:

You can send out additional information only to the people who clicked on a particular link or..

You can send out reminders to the people who have not opened your email.

The video above shows you just how easy this is to do.

If you’re any EXISTING USER of EmailMerge, you can trial the tracking at no cost.

If you’re new to EmailMerge, download a 30-day trial today and see why thousands of Outlook users around the world use it daily to communicate with their customers and members.

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3 Things to Make Emails look RIGHT on Smart Phones

By standss · Comments ( 1 ) Thursday, September 1st, 2016
SmartPhone

The majority of the emails that you send will be read on Smart Phones and tablets. That means you could be missing out on important business if your emails are not displaying correctly on mobile devices.

In this post we look at things you MUST do to ensure that your emails are displayed correctly on computers, tablets and most importantly smart phones.

Stats say 55% of email is now opened on a mobile device (Litmus “Email Analytics” -March 2016) and the numbers are expected to increase. In fact it is already up 500% since 2010.

Here are 3 quick and easy things you can do in Outlook to ensure that your emails look right, get read and most importantly get responded to.

  1. Use a BIGGER font size

Mobile device screens are small and you need to make sure that your text can be read easily. We recommend a minimum font size of 14 pts for body text.

  1. Use a dark text color (Black) on a light background (White)

Don’t get too creative with your font colors and backgrounds. Dark text on a light background usually works best.

It is readable in most conditions…like in bright sunlight. It is also readable if users have turned down the brightness of their screens to save battery life.

  1. Don’t use too many images

You can’t assume that your images will be displayed because many mobile operating systems (e.g. Android) turn images off by default.

Users often don’t download images in order to save data.

We recommend that you add images for effect but still write emails that convey your full message even if the images were turned off.

4th (Bonus) Tip: Write what is important at the top of the email

People often use their mobiles for “pruning” their emails before doing the real reading and responding on their computers.

Make sure you make your point quickly or your email could be deleted and never actually re-read on the desktop.

Coming Up…

We are relooking at all of our Outlook addins for Business to ensure that they continue to serve you in the new era of mobile devices. Next week, we will be making an announcement for Email Merge for Outlook which thousands of Outlook users are using to send out sales and marketing emails to their customers.

In the meantime, please let us know if you have your own tips on making emails more readable on mobile devices by leaving a comment below.

3 Tweaks to Increase Email Open Rates

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Improve Outlook Email Open Rates

How important is your Subject to getting your email opened and read? Research shows that 64% of people say that they open emails because of the subject line. In this post we look at 3 things you can do immediately to get your emails opened and responded to more often.

1. Use between 6 and 10 words in the Subject Line

A survey by Retention Science found that email subject lines kept at 6-10 words result in the best open rates.

retention

A major contributing factor for this is that up to 65% of emails now get opened on mobile devices.

Since mobile devices are only able to show five or six words of the subject, it makes sense to be as brief and concise as possible.

2. Make the Subject relevant to the content of your email

Even the most effective subject line in the world merely gets your email opened. Your job is to then address the issues that the recipient is interested in.

Don’t use subject lines that get opens and then have content that is unrelated!

Don’t try and trick the reader into opening your email!

You’ll only end up training the reader to avoid your emails in the future.

3. Personalise the Subject Line (it doesn’t have to be with their name)

Personalized subject lines increase open rates by 22%.

Including personal and relevant information in the Subject Line can have a major impact on both open and response rates.

How should you personalise the Subject line?

Again use information relevant to the content.

For example:

If you are a real estate agent who has sold property to someone in (say) Christchurch, the Subject could be “Important update for Christchurch home owners”

If your business sells cars, and you sold someone a Toyota Camry, the Subject could be “Safety features in the new Toyota Camry”

You could also just use the person’s first name in the Subject.

You can these 3 tweaks on individual emails or your sales/marketing mailouts to prospects and customers.

Tip! If you are sending out sales/marketing emails using Outlook, then we recommend using Email Merge for Outlook.

Try EmailMerge FREE for 30 Days!

Email Templates for your Holiday Emails and Invites

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

xmas

In this post we show you How to send out Personalized, Individually Addressed Invites and Holiday Emails to your friends, family and business contacts… PLUS we give you free Holiday themed Outlook templates to send better looking emails out today.

Most companies send out invitations or newsletters during the year end to update their clients/members of the achievement for the year, plans for the New Year, and special offers for the holiday seasons etc. You may also want to send out invitations to cocktail parties etc.

While the free templates can be used directly from Outlook, the steps below will show you how to use the Email Merge Pro for Outlook addin with these templates.

Why send it out this way?

Using Email Merge, you only need to write your email once. The software will then (from inside Outlook) send a separate copy to each person… with each email personally addressed with only their name in the To field (and even their name in the body of the actual email if you want)

This is better than stuffing everyone’s name in the To, CC or BCC fields of one email because:

  1. Your emails look more professional and personal. Recipients feel like that you have given them special attention.
  2. You email is more likely to get past spam filters and not end up in the Clutter or Junk Mail folders.
  3. Personalized emails can have up to 3x the conversion rates (if you want the reader to take some action like clicking on a link etc).

Seeing is believing so check out the short video on this page on using EmailMerge Pro.

Let’s get started…

Downloading the Christmas Templates

If you haven’t done so yet, download and install Email Merge Pro for Outlook.

Once you have Email Merge installed…

Click here to download the Outlook Holiday Templates. Save the file to your desktop or other convenient location on your computer (This will be a zip file. You do NOT need to unzip it).

Start Outlook and go to your Inbox.

Click the little arrow under Email Merge on the ribbon and then click Template Manager (to display Email Merge’s built-in template manager)

Click the Import button and select the zip file that was downloaded in one of the earlier steps.

Click OK. The templates will be imported into your Email Merge for Outlook template list with the names Happy Holidays and Holiday Invite.

Click Close to close the Template Manager

Sending Personalized Emails from Outlook using the Templates

Click the Email Merge button on the Outlook Ribbon.

Select the appropriate template (Happy Holidays or Holiday Invite) from the list on the first step of the Wizard.

Click Next and follow the rest of the steps in the Wizard.

Click Finish.

Happy Holidays from the team at Standss

Merry Christmas to all our readers from the Standss Team.

I hope you find the above information helpful in staying in touch with friends, families and clients this year.

Till next time… have a better Outlook

It’s still not too late to send out your Holiday emails and invites.

Download a fully functional trial version of Email Merge Pro now.

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Categories : Email Marketing, EmailMerge for Outlook Comments ( 0 )

Email Merge with personalised To and (related) CC/BCC fields in Outlook

By standss · Comments ( 3 ) Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Is it possible to do an email merge with a personalized email address in the To field and one or more RELATED email addresses in the CC or BCC fields. In this post we look at why and how you can achieve this with Microsoft Outlook?

Why?

This is very useful when you need to send a copy of the same email to two or more people in the same company.

For example:

  •  You may want to send reminders for a particular event to attendees but all CC their  assistants.
  •  You may send copies of statements to your clients and CC a copy to their accounts  manager.
  • If you are running a newsletter for a school, you want to send an email to one parent and CC the other parent on it too.

In all these examples the To and CC field are related to each other i.e. there could be a different CC email address for each person you are emailing.

Before I show you how to do this in Outlook, you may be wondering…

Why not just send each person a separate copy of the same email?

The main reasons for this is that you want all recipients to be aware that the others have also received the email. They can now also do Reply-to-All on the email your sent to start a conversation if they need to.

Setup Your List

The first thing you need to do is to setup a list which contains the email address you want to use in the To field and also the email address(es) for the CC field.

For this example, I am assuming that your list is in Microsoft Excel similar to the one that I have shown below:

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Note:

  • The To field (in this case the Customer Name) can only contain ONE email address.
  • The CC field can contain multiple email addresses separated by comas or semi-colons as shown for Jane Doe above.

Merge and Send the Emails

Now it’s time to send out the emails. While there is no built-in way in Outlook to do this, you can easily do this if you are using the Outlook add-in Email Merge Pro for Outlook.

Start Outlook

Click the Email Merge Wizard button. The Wizard will guide you to creating your email and to choosing the Excel file as your data source.

When you come to the following screen, click the Select field’s hyperlink.

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Click CC/BCC and then select the field that your CC email address is in.

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Click OK to return to the Wizard.

Follow the rests of the steps of the Wizard to send out the email.

Email Merge will create a separate email for each person, with the correct file attached to each one.

Our customers have used Email Merge to increase sales and to provide better support to their customers. Please share your own ideas in the comments below.

Related articles:

You can use this with our earlier article on setup your spreadsheet to email merge a different attachment to each person in Outlook.

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Email Merge a different file to each person in Outlook.

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Monday, October 12th, 2015

A reader asked… How can I do an email merge in Outlook and send each person a customized attachment (PDF)?

In this post I discuss why you may want to do this and the easiest way to get it done.

Why?

Existing Outlook users are using this feature to provide their customers a more personalized service in several ways.

An accounting firm generates PDFs of customized tax reminders for their clients and then uses Email Merge to distribute the correct report to each customer

  1. Another professional services firm creates personalized invoices in PDF format and then uses Email Merge to send them out.
  2. An investment company sends out recommendations to their clients using this technique.

I am sure that you can come up with your own ways to use this to better serve your own customers.

Setup your list

The first thing you need to do is setup a list which contains the email addresses of the people you wish to contact, and the names of the file that will be sent to them. In this example I am assuming that you will do this using Excel.

Simply add a field (column) to the excel sheet which has the full name (with path) of the file that you wish to send as shown below.

test 3

(You can use Excel formulas to make up the file name if they follow some kind of rule)

Merge and Send the Emails

Now it’s time to send out the emails. While there is no built-in way in Outlook to do this, you can easily do this if you are using the Outlook add-in Email Merge Pro for Outlook.

Start Outlook

Click the Email Merge Wizard button. The Wizard will guide you to creating your email and to choosing the Excel file as your data source.

When you come to the following screen, click the Select field’s hyperlink.

test 2

Click Attachments and tick the name of the field that contains the file name.

test 1

Click OK to return to the Wizard.

Follow the rests of the steps of the Wizard to send out the email.

Email Merge will create a separate email for each person, with the correct file attached to each one.

Our customers have used Email Merge to increase sales and to provide better support to their customers. Please share your own ideas in the comments below.

Not a user of Email Merge PRO for Outlook yet?

Download a fully-functional version today

How to Improve Responses to your emails with clear calls to action?

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Are you happy with the response rates to your sales and marketing emails? You can greatly improve the number of responses if you stop giving your readers too many choices.

What are response rates?

The response rate you get is the percentage of people who actually respond to your emails. Obviously the higher your response rate, the more people are actually reading your emails and doing what you want.

What is a Call to Action?

It must be very clear to recipients what they need to do after they read your email.

Why are you sending out your email? What do you want recipients to do? Do you want them to call you? Do you want them to email you? Do you want them to click on a link? Do you want them to reply?

If possible, only ask readers to do one thing… or at least have the one main thing you want them to do extremely obvious.

Why a SINGLE call to action is better?

Research shows that when people have to choose between several options (that may all be better than doing nothing), they very often still do nothing.

We all fool ourselves by deferring action… saying that we will make a decision once we have more time. The problem however is that your unresponded email soon sinks down the Inbox and may never get responded to.

In summary…

Try and have ONE VERY CLEAR CALL TO ACTION in your emails.

What are some other things you can do to improve response rates

1. Send each person a separate personally addressed email instead of stuffing many email addresses in the To, CC or BCC fields. Research shows that personally addressed emails are more like to get past SPAM folders and into Inboxes.

You can use an addin like Email Merge for Outlook to automate this instead of typing each email manually.

This makes your email look less like SPAM and more like an email from a real person.

2. Add a P.S. after your signature.

Restate the benefits of what you are selling and the call to action. Readers often scroll to the end of the email instead of reading the whole thing.

What are some other things that you do to increase response rates? Please share your ideas with other readers by leaving a comment below.

Contact Segmentation: Increasing response rates to your sales and marketing emails in Outlook

By standss · Comments ( 2 ) Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Many email marketers who use Microsoft Outlook rarely focus on the one thing that that almost always results in increased responses: contact list segmentation. In this post I am going to show you how you can use Outlook categories to segment your contacts.

What is segmentation and why does it work?

Segmentation basically means dividing your email list into smaller groups (or segments). Each contact can be part of one or more segments.

So why does segmentation work? It allows you to give your contacts more personalized attention.

You are now able to send out more specific emails targeted to people who are interested in that particular topic. This always results in higher open rates, click rates and response rates.

It also means less annoyed customers received emails on topics that they are not interested in.

How to you segment your list?

We will use Categories (a feature built into Outlook) to segment our contacts.

1.       Make a list of the Segments (Categories) that you will use

What are the key elements to distinguish your customers? It could be product, company size, region… whatever makes sense to your business.

Make a list of these segments. For example, we have a range of products at Standss that are reasonably different. We could therefore segment our list based on products.

  • Email Merge PRO for Outlook
  • Quick File for Outlook
  • Send Guard for Outlook
  • Email Tags for Outlook
  • eeminders for Outlook
  • Email Notes for Outlook

I also like to keep a separate segment of our Volume License Customers since they have further requirements for deployment, control and support.

Volume License Customers

2.       Add the Categories to Outlook’s Master List (of Categories)

Go to your Contacts folder in Outlook.

Right-click over a contact and click Categorize and then click All Categories.

Click New and enter the Name of your category. You can also choose a color if you want but I generally select None. Click OK.

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Hint: You will see that I have named my category ml_EmailMerge instead of just EmailMerge. I use the ml_ in front of all my segment names to indicate that they are my mailing list categories. The master category list appears in all parts of Outlook (emails, appointments, tasks etc). By putting the ml_ in front of my mailing list categories, I can get them to appear together in the list when they are displayed alphabetically.

3.       Assign your contacts to the relevant segments.

Go to your Contacts folder in Outlook.

Right-click over a contact and click Categorize.

You can click the category from the list or you can click All Categories and then select multiple categories for a contact if you want.

Repeat for all relevant contacts.

Viewing Your Various Segments

Once you have your contacts segmented, you will need Outlook to show you the contacts by segment so that you can use them easily.

Go to your Contacts Folders.

Click on the View Tab and Click on Categories (which will be in the Arrangement group)

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Your contacts will now be displayed grouped by Categories. Contacts will be displayed more than once if they are in more than one category.

Or….

You can simply type the name of the Category in the Outlook Search box and only matching contacts will be shown

How to use your Categories/Segments in Sales and Marketing Emails

The next time you need to send out an email that is relevant only to a particular segment, display the list of contacts in the segment as explain above.

Then create your email and send it out only to the people in that segment.

I guarantee that you will get much better responses rates… and you will also get less emails from annoyed contacts asking to be removed from your list (since you will only be contacting people who are genuinely interested in your email).

Fine-Tuning Outlook emails to segments (Better Responses in Less Time)

If you want to get even better response rates, you should send out personally addressed emails to your contacts.

This means that each email should only have one contact’s name in the To field. You may even want to personalise the email with the contact’s name and other details.

This can be time-consuming to do if you try and do it by hand.

We recommend Email Merge Pro for Outlook. Email Merge Pro installs inside Outlook and uses a step-by-step Wizard to quickly create and send out personalized emails to selected contacts.

Best of all, the emails will still be sent out from Outlook instead of looking like emails from a mailing service. This is extremely important, particularly if you are dealing with larger customers.

Email Merge Pro has full support for Categories so that you can easily send out emails to segments when you need to.

Learn more and download a trial version of Email Merge Pro for Outlook addon.

Sending Personalized Holiday Season Invites, Greeting and Newsletters via Email/Fax/Traditional Post

By standss · Comments ( 1 ) Monday, December 8th, 2014

christmas-day-greeting-ideas-new

Christmas is just around the corner… parties are planned and the invite list is ready.

This is the time of the year when businesses and individuals need to send out holiday season invites for parties/events… greetings to families, friends, colleagues and clients.

Most companies also send out newsletters during the year end to update their clients/members of the achievement for the year, plans for the New Year, and special offers for the holiday seasons etc.

Are you wondering how to send out personalized invites in the
most easiest and efficient way possible?

Depending on your contact list, the best way to send out your invites, greetings or newsletters this year may be using email, fax or post/hand delivery.

Most of these mailing can be considered “mass mailing” i.e. we want to send copies of the same mail to everyone… possibly customized with their name and address at most.

Microsoft Outlook and Word have some built-in features that automate this process for you. In addition we have built our own tools to further speed up and simplify the process for you.

In this post I’ll discuss both, the built in free way as well as our own addins.

Send Personalized email Invites, Greetings and Newsletters directly from Outlook.

I am going to start with what I consider to be the easiest, fastest and most powerful way of doing this… our own EmailMerge PRO for Outlook.

Seeing is believing so check out this short video on how to send out Invites, Greetings and Newsletters using EmailMerge Pro.

Send unlimited emails to unlimited number of contacts directly from Outlook. EmailMerge supports HTML emails so don’t hold back in creating beautiful and colourful emails this Christmas season :)

We also have built-in email templates for invites, greetings and newsletters. You can easily customize this emails to suit your style and personalize it yourself. You don’t have been be an expert at HTML, you can customize this templates using the standard word formatting options in Outlook.

“I have found emailmerge pro the most useful tool in my marketing armoury! It is simple to use, has some great options for sending emails and is of great value to any businesses wanting a mass email facility.”
– Lori Hope, Spraytanz Ltd
“Emailmerge Pro is a fantastic tool to personalize emails for large or small groups of people. The ability to mail merge gives you unlimited abilities to create very personalized emails. I use it to improve communication to groups ranging from 8 – 1000+.”
– Jack Fiscus, first Baptist Orlando

How to Fax out Invites, Greetings and Newsletters.

Despite what many people will have you believe, Faxing is not dead.

In fact in terms of deliverability, it can beat email – there is almost no chance that your fax won’t get delivered because of an over-zealous spam filter.

You can use Microsoft Word and the free fax printer that comes with Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 to send out personalized faxes to your customers this year.

The Bad News: Windows Fax and MS Word don’t talk easily to each other out of the box.

The Good News: Fax4Word allows you to fax merge straight from Word to the Windows Fax printer.

View more information on Fax for Word

How to Print Letters and Envelopes for Posting and Hand Delivery

Even if you will be sending paper based mail this year, technology can help you.

Here are step-by-step instructions to:

Use mail-merge in Word with Outlook data to create and print personalized letters

Use mail-merge in Word with Outlook data to print mailing labels and envelopes

I hope you find the above information helpful in staying in touch with friends, families and clients this year.

Merry Christmas to all our readers from the Standss Team.

Till next time… have a better Outlook

Categories : Email Marketing, EmailMerge for Outlook Comments ( 1 )

Personalized Email helps improve Open Rates and Conversion

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

I read an interesting case study today about how a company called CloudEndure achieved 58% open rate and high quality leads by sending personalized emails to prospective leads. I would recommend that you read this article as it is a perfect example of How to generate quality leads and why personalized email marketing works.

The way that we gather insight about our leads may vary from business too business but in today’s post, we will look at a simple solution that will allow you to send out personalized emails to improve your open rates and conversions.

But first let’s understand why sending personalized emails is better?

Emails sent the wrong way are MUCH more likely to be blocked by the many levels of junk email filters that we all have (even if we don’t always know they’re there).

Junk/SPAM Mail Filters have different levels of sophistication but they all follow a few basic rules including:

  • An email with a lot of recipients is more likely to be spam than an email addressed to only my valid email address and…
  • An email that is NOT addressed to me directly is more likely to be SPAM than one that is addressed to my email address.

Many Outlook users don’t realize the multiple levels of junk email filters stopping both junk and often real emails from getting to our Inboxes.

  • Level 1 – Internet Service Provider: Most ISPs now have Junk Mail Filters setup on their servers. These filters do their work even before the email gets to our computers i.e. they remove the email to a Junk Folder that can only be accessed via the Internet.
  • Level 2 – Anti Spam Software: Many users have additional anti-spam software on their computers that automatically remove and quarantine suspected spam emails.
  • Level 3 – Outlook’s built-in Junk Email Filter: Finally Outlook has its own Junk Mail filter which moves suspected junk emails to Outlook’s own Junk E-mail folder.

If you’re still sending out your Sales and Marketing Emails from Outlook by putting them all in the To, CC and BCC fields of one email then guess what… your email is most likely lost in a Junk Email Folder somewhere… it is NOT reaching the Reader.

Very few users bother checking the various Junk Mail folders… if your email is getting blocked then chances are it’s going to stay blocked.

THE SOLUTION:

Email Merge! You can use Outlook to create and send out personalized copies of the same email to many people.

Outlook has some basic mail merge functionality built into it (it uses Word to do the merge) but this does have some limitations including:

  • being harder to use
  • not being able to customize the Subject line and
  • not being able to send out your emails in smaller lots (which again impacts deliverability).

The easiest way to do this is using our own EmailMerge for Outlook addin. Our addin installs inside Microsoft Outlook and then provides a step-by-step Wizard that will guide you through your first email merge.

Watch a short demo video to see Email Merge in action or download a trial version to test it yourself.

Hope you find this tip useful with your own email marketing campaigns.

Do you know of other ways to improve open rates and conversion?

Share it with our readers our leaving a comment below.

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