Monthly Archives

April 2020

NEW: Email Marketing Resources for Florists

By Uncategorized

With government restrictions now in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus, times are currently tough for flower stores everywhere. As a business owner, this means a change of strategy is definitely needed to help get you through.

Mail Designer 365 has all you need to keep your business going strong through the crisis. Below you will find all of our email marketing resources for florists to help get your small business online, plus a brand new Design Idea...

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NEW: Mother's Day Design Idea

By Uncategorized

With Mother's Day just around the corner, we're sure your business is planning a campaign to help your customers show their appreciation to their moms on this special day. Our brand new Mother's Day Design Idea is the perfect addition to any Mother's Day email campaign...

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NEW: Mail Designer 365 Design Tips & Creative Resources

By Mail Designer 365 Blog, Mail Designer 365 Blog, Mail Designer 365 Blog, Mail Designer 365 Blog, Mail Designer 365 Blog

Mail Designer 365 offers you a huge range of creative tools that you can use to make sure your email designs will always turn heads (and get customers clicking!)

In the new interactive Design Tips template, we've shared our team's all time favorite design tricks to help you get inspired for your next email design. On top of this, we've also added a set of brand new tutorial videos to show you how to recreate these amazing styles in Mail Designer 365...

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NEW: Email Marketing Resources for Cake Stores and Bakeries

By Uncategorized
With government restrictions now in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus, times are currently tough for bakery owners everywhere. As a business owner, this means a change of strategy is definitely needed to help get you through.

Mail Designer 365 has all you need to keep your business going strong through the crisis. Below you will find all of our email marketing resources for cake stores and bakeries to help get your small business online, plus a brand new Design Idea...

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NEW: Email Marketing Resources for Salon Owners

By Uncategorized

With government restrictions now in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus, times are currently tough for salon owners everywhere. As a business owner, this means a change of strategy is definitely needed to help get you through.

Mail Designer 365 has all you need to keep your business going strong through the crisis. Below you will find all of our email marketing resources for salon owners to help get your small business online, plus a brand new Design Idea...

Image of hair salon

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NEW: Email Marketing Resources for Restaurant Owners

By Mail Designer 365 Blog

With government restrictions now in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus, times are currently tough for restaurant owners everywhere. As a business owner, this means a change of strategy is definitely needed to help get you through.

Mail Designer 365 has all you need to keep your business going strong through the crisis. Below you will find all of our email marketing resources for restaurant owners to help get your small business online, plus a brand new Design Idea...

Restaurant setting with table and chairs

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Best tools for small businesses

Best Small Business Tools to Help Your Business Survive the Coronavirus Crisis

By Uncategorized

Government guidelines put in place to help slow the spread of the coronavirus have meant many drastic changes for businesses and customers alike.

If you are one of thousands trying to keep your small business afloat during this difficult time, you're probably considering moving your business online.

This guide takes you through the first steps you'll need to take to transition from a brick & mortar store to a successful online business.

Below, you'll also find some great tools to help small businesses get set up online...

Jump to:

First Step: Let people know you're open for business!

1. Use email to reach out to your regular customers

First step: Let existing customers know that your business is still up and running and how you're adjusting to the new situation. Email is a great way to do this.

If you already have customer email addresses, send a quick update email explaining that your business is still operating and what customers need to do to place an order. You could include products right in the email, accept orders by a reply email… whatever it takes.

Small business email example for a bakery

This email was created using a ready-made template in Mail Designer 365.

Drag and drop email design tools like Mail Designer 365 allow you to quickly create a stylish email template to send to your customers. This simple step-by-step guide takes you through everything you need to build and send an email in just a few minutes.

2. Set up a Google my Business page

Creating a free Google My Business page is a great way of making your business visible online. Post all relevant information and updates (e.g. contact info, delivery information, etc.) so people can find you on Google or on Google Maps and can get in touch.

Google my Business as a small business solution for beginners

3. Broadcast your business locally

Many customers are unaware that they can still access your local businesses online. A number of local newspapers, radio stations and other media outlets in communities are trying to help local businesses by connecting them with customers.

Look up your local newspapers, Facebook pages, forums, community bulletin boards, etc. and see if there are similar initiatives in your area that will help you share your business with your community.

Next steps: Taking your business online

Once you've got the basics sorted, you can focus on the next steps to shift to a full scale online business.

1. Create a website

Creating a website allows both new and existing customers to find you and keep up to date with what you're doing during the crisis.

What to include on your website:

  • Information about your business and services you offer
  • How to place an order
  • Contact / availability information
  • Basic email sign up form

View tools for website design

2. Sell your products online

For many businesses, going online means also getting started with e-commerce. If you want to start selling your products online, you will need to find a suitable e-commerce platform.

View tools for e-commerce

3. Start sending email newsletters

After sending out your initial communication emails to let your customers know you're still around, you should consider utilising the email addresses you've collected over the previous steps and sending regular marketing emails to proactively promote your business.

View tools for email marketing

Best small business tools for getting online

Best small business tools for website design

GoDaddy

GoDaddy is a really good all-in-one solution for businesses looking to get online fast. The service covers everything from hosting, domain names to website design and are also offering some useful resources to help small business get through these difficult times.GoDaddy as a small business tool for building websites

Wix

Wix offers a range of easy to use, professional website templates which you can adapt to suit your business. Free plans are available, as well as a range of paid plans offering different features depending on your business' needs.

Best small business tools for e-commerce

Shopify

Shopify is one of the biggest e-commerce tools on the market right now and offers small businesses everything they need to set up an online store for the first time.

Benefits include an e-commerce website, sales and inventory dashboard, online payment management and discounted shipping costs. Find out more about their plan options here.

Big Cartel

For those of you looking for something simpler, Big Cartel is another solid option suiting a wide range of businesses. With free plans available for up to 5 products, there is something for everyone. Create an online portfolio of your work for customers to browse through.

Etsy

Etsy is a great choice for smaller shops and independent sellers selling specialty or handmade items such as art, jewellery, made-to-order clothing, etc. Setting up an Etsy store is a great way to showcase your work to a wider audience and continue to sell online while your physical store is closed.

Check out all the resources and tools Etsy provides to support small businesses online here.

Etsy as a small business tool for independent sellers

Best small business tools for restaurants

As well as setting up a dedicated website for placing orders, restaurant owners can also benefit from signing up to a delivery platform.

In principle, all of the following tools offer the same service and help your restaurant reach more customers in the local area. Signing up allows you to advertise your takeaway menu on the respective platform and receive orders online.

Just Eat as a small business food delivery tool

Best small business tools for content creation

Patreon

Use Patreon to upload your exclusive content such as training videos, podcasts, online workshops, etc. to share with your audience. Subscribers pay a monthly fee which guarantees them access to all the content you upload.

Got a specialty skill? Your small business can also use Patreon as an extra source of income to allow your customers to take part in exclusive classes and events from the comfort of their own homes.

Instagram

Of course, you can also use tools like Instagram to also upload quality free content to share with your subscribers. With live streaming options also available, this is a great way to keep in touch with your audience and keep them engaged with your brand.

Instagram on a smartphone

Tip: Live stream workout or cooking classes to help create the community feel amongst your audience.

Tools for live webinars

Zoom

Businesses can use Zoom to live stream webinars, Q&As and similar content to your audience via YouTube or Facebook live. Although a slightly more expensive option, this is a great way for independent consultants or businesses offering professional training to continue supporting clients.

Best small business tools for email newsletters

Mail Designer 365

Thanks to the user friendly, drag & drop interface, even beginners can create a professional HTML email design from scratch in Mail Designer 365 - no coding skills required.

Looking for inspiration? With 100+ ready to send templates, built in web fonts, graphics and creative tools, plus easy export options, Mail Designer 365 is the best choice for building email newsletters on your Mac.Mail Designer 365 as a small business tool for email marketingSign up free today to try it out with no strings attached, or view our plan options here.

Tools to send email newsletters

Once you've built your newsletter, you need to find a way to share it with your customers. Here are some great email service providers (ESPs) which we can recommend:

Mailchimp

With free plans available for up to 2000 contacts, Mailchimp is a great solution for small businesses getting started with email marketing.

The best part? All templates created with Mail Designer 365 are 100% compatible with Mailchimp and you can export your designs directly from the app to send to your customers. (Learn more.)

SendinBlue

SendinBlue also offers free plans for unlimited contacts with a limit of 300 emails per day and is another solid solution for beginners. For more advanced marketing features, paid plans are also available.

Mail Designer 365 designs also work perfectly in SendinBlue. Here's how to export them.

For a complete list of ESPs compatible with Mail Designer 365, check out our export guides.

Sign up to Mail Designer 365 free today to bring your small business online.

Until next time,

Your Mail Designer 365 Team

Get started with the Mail Designer 365 service today for free...

Mail Designer 365 helps you and your team create stylish, professional HTML emails.
Sign up free today to see what you can achieve.
Sign up
Beginner's guide to email design in Mail Designer 365

Beginner's Guide to Email Design in Mail Designer 365

By Mail Designer 365 Newsletter Academy, Mail Designer 365 Newsletter Academy

Crisis has struck; calling for a massive change to your day to day operations. Email is the best way to to communicate these changes to your customers, but first you need to grasp the basics. Luckily, our beginner's guide to email makes this easier than ever.

In this guide, you'll find everything you need to know about using Mail Designer 365 to design and send your first email to communicate with your customers and keep them in the loop.

Note: To follow along with this guide, you first need to download the Mail Designer 365 app on to your Mac. Sign up here to test Mail Designer 365 for free.

Beginner's guide to email design

Choosing an email template

Mail Designer 365 has over 100 unique Design Ideas at your disposal. Select a ready-made template from the Design Chooser, or choose the blank template to create your own design from scratch.

Beginner's Guide: Mail Designer 365 Design Chooser

Choose a Design Idea from the Design Chooser to get started.

Adjusting the email layout

Now you've chosen a template, you can adjust the email layout to suit your business. Drag in extra layout blocks from the "Contents" menu and click the x to delete any blocks you don't want in your template.

Email copy: What to include?

Once your layout is sorted, you can get to work on your email copy. This is your main opportunity to get your message across to customers in your email.

Enter your text in a text block and use the text styling options to apply your chosen font, color, size, etc.

Here are some important things you may want to include in your copy:

  • Information about updated opening hours
  • Details of how to order
  • Information about unavailable services
  • Advertise new or adapted services
  • Email address
Inserting copy into your email design.

Use your email copy to convey the most important information to your customers.

Graphic elements

The main thing which distinguishes a HTML email from a standard plain text email is that your business can put its own personal touch on the design.

This could be anything from changing up the color scheme to product photos, or simply adding your logo so customers know it's from you.

Add your logo to the design to give it a more personal touch.

Finishing touches

In the initial stages, there is no need to overcomplicate your designs. The main thing is that you are getting your message out to customers while also incorporating some elements of your brand into the design.

To improve the functionality of your email, it is a good idea to add some links - i.e. so customers can place an order. A call-to-action button is a nice way to do this. This quick tutorial shows you how to create a button.

Tip: Instead of a web link, you can also create a mailto link. This instantly opens a new email so customers can send their orders directly to you if you don't have an online ordering system set up.

Adding a call to action button in Mail Designer 365

Add a call-to-action button so customers can place orders via email or online.

Subject line

With the inbox preview tool, you can also enter an eye-catching subject line and preview text to make sure your customers don't miss your email in their inbox:

Inbox preview tool in Mail Designer 365

Write a compelling subject line to capture customers' attention.

Preview your email

Before you send it to your customers, it's a good idea to use the Mail Designer 365 Testmail service to check everything is looking as it should. Click the airplane icon, select "Test" and enter your email address to receive a preview of the design.

Note: You will be asked to verify your email address during this process.

You can also use the device preview tool to see what your email looks like on mobile devices. If something looks out of place here, you can edit it directly in the smartphone view.

Mobile preview tools in Mail Designer 365

Preview your design on a mobile device before you send it.

Send your email

Once you're happy with your email design, you can go ahead and send it to your customers!

You can either send to customers directly from Mail Designer 365 using your own email address (please note this involves separately entering all customer email addresses) or, send via an ESP (email service provider) such as Mailchimp.

Here you can find a list of all of the ESPs which are compatible with Mail Designer 365 designs.

Email design made easy with Mail Designer 365

That was our beginner's guide to email design. Of course, there is a lot more to email marketing, but in terms of the basics, this guide has covered it all.

If you are interested in learning more about email marketing, be sure to check out the rest of our Newsletter Academy articles.

Here are a few more posts which you might also find relevant:

Best Small Business Tools to Help Your Business Survive the Coronavirus Crisis

Checkliste für E-Mail-Kampagnen: In 7 Schritten von der Idee zum Versand

Until next time,
Your Mail Designer 365 Team

Get started with the Mail Designer 365 service today for free...

Mail Designer 365 helps you and your team create stylish, professional HTML emails.
Sign up free today to see what you can achieve.
Sign up
Communication tips for remote teams

Email Marketing for Remote Teams - Tips and Advice

By Mail Designer 365 Newsletter Academy

With more and more of us now working from home, the need for successful teamwork is becoming greater than ever. Email marketing for remote teams can be a challenge - especially as effective communication plays such an important part in the planning and feedback process.

Luckily, working from home doesn't have to mean the end of your team's workflow. Here are some of our best tips to ensure your remote team can continue producing excellent email marketing campaigns.

Tips to ensure effective email marketing for remote teams

Set up a dedicated communication channel

Finding a place to brainstorm ideas for email campaigns is a great way to get started with your remote strategy. As opposed to in the office where you can quickly grab colleagues to chat about new ideas, when working from home it’s easy to feel sealed off from the rest of your team.

Tools like Slack allow users to create dedicated channels for specific topics. Setting up an “Email Marketing” channel gives you and your team a clear space to post new ideas, talk about ongoing campaigns and go over your strategy in a more informal manner.

Slack chat tool for remote teams

Use tools like Slack to create dedicated channels and communicate with your team.

Hold virtual email marketing meetings

When working remotely, regular face-to-face communication with your teamis more important than ever. Use tools like Skype or Zoom to hold virtual email marketing meetings and keep everyone up-to-date on the status of the next campaign.

As effective as chat services are, messages can easily get ignored whilst team members are working on other projects. Scheduling regular, dedicated meetings gives everyone the chance to discuss their ideas and clear up unanswered questions without distractions. It's also a great way to let the team catch up and see how everyone is getting on.

Using Zoom for a video call when working from home

Holding virtual email marketing meetings gives everyone in the team a chance to talk about the campaign.

Create a shared calendar for campaigns

Scheduling is another key part of the email marketing process and, for remote teams, it’s especially important that everyone knows what’s coming up.

Working from home is no reason to let the quality of your content slip. Creating a shared calendar for your scheduled and upcoming email campaigns keeps everyone on the same page and ensures that your team can continue to create effective email content, wherever you are.

Google calendar on a MacBook for remote work

Creating a shared calendar to schedule your email marketing campaigns helps the remote team work more productively together.

Resources like our 2020 campaign planner can easily be made using Google Sheets and shared with colleagues. Alternatively, check out Google Calendar, where you can create calendars to share online with your team members.

Simplify the feedback process - with Mail Designer 365 Approval

Whether office-based or remote, one of the most difficult parts of the email workflow is the feedback process. Being stuck in an endless feedback loop and sending drafts back and forth does nothing for your team’s productivity and can quickly become confusing for everyone involved.

Mail Designer 365 Approval is the perfect feedback solution for teams working together on email campaigns.

  1. Plan and coordinate your campaign idea with your team
  2. Build your email design with the Mail Designer 365 App for Mac
  3. Upload campaign drafts to Mail Designer 365 Approval and invite your team to comment, give feedback, and approve or decline
Mail Designer 365 Approval as an email marketing solution for remote teams

Mail Designer 365 Approval is an effective email marketing solution for remote teams working on campaigns together.

Following this simple workflow makes email marketing for remote teams easier and much more productive. Not got a Mail Designer 365 plan yet? Sign up free today to test out this workflow. All Mail Designer 365 plans come with Approval included!

Until next time,

Your Mail Designer 365 Team

Get started with the Mail Designer 365 service today for free...

Mail Designer 365 helps you and your team create stylish, professional HTML emails.
Sign up free today to see what you can achieve.
Sign up
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