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Newsletter Academy Mail Designer 365 EN

Creative Online Event Ideas for Businesses

By | Newsletter Academy Mail Designer 365 EN

There’s no denying that online events are massively on the rise. If you take a glance at the average business calendar today, you’ll likely see event titles that didn’t even exist 10 years ago. (Ever heard of a virtual trade fair? I hadn’t until researching for this post!)

Of course, as the way we hold events changes, so does the way we market them. In this guide, we talk about some great online event ideas for your business, plus the best tools to help you ensure your event is a success.

Jump to:

Why should I host an online event?

Quite simply put, the main advantage of a virtual event is flexibility. The majority of the time, all your guests need to get involved is a working internet connection – which is definitely not hard to come by these days!

Because online events are so flexible, people can take part from wherever they are – whether it’s from the comfort of their own homes, or from their office 5000 miles away from the actual location. This flexibility means your event can reach a much wider audience of new potential leads.

More advantages of hosting an online event include:

  • Diversify your audience – As well as your audience being generally larger, it also has the potential of being much more diverse. With an online event, geographic restrictions don’t apply. As long as you choose a fairly neutral time zone, guests from all over the world can attend.
  • Reduce costs – Hiring a venue, paying temporary staff, organising catering and booking transport are all things that can cost your business a huge amount of money. Although there will be some costs associated with your online event, you will save big by removing all the physical elements.
  • Save time – All the elements named above also take a large amount of time to organise and coordinate. Free up your time to focus on the content of your online event rather than planning the theatrics behind a physical event.
  • Lower your carbon footprint – Many people attending large scale events will have to drive a great distance or even fly to get to the location. This results in an extra amount of carbon emissions which can easily be avoided by hosting your event online.
  • Great for brand image – Although online events are definitely on the rise, in many respects, they are still a very new trend. Hosting an online event is a great way to show your target audience that your business is innovative and in touch with the latest technology.

Types of Online Events

Video Meeting

A video meeting does exactly what the name describes. These types of meetings can take place on any scale and for any use case: no matter how big or small. Here are a few popular examples:

  • Daily briefing meeting
  • Job interview
  • Project status update meeting
  • Project review meeting
  • Department meeting
  • Financial planning meeting
  • Shareholder meeting

For many, an offsite meeting means travel costs, food & drink and possibly an overnight stay all being charged to company expenses. Not to mention the time taken to get there and back is time which could have been spent doing other important work. Holding a video meeting means all participants can join from their respective locations and save the company time and money.

Zoom app on mobile phone ready for a video meetingVideo meetings are also a game changer for remote-based teams to stay connected. All you need to get started is a working internet connection, a headset and a video meeting platform to host from.

Webinar

A webinar is an online seminar most typically used to educate viewers on a particular topic. This could be anything from a step-by-step product demonstration (particularly popular with software companies) to a university-style lecture on a given theme (e.g. How to create a website for your small business.)

Most often, a webinar is a mixture of pre-recorded screen sharing with voiceover commentary; however, the webinar host(s) can also choose to livestream the event in order to allow for interactive elements such as a Q&A session or a quiz. Usually, a webinar won’t last longer than an hour.

Webinar recording

Pro tip: When you send out your invitations, make sure you outline exactly what will be covered in the webinar so people will be more willing to sign up. For more great tips on how to market your webinar, check out this guide.

Virtual Summits

This type of online event involves you sourcing established guest speakers from your field to come together and collaborate. Participants tend to discuss a chosen topic (i.e. education or technology), or provide solutions for well known industry problems (e.g. how to increase student participation in your classroom.)

Guest speakers will generally prepare material to present and, if held live, offer the audience the chance for a Q&A session.

Conference event livestream

While this type of event is usually less specific to your business, it is a great opportunity for lead generation. Each guest speaker brings a virtual audience with them; all of which become potential leads for your business.

An event like this is also a great way to establish your authority in your industry and gain key contacts.

Pro tip: To ensure things run smoothly, start planning the dynamics of your virtual summit quite far in advance. It can also be beneficial for guest speakers to pre-record their content to make the event appear more seamless on the day.

Online Course & Training

An online course is a type of online learning environment which can be set up to deliver lessons or follow-along courses on a particular subject. An online course can consist of a series of sessions (i.e. for distance learning or online qualifications) or it can be a one-off event.

If held live, online training events are generally best suited to smaller groups, in order to recreate the classroom experience and allow for participants to ask questions. While there is still an element of presentation, an online course is intended to be a much more interactive experience for those involved.

Boy with headphones using a MacBook

Pro tip: After streaming a live lesson, it’s a good idea to upload your video to a portal where participants can then watch it back at a later date.

Virtual Tradeshow

Similar to a physical trade fair, a virtual tradeshow is a type of online marketing event which is held to give participants the chance to present their products to potential buyers.

Most typically, each vendor will have a dedicated “booth” in which they can present prepared material including webinars, tutorials and product introductions. Many virtual tradeshows also have e-commerce integration so attendees can purchase directly.

Although the virtual tradeshow may be the biggest change to the real thing, it is a great strategy for companies who want to cut down on costs, or businesses looking to try innovative new methods to reach new customers.

6 Awesome Tools for Online Events

With online events on the rise, more and more awesome tools are becoming available to help businesses guarantee their events are a success. Below, we have highlighted some of the current leading tools for managing and hosting online events. Skim through the list to see the key features and click through to the operator website to find out more!

1. Zoom

Zoom is currently one of the most popular choices for online meetings.

Zoom video meeting platform for businesses

  • Video meeting platform for up to 1000 participants (with up to 49 videos on screen)
  • Webinar services also available
  • Interactive features such as polls for a more engaging experience
  • Free plans available for basic features
  • Learn more about Zoom

2. Google Meet

Google Meet is a brand new video conferencing platform by Google which replaces their Hangouts Meet platform.

Google Meet online video meeting software

  • Video conferences for up to 250 participants
  • Free plans available for conferences with up to 100 participants (starting offer: conferences can last up to 24 hours until September 30th, 2020!)
  • Personalised plans with advanced features and livestream capabilities available for enterprises
  • Learn more about Google Meet

3. Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect is a standalone, advanced web conferencing software.

Adobe Connect web conferencing software

  • Great for training, online classrooms and tutorial-style webinars
  • Create custom layouts to help control what your audience sees and how they interact with your online event
  • Layouts are reusable and can be used again and again – great for maintaining consistency throughout multiple sessions (i.e. online training courses.)
  • Learn more about Adobe Connect

4. Cvent

Cvent is an event management platform for larger online events.

Cvent event management platform

  • Management options help event organizers process registration and attendees
  • Easy to integrate with other apps and programs (i.e. CRM systems and virtual meeting platforms)
  • Built in email marketing tools and HTML editor for custom email designs
  • Platform provides useful after-event analysis to help determine ROI and event insights
  • Learn more about Cvent

5. GoToMeeting by LogMeIn

GoToMeeting is a video meeting tool with dedicated add-ons for conferences and webinars.

GoToMeeting online video meeting platform

  • Video meetings for up to 250 participants
  • Includes GoToWebinar platform for managing live or pre-recorded online webinar events. After event analysis tools also available. (P.S. Learn more about webinar marketing here.)
  • Support for personalised channels to make your webinar content available on demand
  • Meeting transcription tools available in some plans
  • Learn more about GoToMeeting

6. vFairs

vFairs is a virtual events platform that allows users to plan and structure tailor made online events.

  • 3D virtual event environment for a realistic experience
  • Custom event landing pages and bespoke booths for your product
  • Add on tools for webinars plus e-commerce integration
  • After-event analysis and lead collection for networking
  • Learn more about vFairs

Using Mail Designer 365 to Prepare for Your Online Event

The build up to your online event is just as important as the event itself. During this time, you need to successfully promote your event among your target audience and ensure you have as many sign ups as possible.

The best way to generate attention around your online event is with email marketing. A solid email strategy helps you sell your event to invitees and allows you to follow up with potential leads once the event is over.

Mail Designer 365 has all the creative tools you need to build impressive an email invitation for your online event, as well as reminder emails and follow up campaigns. Check out this post to find out more about email strategy for online events.

Zoom meeting announcement email made in Mail Designer 365

Use this Mail Designer 365 email template to announce a webinar, Zoom meeting, conference, or any other online business event.

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

Email Marketing Strategy for Webinars: How to Use Email to Promote Your Webinar

By | Newsletter Academy Mail Designer 365 EN

For B2B organizations, a well-executed webinar is often a great way to generate more leads. However, in order to ensure your webinar is a success, you first need to promote it effectively amongst your target audience. Coming up with a solid email marketing strategy for webinars is one way you can achieve this.

In this guide, you’ll find useful tips on developing an effective email marketing strategy you can use to guarantee your webinar is a success.

Jump through this guide:

Getting Started with Webinars

What is a webinar?

A webinar is an online meeting or seminar where participants are invited to discuss a range of topics within a certain field. Usually, the webinar is lead by an expert or group of experts in that field who will present information and answer any questions. The size of a webinar can range from just a handful of people to hundreds of attendees.

Especially in B2B, webinars are also often used as a way to introduce a product or service to potential new leads by means of a tutorial or case study.

Following along with a webinar

Benefits of hosting a webinar

Hosting a webinar gives you the chance to demonstrate your expertise in your field. It is a unique form of content marketing which, when executed correctly, helps establish you as an authority figure to your audience and creates a sense of trust. For example, the team at Really Good Emails upload weekly videos about email design which clearly establishes them as a leading authority in that field.

Here are some more great benefits of hosting a webinar:

  • Lead generation opportunity – Participants signing up for a webinar are great potential leads whose data can help you in future campaigns.
  • Advertising – A webinar is a clever way to promote your product or service to a new audience by showcasing its potential in unique ways. Case studies, live demos, and follow along tutorials are just a few examples.
  • Make your business relatable – Hosting a webinar helps both existing customers and new leads put a friendly face to your business. This works wonders for your relationships with customers.
  • Get to know your audience – One of the hardest aspects of marketing is finding out what your target audience wants. In a webinar, viewers can submit questions and feedback which gives you an insight into their needs and helps you optimize your product or service accordingly.
  • Affordable – A webinar offers many of the same advantages as a physical event but comes without the added costs (i.e. venue hire, travel, food & drink.)
  • Flexible – Your webinar can take place whenever you like, wherever you like. Geographic restrictions don’t apply.

Email Marketing Strategy for Webinars

Once you’ve taken the first steps in deciding you want to host a webinar, you now need to make sure it’s a success. Here is our 3 step email marketing strategy for promoting your webinar.

Step one: Email Marketing Strategy in the Build Up to the Webinar

In the weeks building up to your webinar, the focus is on promoting it to the right audience and ensuring you get as many sign ups as possible.

Identifying your target audience

The first step in creating an email marketing strategy for your webinar is identifying your target audience. This will allow you to segment your email list accordingly, and choose the appropriate tone for your email.

Think about the content of your webinar and who will find it most relevant. This will become your target audience. For example, if your webinar is an introductory walkthrough of your product, you will most likely want to consider new sign ups or demo users as a target audience.

Make your invitation a teaser email for the webinar

Once you’ve identified the segment of your email list you want to target, you can start designing the email invitation. We like to know what we’re getting into, so the element of surprise is not desirable here.

In the initial announcement email, be sure to include a preview of the key topics your webinar will be covering. This will help get recipients hyped up for the event and also helps your recipients assess whether the webinar is relevant to them. Whatever the aim of your webinar is, you only want participants who are genuinely interested, as they are more likely to engage.

Webinar invitation email by Teachable

This email by Teachable makes sure those invited know exactly what is being covered in the webinar.

Helpful hint: Using your subject line to convey the main topic of your webinar is a great way to capture readers’ attention from the first point of contact with the email.

Make the sign up process easy and straightforward

The best way to encourage more sign ups is through a clear and effective CTA (call-to-action) button. If your recipient has read your email invite and still can’t figure out how to register for the event, something has definitely gone wrong.

As a general rule of thumb, your CTA button should…

  • Stand out against the rest of your email,
  • Display a simple and direct command (e.g. “register here”, “secure your place”),
  • Lead to a sensible target link (i.e a dedicated landing page or registration form).
Webinar invitation by Litmus

Not only do Litmus choose a striking color for their CTA button, the text is also short and snappy.

Be sure to include all of these characteristics in your email invitation to improve your chances of a high sign up rate.

Time your invitations right

Sending out the invitations to your webinar at the right time is key and bad timing can often lead to you missing out on a huge chunk of potential leads. If you send out an announcement last minute, many of your target audience will already have plans in place – especially if you are targeting busy business users. For this reason, it’s important you give invitees plenty of notice for your webinar.

On the other hand, sending out an invitation too far in advance is also not recommended. This not only increases the chance of customers forgetting about your webinar, but could also deter others from signing up if they don’t know how their schedule will look that far in the future.

We recommend you send out your first email a few weeks in advance to give attendees the chance to pencil you in to their calendar. Don’t forget to also create a calendar event for the webinar and link to this in your email.

Step two: Email Marketing Strategy just before the Webinar

A few days before your webinar takes place, you need to make sure everything is in order. This involves reminder emails, last minute checks and providing key information.

Send out reminder emails with key information

Many of us have super busy schedules and it’s natural for things to slip our minds. For this reason, it’s important to make the experience as straightforward and accessible as possible. The last thing you want is for previously interested leads to not take part on the day because they forgot about the webinar, can’t find the email invitation, or are missing relevant information. You need to be on the ball.

Take the time to send out a reminder email a day or so before the webinar to finalise all the important details participants need to know in order to be prepared. This includes key information such as:

  • The link to join the webinar
  • The date and time it’s taking place (remember to think about time zones if you are targeting people in different states/countries)
  • How long it will last
  • What the format is (e.g. Q&A, case study, presentation)
Webinar email by Asana

This email contains all the key info about the webinar which helps attendees get prepared.

With this information all at hand in one helpful email, your participants can look forward to the webinar whilst also feeling sufficiently prepared.

Chase up lost leads and target last minute opt ins

In some cases, your original invitation email may have gone unread, or the recipient may have forgotten to act. To ensure you don’t miss out on any potential sign ups, it’s also a good idea to chase up any lost leads you may have by sending a secondary invitation email.

Split your original list segment up into leads who signed up and leads who did not. Then, send those who aren’t already signed up another email encouraging them to register for your webinar.

Try using time-sensitive language such as “last chance” or “only x hours left” to really emphasise the importance of signing up and generate a sense of urgency. You could also create a sense of urgency for your webinar by implying a shortage of spaces. This plays on the recipient’s ‘fear of missing out’ and may be the final push they need to sign up.

Step three: Email Marketing Strategy after the Webinar

Your webinar has taken place and everything went well. However, the after-event follow up is still a key part of any good email marketing strategy for webinars.

Send out a follow up email with a clear CTA

Now that your webinar is over, you need to make sure you meet your original goal. No matter how many took part, in the end, it’s their actions that really count. Be prompt and send out a friendly follow up email shortly after the webinar has finished to target your leads while the content from your webinar is still fresh in their minds.

In this follow up email, be sure to thank participants for joining in with the webinar before leading on to your main call-to-action. For example, if this was a demo of your product, now is the chance to encourage customers to buy. If the webinar was purely informative, pointing new leads to sign up to your email newsletter or follow you on social media is also a proactive way of expanding your audience.

Finally, you should also include the chance for participants to provide you with feedback. This could be feedback to their general experience with your business, or targeted feedback about the webinar. Either way, you can use this to improve for next time!

Create an on demand video to send to customers

Sending a reflection email to share a recording of the webinar has many great benefits. Firstly, participants who tuned in live on the day can watch back and go over any key points they might have missed or want to play back. They also have the chance to share the content with coworkers or other potential new leads; simultaneously promoting your business via word of mouth.

Secondly, an on demand video can also be a good way for those who signed up but did not tune in (i.e. due to illness, lack of time, unforeseen circumstances, etc.) to catch up on what they missed and experience your content in a different way.

Lastly, you could also send this video to other segments of your mailing list in future, to help promote your webinars in general. By giving new users a taster of the great content you produce, you increase the chances of more people signing up next time.

Webinar email by Email on Acid

Email on Acid do a great job of promoting a past webinar by including a link at the end of this email newsletter.

Key Takeaways

Here are the 4 key emails you should be sending as part of the email marketing strategy for your webinar:

  1. The invitation email
  2. The reminder email
  3. The follow up email
  4. The reflection email

Designing an Email Series for Your Webinar

Mail Designer 365 has all the creative tools you need to design email templates to use as part of your webinar email marketing strategy. Here is an example of a webinar email invitation template now available in Mail Designer 365. Sign up free today to try it out for yourself!

Webinar email invitation made in Mail Designer 365

Webinar email invitation Design Idea – exclusively available in Mail Designer 365


You might also like:

How to Convert Keynote or PowerPoint Slides to Email – Our Quick Guide

Design Effective Onboarding Campaigns to Increase Customer Engagement

How to Get More Responses for Your Email Survey – 6 Easy Tips

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

Our Favorite Memorial Day Email Campaign Examples

By | Newsletter Academy Mail Designer 365 EN

With Memorial Day Weekend coming up, many of you will be planning a promotion or special event to celebrate with your customers. In this article, we’re sharing some of our favorite Memorial Day email campaigns, plus a few exclusive tips on how to recreate some of these awesome styles in Mail Designer 365.

When is Memorial Day?

Traditionally, Memorial Day always falls on the last Monday in May. The holiday honors and remembers fallen US military personell and will be celebrated this year on May 25th.

Memorial Day takes place on the last Monday in May and honors fallen military personell.

The long weekend gives businesses a chance to hold special events, and also means customers have more time to shop; encouraging many businesses to hold a sale or promotion.

Our Favorite Memorial Day Email Campaign Examples

Bed Bath & Beyond

This stars & stripes themed design is super on point for a Memorial Day email campaign and the 3D text effect in the promotional box gets readers all geared up for a great deal.

Memorial Day email campaign by Bed Bath & Beyond

Make it in Mail Designer 365:

You’ll find a star shape among the options in our “Contents” library. You can adjust the size, fill and outline to suit your design.

Then, recreate the sketched headline effect by overlaying “solid” and “outline” styles from the Londrina web font family and mimicking the 3D effect by applying a thick, contrasting shadow to the bottom layer.

 

Vans

Vans also focus their design efforts on a traditional red, white and blue theme. The strong headlines and prominent CTA (call-to-action) buttons really help set the scene for the patriotic occasion.

Memorial Day email campaign by VANS

Anthropologie 

This cute nautical design has us dreaming of a summer vacation. Since Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer, it’s a great theme to use in your campaign to promote a seasonal sale or new product range.

Memorial Day email campaign by Anthropologie

Michael Kors

Michael Kors are turning up the heat for Memorial Day with this pool-themed email campaign. The water effect headline adds something new to the design and helps draw readers’ attention straight to the sale.

Memorial Day email campaign by Michael Kors

Make it in Mail Designer 365

You can recreate this dazzling water effect headline using the Blend Modes feature in Mail Designer 365. Choose a thick, heavy-weighted typeface such as Helvetica or Arial Black, overlay this with an image of your choice (tip: we found this water image in the Unsplash library) and apply the Blend Mask “Source Atop” to fill your text with the image.

Building a Memorial Day email campaign in Mail Designer 365

Use Mail Designer 365 Blend Modes to recreate this wonderful water effect headline.

Billabong

Surf’s up! In this email campaign, Billabong use Memorial Day as the perfect opportunity to show off a new summer range. The red, white and blue color scheme creates a clear connection to the holiday and a huge feature image helps set the scene.

Kate Spade

This minimalist design by Kate Spade keeps things basic and incorporates a chic, boxy layout to stylishly showcase their very best Memorial Day offers. A splash of color also helps divert readers’ attention to the exciting sales headline.

Memorial Day email campaign by Kate Spade

Make it in Mail Designer 365

Copy Kate’s on-trend boxy layout in your email designs with one of our combi layout blocks. Drag in the layout block from the “Contents” menu, resize and fill with your star products, then add text, buttons and eye-catchers to excite your readers.

Building a Memorial Day email design in Mail Designer 365

Your Memorial Day email campaign made easy

Start off the summer the right way with an exciting Memorial Day email campaign. Get inspired and recreate our favorite styles in Mail Designer 365, or explore our range of creative tools to come up with a brand new idea.

For more tips on creating an email marketing campaign for Memorial Day, check out this post:

5 Ways You Can Create Sizzling Memorial Day Email Campaigns

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

Sending Internal Emails During the Coronavirus Crisis

By | Newsletter Academy Mail Designer 365 EN

The ongoing coronavirus crisis makes the way you use internal emails to communicate with your team more important than ever. As well as providing colleagues with much needed support and guidance during these difficult times, it’s also critical that you’re able to keep spirits up and continue encouraging productive work.

As businesses all over the world are facing new working environments and constantly changing safety guidelines, your internal communication channels need to be effective. Here are some key pointers on sending internal emails to keep your team motivated and reassured during the coronavirus crisis.

Tips on Internal Emails During the Coronavirus Crisis

Create clear guidelines and reenforce them

Right now, the emphasis on health and safety is critical. Any business operating during these times will have safety guidelines in place to ensure the wellbeing of staff and customers alike.

Of course, as the situation changes, your safety guidelines will also need to be adjusted accordingly. Use your internal newsletter to let your staff know about the guidelines you have put in place and continue to reenforce these in every newsletter to emphasise their importance.

Internal newsletter built in Mail Designer 365

List and reenforce your business’s key guidelines in each internal email newsletter.

If anything changes (e.g. mandatory face masks, new rules for lunch breaks, etc.), your internal newsletter should be the first place you communicate this. This helps prevent false information from spreading and keeps everyone on the same page.

Make sure communication is regular

When it comes to internal newsletters during the coronavirus crisis, consistency is key.

Compiling all of the most important information into a weekly or bi-monthly internal newsletter helps everyone stay up-to-date with the latest guidelines and shows your coworkers that you are committed to keeping up the channel of communication.

Sticking to a clear sending schedule also helps your staff know when to expect a newsletter and makes it less likely that important emails will go unread.

Use a clear layout to present key information

How your internal newsletter looks is just as important as what’s inside it. If your newsletter layout is a mess, your colleagues will struggle to take in the information effectively and may not even finish reading.

As well as a healthy balance of text and images, you should also divide your email up into clear and concise sections with bold headlines. This helps anyone skim reading get to the most important information and also makes the whole thing much easier to read and process.

Tip: Lots of information to cover? Try using a different color for coronavirus updates. This will help coworkers in a rush to identify this information faster.

Internal email for coronavirus being designed in Mail Designer 365

Using a different color (e.g. red) for coronavirus updates helps your team identify this information faster.

Be reactive and keep up to date with current news

The situation is changing rapidly every day and most of us find ourselves frequently checking up on the latest coronavirus news. Whilst doing this, it’s also human nature to question how the latest developments will affect us.

To avoid confusion and speculation amongst colleagues, use your internal newsletter to react to any news that you know will directly impact your business. Some current examples could include:

  • Sick pay
  • Furlough leave
  • Work from home regulations
  • Mandatory masks in public spaces

Inform your colleagues about mask regulations or other important developments which could impact them.

The faster you react to this type of news and put a statement together for staff, the more reassured they will feel.

Use a survey to find out how coworkers are feeling

It’s not just external news you should be responding to, but also the general feeling within your team. This is a worrying time for everyone and your colleagues will no doubt have a large amount of questions and concerns which they may want to air.

Use your internal emails to grant your colleagues the chance to tell you how they are feeling in regards to the coronavirus. One great way of facilitating this is via an online survey platform such as Google Forms or Survey Monkey.

Creating an anonymous team survey helps you get a general idea of how your team is feeling so that you can address their issues or problems directly. Anonymity will also encourage colleagues to be more honest without worrying about what others may think.

Create a short, anonymous feedback form to find out how your staff are feeling.

Tip: If possible, sharing the anonymous results of the survey in the next newsletter may also help reassure team members that they are not alone in their concerns.

Point out helpful resources 

Take advantage of your internal emails and use this communication channel as a way to also share useful resources with your team.

This could be anything from official government resources, to an inspiring blog post, or just handy life hacks to help them get through the crisis. Your team will be bound to appreciate this kind of information.

Sharing useful resources with your team is a great way to help them through the crisis.

Most importantly, you also need to let your coworkers know that help is available if they need it. Make sure to point out any relevant support systems your company has in place should anyone be feeling affected by the situation.

Provide a balanced mix of content

Lastly, in addition to all the serious content surrounding the coronavirus, it is also a good idea for you to include some lighthearted, happier news in your internal emails.

Content such as funny cartoons and memes, GIFs, positive internal announcements (e.g. birthdays, engagements, new babies, etc.), tried & tested recipes, or just general feel-good news stories are all great additions to your internal newsletter that will help keep spirits up within the team.

A funny GIF or meme will help to lift spirits.

Creating Internal Newsletters for the Coronavirus Crisis

Internal emails are an essential part of your business’s internal communication channels – especially during difficult times. For more general tips on creating an internal newsletter, check out these resources:

How to Create an Interesting Company Newsletter that Your Employees Will Want to Read

Maintaining Your Internal Newsletters – Keep Co-Workers Engaged and Interested in Your Newsletter

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

Amazing Mother’s Day Email Campaign Ideas to Get You Inspired

By | Newsletter Academy Mail Designer 365 EN

Even if the current circumstances may prevent many of your customers from physically celebrating with their moms, creating a Mother’s Day email campaign is a great way for you to show them how your business can help them thank their moms for all they do.

Come rain or shine, Mother’s Day is an important occasion for us all, and an opportunity that your business shouldn’t pass up on. Here are some different types of Mother’s Day email campaign, plus examples for you to try out this year…

Mother’s Day Gift Guide Emails

Choosing a gift to signify just how special your mom is can be difficult. Provide your customers with a guide of your best products for gifting to help give them a little bit of inspiration.

Compiling these gifts on a separate landing page will make it even easier for your customers to shop and find the right items faster.

Here are some great examples of Mother’s Day gift guide email campaigns…

Whistlefish

Nordstrom

GAP

Kate Spade

Mother's Day email campaign by Kate Spade

Mother’s Day Promotional Emails

A holiday like Mother’s Day also provides your business with a great excuse to hold a promotion. At this busy time of the year, this encourages customers to choose your store over other competitors and should help drive sales.

Try offering a promotion which will be practical for your customers, such as free delivery, an extra gift with every purchase, or complimentary gift wrapping.

A percentage discount or sale is another great way to help you get the competitive edge when it comes to prices.

Here are some great examples of promotional email campaigns for Mother’s Day…

Starbucks

West Elm

Avon

Mother’s Day Reminder Emails

Last but not least, a friendly reminder email can make all the difference in securing a sale this Mother’s Day.

It’s easy for holidays and dates to slip your customers’ minds. Sending out an email reminder not only helps them keep track of the date, it also applies a gentle sense of urgency and could help increase the likelihood of them purchasing from your store.

Here are some examples of reminder emails sent out as part of a Mother’s Day email campaign…

Paperless Post

Mother's Day email campaign by Paperless PostJ Crew

J Crew email campaign for Mother's Day

More tips for your Mother’s Day email campaign

Now you’ve got some ideas of what kind of Mother’s Day email campaign to send, try out these quick tips when building your design in Mail Designer 365…

  • Use a floral theme: Flowers are a common Mother’s Day gift and often associated with the special day. Browse the Unsplash library to find a fitting floral motif or background to use in your email design and set the tone.
  • Pick a vibrant color scheme: Using bright colors is a great way to create a feeling of celebration in your design – perfect for the occasion. Try using fun colors like pinks, purples and oranges to lift the mood.
  • Optimize the call to action: This is the most important part of your email design, as it will take your customer straight to your site, where they will make their purchase. Make sure the links are practical and direct and use a bold design to help them stand out from the rest of the email. Here are some great techniques you could try…
  • Mention Mother’s Day in the subject line: Finally, you need to round off your email campaign with a powerful subject line. This will help your email stand out in a crowded inbox. Be sure to mention Mother’s Day in the subject line so that customers on the lookout for a great gift will be tempted to open your email.

We hope these examples of Mother’s Day email campaigns have helped inspire you and that you will give these tips a go when building your own template in Mail Designer 365.

Not got a Mail Designer 365 plan yet? Sign up here for free and start creating amazing email templates for Mother’s Day and the rest of the year!

Until next time,

Your Mail Designer 365 Team

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

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Sign up free today to see what you can achieve.
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Best Small Business Tools to Help Your Business Survive the Coronavirus Crisis

By | Newsletter Academy Mail Designer 365 EN

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

By | Newsletter Academy Mail Designer 365 EN

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

How to Create an Email Campaign: Our 7 Step Workflow

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

Email Marketing in a Crisis: How to Adapt Your Strategy

By | Newsletter Academy Mail Designer 365 EN

As an email marketer, your role is to create relevant and interesting email content for subscribers. This usually involves vast amounts of advance planning. However, when it comes to email marketing in a crisis, you’re forced to forget the content marketing calendar and instead, need to think on your feet.

The ongoing Coronavirus crisis has left many firms now drastically rethinking their content marketing strategy. Here is our best advice on how you can effectively adapt your email marketing strategy during the ongoing coronavirus crisis and avoid alienating your customers

In times of crisis, it’s often necessary to ditch the content calendar and start adapting your email marketing strategy.

Adapting email marketing campaigns in a crisis

When crisis strikes, your business needs to be ready to react in a calm and collected manner. Here’s how you can get started with adapting your email marketing strategy.

Identify campaigns which are no longer appropriate

As many businesses plan their promotional content and email campaigns weeks (if not months) in advance, it’s impossible to know what is coming in the future.

In the event of a crisis, it’s important for your marketing team to be flexible and be able to rethink their entire content marketing plan.

Look over the upcoming promotions you have scheduled and determine which are still appropriate. Here are some key things to look out for:

  • Messaging – Does the message fit the current mood amongst your target audience?
  • Context – Does the context of the campaign still apply during the crisis?
  • Availability – Is the product or service being promoted still available in the crisis?
  • Achievability – Is the main goal of the campaign still achievable?

The campaign is not appropriate at this time:

If you’ve decided not to go ahead with a campaign, you have two options:

  1. Postpone or
  2. Axe the campaign

Generally speaking, you should only need to axe a campaign if it is time-sensitive or based on a particular seasonal event; meaning it would not make sense at another point in time. Otherwise, you should be able to postpone it for a future date and run the campaign once the crisis is over.

The campaign can go ahead:

If you have decided a promotion can still go ahead, you may still need to adapt the email campaign to take the current crisis situation into account. In particular, you should think about adjusting your messaging to reflect what is happening.

Try and integrate themes like solidarity, sticking together and community in to your email copy, so that your readers know you care and that they are not alone. This Mother’s Day campaign by Virgin Experience Days is a good example of how to adapt a planned seasonal campaign to be more respectful of the current situation:

Example email during a crisis by Virgin Experience Days

Adapting the message of a pre-planned email campaign during a crisis is an effective way to show solidarity.

Flowchart: Should my campaign go ahead?

Flowchart for when to adapt email marketing strategy in a crisis

More tips for email marketing in a crisis

As well as adapting existing campaigns, it is also important to be reactive and come up with new content to suit the current circumstances. Here are some ideas of ways your business can produce effective email content during a crisis

Release a statement

In times of crisis, your words are important. Although you don’t want to add to the panic, it’s important to also acknowledge the current situation, so that your business doesn’t come across as insensitive or tone deaf.

In this instance, carrying on as normal is not the best strategy. In fact, it could lead to you alienating many of your customers as they cannot relate to your content.

Releasing a statement about the crisis is one way to show your customers you are aware of what is happening. It also gives you the opportunity to demonstrate what your business is doing to help. Here are a few examples of effective company statements which have been sent out during the current Coronavirus crisis.

ASOS:

Coronavirus crisis statement from ASOSReebok:

Coronavirus crisis statement from Reebok

Superdry:

Coronavirus crisis update from Superdry

Focus on supporting the community

Businesses such as yours are a big part of the community, whether locally in your town or city, or online amongst your customers. For this reason, you should try where possible to use your email campaigns to show support for your community.

Think of ways – big or small – that your business can help out during the crisis. Then, use email to spread the word to subscribers.

This thank you message by Morrisons is a thoughtful way to show support and reassure customers during difficult times:

Using email marketing to support the community in a crisis

This email was followed up by a second email, showing how the business is helping the community.

Crisis email by Morrisons giving back to the community

Create relevant and useful content

Circumstances change massively during periods of crisis. The current emphasis during the COVID 19 crisis is on minimising contact with others. This makes it difficult for many businesses to find ways to keep their content relevant.

In this email by restaurant chain Giraffe, the focus is changed to home delivery rather than visiting the restaurant. This is just one example of how your business can still continue creating promotional content which is relevant to your target audience.

Email campaign by Giraffe adapted for the COVID 19 crisis

Changing the focus of your email campaign to represent the current situation is an effective and more appropriate response to a crisis.

Similarly, in another example by Rent the Runway, the fashion brand concentrate on promoting clothing for home office – which is a highly relevant topic at present.

Although this may not seem like a super serious topic to cover during a crisis, it does help to provide customers with interesting content that serves a useful purpose.

Home office email by Rent the Runway

No matter what your business specialises in, there’s bound to be a way you can provide relevant email content during a crisis.

In this last example sent out recently in response to the Coronavirus crisis, department store Selfridges are using email to promote fun, nostalgic activities to do indoors.

This example shows how, during a crisis, a little bit of creativity goes a long way and helps cast some light on an otherwise dark and depressing situation.

Email campaign sent by Selfridges during the Coronavirus crisis

Be creative and find products to feature which will suit your customers’ circumstances during the crisis.

Using Mail Designer 365 to create emails to send in a crisis

Hopefully these tips will prove useful while you are adapting your email marketing strategy for the Coronavirus crisis.

Key takeaways from this article:

  • Reassess all planned content to determine whether it is still appropriate.
  • Adapt the messaging of your existing email campaigns to suit the current climate.
  • Send emails to update your customers and other stakeholders during a crisis.
  • Create new, useful email content which is relevant for your target audience.

If you need to adapt your email strategy for this crisis, why not check out Mail Designer 365? With a range of customisable HTML email templates, including crisis communication emails, you have everything you need to continue your email marketing in a crisis.

Email template to update customers about the coronavirus crisis

Email template to update customers about the coronavirus crisis

Sign up for free today to get started.

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

Business Communication Tips During the Coronavirus Crisis

By | Newsletter Academy Mail Designer 365 EN

Sometimes events can occur that force your usual business schedule to grind to a halt. During these periods, it’s critical that you continue to communicate with and reassure your customers. Here’s how to use email to keep your customers informed of your business’s activity during the coronavirus crisis.

Coronavirus crisis email template for businesses

Now is the time to send an email to customers to keep them informed during the corona virus crisis.

Business Communication During the Coronavirus Crisis

While your business can’t be prepared for everything, it’s good to have a contingency plan in place for when crisis hits. Here are 5 effective measures your business can take to keep things going during the coronavirus crisis, plus two email templates you can use to keep your customers informed.

1. Update your opening hours

If, like many businesses around the world, you have had to make drastic changes to your opening hours due to the coronavirus, this should be the first thing you communicate.

Update your opening hours on your website and any other locations on the internet where they may be listed, such as:

  • Twitter,
  • Google my Business,
  • Facebook

This small act will prevent confusion and keep both new and existing customers up to date during the crisis.

2. Increase your support capacity

In times of crisis, your customers will no doubt have increased questions and concerns. Naturally, this will also see a rise in the number of support emails and calls you receive.

Be proactive and make sure you have enough support staff available to deal with the increased demand. Team members working from home can also get involved if you need extra help.

To take the pressure off, you could also consider creating an automated email template to reassure customers that you will be getting back to them as soon as possible.

3. Put together a list of FAQs

Think about which of your business activities (e.g. delivery times, services, opening hours, stock availability) will be affected by the coronavirus and briefly summarize the answers on a dedicated FAQ page on your website.

This will help your customers find the information they require faster, while also reducing the strain on your support team.

Tip: Provide a temporary link to this page on the support area of your website to help answer common support queries before your inbox and phone lines become overloaded.

4. Promote your online store

If you’ve had to close your physical store due to the coronavirus crisis, you may be worrying about your sales and how this will negatively impact your sales.

Use the crisis as a way to promote your online store to customers. In the same way that you are concerned about not making sales, customers will be frustrated they can’t visit your store.

Direct customers to your website and let them know they can carry out all of their purchases there.

Tip: If you are expecting a large influx of traffic to your online store or a lot of deliveries to organize, be sure that your systems are prepared for this.

5. Reach out to your customers via email

Once the necessary adjustments have been made and you have a plan of action, communicate this to your customers as soon as possible. The easiest and most direct way to keep customers updated is via email. 

Quick tips for your email communication for the coronavirus crisis:

  • Use the appropriate tone. This is a worrying time for many. Stay calm and make sure you aren’t adding to the panic, but at the same time, remember to keep the tone serious and sincere.
  • Get straight to the point. Too much text will confuse and overwhelm your customers and you want the information to be as clear as possible.
  • Keep images to a minimum. The aim of this email is to inform. Forget your usual email marketing techniques and only use images which are absolutely necessary (e.g. explanatory screenshots.)
  • Include key links and information. This email needs to be the source of all important information. Include links to your FAQs and store, as well as your new opening hours and contact details.

How to create a crisis communication email for your business

We’ve created two new crisis communication email templates suitable for keeping your customers up to date during the corona virus crisis:

Email template to update customers about the coronavirus crisis

Email template to update customers about the coronavirus crisis

These templates are ready and available to edit now in Mail Designer 365. Simply update the messaging to fit your business and send to your entire mailing list to keep them informed.

We hope you have found these tips helpful. Remember to keep calm and work proactively. The crisis won’t last forever and your customers will appreciate you keeping them informed. If you want to use one of the above templates, sign up to Mail Designer 365 free to get started today.

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