Posts Tagged ‘email’

Draft stunning emails quickly with BeeFree

The professional world would crumble without efficient emailing. A simple conversion between two people becomes official, substantial, and binding if converted into a properly drafted email. Letters of appreciation, job offers, projects contracts, designs, work documents, assignments, invoices, bills, etc. are all exchanged over email in the modern day and age. So it wouldn’t be baseless to say that, if you don’t know how to compose an appropriate email, you might find it extremely difficult to survive in a setting that uses tools like MS Office 365, Thunderbird, Apple Mail, and the like on a regular basis.

Overwhelmed? You don’t need to be. Because tools like BeeFree have been developed specifically to hold your hand through the email drafting process. Check out how this simple yet brilliant tool can help you become an email pro in a few clicks.

BeeFree – Create Professional Emails Quickly

The name BeeFree actually stands for “Best Email Editor – Free” and is a part of the MailUp Group. The tool can be used as an online email editor and can also be embedded into SaaS applications. It is a drag-and-drop based email designer and builder for mobiles and hand-held devices which enables users to create mobile-responsive emails quickly and easily from anywhere.

Here are the most prominent features of the tool:

  • Includes a drag-and-drop editor that lets you add individual email elements or entire rows directly from your desktop
  • Emails designed with BeeFree are mobile-responsive so you don’t need to retest their look and feel on different devices
  • Users get access to hundreds of elegant email templates
  • The tool uses a 4-step approach:
  1. Step 1: Pick an email template that suits your purpose
  2. Step 2: Add your unique personalized content to the template you picked
  3. Step 3: Download the message you created
  4. Step 4: Use it wherever you like

That’s how simple it is! And if you find the free version of Bee interesting, you can always invest a little money and opt for more features with BeePro or BeePlugin.

Let’s see how it works

To start using BeeFree visit the tool’s homepage and click on the blue button that says “Start Designing”. This will direct you to the templates catalog from where you can choose the right email template for your purpose. There are a ton of categories to choose from including newsletters, events, e-commerce, and more. If you don’t find any template particularly interesting, you can start from scratch by using the first icon on the top-left corner (the blue colored one that says “Start from Scratch”). We tried out the tool both ways and here are the steps for each.

Start from Scratch:

  • Click on “Start from Scratch” to get redirected to the editor
  • From the right hand panel, select what kind of Content you wish to insert into your email design. Your choices include Text, Images, Buttons, Dividers, Social, and HTML. You can choose any combination of these elements too. Drag and drop each Content element into the left hand area of the editor.
  • Click on the “Structure” tab in the right hand panel to decide and pick the layout of your emails. To apply a layout, drag and drop it into the left hand wider area.
  • Click on the “Body” tab to pick from options like background color, content area color, font, link color, etc.
  • Once you’ve designed everything and keyed in your email matter, you can preview what your final email will look like by clicking on the “Actions” drop down from the top menu and then selecting “Preview” option. You can view the preview for both desktop and mobile with this option.
  • You can also choose to send a test email with your design to any email id you want.

At any point if you think you need guidance, simply click on the “Help” button from the right corner of the top menu. When your design is ready, click on “Save” button to download the whole message with all HTML and images to your device.

Start with a Template:

  • Click on a template from the catalog to get redirected to the editor with the template opened in the left hand bigger panel
  • All remaining options and settings for this kind of editing are the same as those seen in the “Start from Scratch” option
  • Each template will have its own unique settings which you can alter as per your need using the given options in the right hand panel

The highs and the lows

The plus points of BeeFree include:

  • Its drag-and-drop editor
  • Responsive email-design capability
  • There isn’t much of a learning curve attached to the tool which is good.
  • Plus, it has ample reading material to supplement user’s understanding.
  • And of course, the multitude of templates is an added bonus.

Coming to the negatives, there’s only one and it is actually quite expected of a free tool:

  • You can’t do much beyond changing typeface, font size, color, photos, buttons etc. For any more flexibility than this you’ll have to go pro, which is kind of fair.
  • Compose elegant emails quickly and easily with @beefreeio beefree.io/ via @supermonitoring

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Verdict

All in all, BeeFree is a nice tool. If a simple and quick email design is what you’re looking for and you don’t need any hassle, this is just what you need.

Easy scheduling and tracking of emails with Bananatag

Email tracking is becoming more and more important in this day and age. The traditional method of sending an email and waiting for an acknowledgement from the recipient requires a lot of patience. Today, technology allows you to track the life of your email, from the moment it was opened by your recipient to the time they downloaded your attachments. Email tracking is useful to cultivate relationships with your clients at a time when it has become increasingly difficult to maintain customer relationships in the cutthroat environment of the online marketing world.

While we didn’t previously have the option of tracking our emails, now there is an abundance of email tracking tools and applications that you can use. Of them is Bananatag. One added benefit with Bananatag’s email tracking is that you can use it to schedule emails too.

Bananatag helps you stay competitive in the inbox world

With the options of tracking as well as scheduling emails, Bananatag will soon become indispensable to organizations. Designed for audiences wider than just sales guys, Bananatag’s focus is also on the organization’s internal communication. This greatly helps in monitoring and generating real-time data on employee management. With an interface that is simple to use, Bananatag also offers the following features:

  • Three different types of dashboards:
    • Metrics dashboards: Users can view data as opened emails versus unopened emails, unique clicks versus repeat clicks, and un-clicked emails versus clicked emails.
    • Resource dashboard: This dashboard provides downloads for plug-ins such as Gmail, Microsoft Outlook and so on.
    • User dashboard: Users can use this dashboard to view data such as the emails that they have already tracked, the amount of time that has passed between the sending and the opening of the emails, etc.
  • Email tracking: After you link an account to Bananatag for tracking your email messages, Bananatag sends you a notification for every email that was clicked by your recipient and every email that was opened.
  • Email scheduling: With just two clicks, you can use Bananatag to schedule your emails to be sent at a later time. You can select the date and time for an email to be sent. Also, you can set a recurring time for certain types of emails to be sent periodically, like newsfeeds or customer engagement emails.
  • Templates: If you have no time to compose basic messages, Bananatag has you covered in that area too. You can use variables (up to three variables per email) to customize the details of your email with the same basic template provided by Bananatag.
  • Attachment tracking: Probably one of the USPs of Bananatag, the application lets you view heat-maps for all your attachments, including presentations, documents, spreadsheets, and more file types. It will give you data such as the time spent on viewing each page of the attachment, the total page views, etc.
  • Email analytics: With this feature, you can view the success rate of your emails. It gives you a detailed view of the number of emails you sent on a particular day, the number of emails that were opened, the number of links that were clicked, the percentage of emails that were opened on a mobile device as compared to those that were opened on a desktop device, and the usage of the templates.

Tool working

Once you download Bananatag’s Gmail or Outlook plug-in from their site, it is pretty simple to decide if you wish to take the ‘For Sales Teams’ or the ‘For Internal Comms’ plan. After buying and installing the plug-in, you will be able to schedule and track emails with the Schedule and Track buttons on your compose window. For tracking links and attachments, you need not perform an extra step. Only clicking the Track button in your compose window will do the trick. Your tracked emails are sent through your own server, which means that they arrive from your own email address. So you can always be assured of data security. You can use the dashboard to view the metrics of your email interaction.

  • To track emails, links and attachments, click the Track button on your compose window before sending the email.
  • To schedule an email to be sent later, click the Schedule button on your compose window. The Schedule window will display the calendar and the clock to set the preferred date and time for the email to be sent. Clicking the Recurring button will allow you to set an email for sending periodically.
  • Log on to their website with your log-in credentials to be able to view the metrics of your emails.

Pros and Cons

High points of the tool include:

  • Free tracking of 5 emails per day
  • Seamless tracking of all emails that are sent
  • Different plans for different purposes: sales and internal communication

There’s one low point too:

  • Plug-ins available only for Gmail and Outlook

Pricing

The Pro plan can be bought for $6.25 with the capacity of tracking 100 emails a day. The Team plan is offered at $12.50 with the capacity of tracking 200 emails per day. The Internal Comms plan, although expensive at $200, allows you the capacity of tracking 200 emails a day along with the ability to send distribution lists and tracking internal communications.

  • Track your Gmail and Outlook emails with @bananatag bananatag.com/ via @supermonitoring

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Verdict

With a free plan and different plans for different purposes, Bananatag is a star email tracking application. While it could do with plug-ins for more email applications, we are still okay with support for Google and Outlook. Better than its counterparts, Bananatag emerges a winner in this fight for the best email tracking application. We suggest you give it a try too!

My Web Toolkit: Rand Fishkin

Last time we have interviewed the creator of Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics and Hello Bar. Today we present you a SEO Guru.

Rand Fishkin is best known for creating Moz (former SEO Moz) – a popular SEO platform offering inbound marketing software, tools and resources.
He also co-founded inbound.org – the community for marketing professionals.

Rand is very popular because of his blogs, where he shares his great knowledge: the official Moz Blog and his personal Rand’s Blog.
I guess you might have heard of Whiteboard Friday – a series of short videos, full of valuable insight, made by Rand and his colleagues.

Rand lives and works in Seattle. Privately he travels a lot with his charming wife Geraldine, who describes their journeys on her blog.

Rand Fishkin

Twitter Google+ Facebook Linkedin Slideshare Foursquare

Rand’s Top Web Apps

Here are the top web apps Rand Fishkin uses and recommends:

  • gmail Gmail“for almost everything in my life, personal and professional”
  • 7Geese 7Geese“for intra-company OKRs, 1:1s, feedback, etc. at Moz”
  • Moz Fresh Web Explorer“for tracking mentions and links about myself, Moz, and projects I care about; it’s vastly superior to Google Alerts”
  • followerwonk Followerwonk“for Twitter analytics, connecting to new people, and improving my use of Twitter (which is my primary social network)”
  • googleanalytics Google Analytics“for web analytics”
  • surveymonkey SurveyMonkey“for designing surveys, collecting data, and aggregating feedback”
  • bitly Bitly“for tracking my social sharing”
  • wistia Wistia“for my Whiteboard Friday videos”
  • pocket Pocket“to collect articles I read later (usually on plane flights)”
  • .@randfish Top Web Apps: @Gmail, @7geese, FreshWebExplorer by @moz, @followerwonk, @GoogleAnalytics, @SurveyMonkey, @bitly, @wistia, @pocket

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Web Apps Rand is involved in

“All the Moz tools – yup! But none of the others.”

How does Rand find his apps?

“No specific blogs, but I do follow a number of folks on Twitter and Google+ who occasionally mention new tools/apps I try. For example, I found Conspire.com via Google+ and love it.”

That’s it.
Stay tuned for another “My Web Toolkit” interview!

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