STX Beacon: Marketing
Marketing your business is fun and Beacon gives you a variety of tools designed to help unleash a winning message to your target audience.
You must be subscribing to Beacon Premium service in order to use Marketing Email, Marketing Sets, Marketing Reports, and Email Activity.
Beacon uses SendGrid for Marketing > Marketing Email, which is where you will create your email marketing campaigns. By subscribing to Beacon Premium service, you already have a SendGrid account. Please contact the STX Support department for your SendGrid login information.
Note: Rewards setup and tracking is detailed in a separate guide. If you would like a copy, please visit the Beacon Resource page on our website or contact the STX Support department.
Marketing Sets and Output
Marketing Sets allows you to search your database to find clients with specific criteria and send marketing emails to the matching clients.
Click a Marketing Set Name to edit an existing marketing set, or click New to create a new marketing set.
After naming the new set, select the frequency and when to generate the set, the type of output, and which Marketing Email template to use when selecting the Email output option.
Click Save to return to the list, and click the Marketing Set Name to finish setting up the newly created marketing set.
Click the Select Filters button to select the clients to receive the marketing email. After selecting the appropriate filters and clicking Save, return to the Marketing Set to select the Date and Time for the marketing set to generate by using the calendar and time drop-down menu next to Next Generation.
To see a report of selected clients instead of generating a marketing campaign, select Online Report from the Output drop-down menu and enter the Next Generation information.
Once the Online Report has been generated, go to the Marketing Reports option in Home > Marketing.
Each Online Report will be listed. Click Delete to remove a report from the list. Click View to view details.
Each report displays the Marketing Set name, Run Date, and client information with current account balance.
Click on Email Activity.
Select the Begin Date and End Date for the report. Click the Retrieve Statistics button.
Beacon keeps a chronological log of company Email Activity that includes information about delivered, opened, clicked, unsubscribed, invalid, and blocked emails.
Avoid Spam Filters
Email marketing plays an important role in your client communications and in the growth of your business. Before engaging in any email marketing activity, it is very important to ensure the deliverability of your emails by learning the rules of the road for proper email content.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use filters to scan email for malicious or unsolicited content, blocking delivery of those deemed as spam - and they keep score! In the same way credit agencies track your payment history and give you a credit score, ISPs track email addresses for spam content, assigning a score to each address. Too much detected spam content over time lowers your score, making it even more difficult to get your valuable emails delivered.
Complicating everyone’s task is the fact that each ISP has their own set of rules and will periodically change some of them as they try to keep up with unscrupulous spammers. There are, however, some general rules we can follow that will greatly reduce the chance of being blocked or landing in the spam folder.
Following are some tips, as well as links to other resource material you can use to maximize the deliverability of your emails.
Tip #1 - and the most important tip of all: Ask your clients to add your email address to their Address Book. These are any and all addresses you use when you send out emails. Employ all means at your disposal to have your clients do this, including word of mouth, cards at your front desk, and adding a footnote to all your emails urging clients to add your address, which leads to…
Tip #2: Include a paragraph in the footer of all emails asking that this address be included in their Address Book. The addition of your email address in the footer can go a long way in helping to avoid spam filters. For example, all STX emails include the following footnote (and yours should look something like this):
To ensure continued news from <Company Name>, please add <company email> to your Address Book.
Tip #3: DO NOT USE ALL CAPS IN YOUR SUBJECT LINE (and really limit their use elsewhere).
Tip #4: Do not use really large font sizes.
Tip #5: Avoid using trigger words or phrases, such as:
Money Back Guarantee
Tip #6: Less is more. Sending too many emails too often sets off filter alarms, and likely numbs your audience to your message. Sending 2-3 emails each month to a targeted portion of your audience is much more effective than continuously blasting out emails to everyone on your client list.
There are other things you should do to maximize your effectiveness and avoid spam filters, and we’ve included links to two good resources to consult before getting started. We highly recommend these two short reads:
Even the largest and most reputable of companies experience blocked emails, but you can minimize yours by taking the time NOW to get familiar with the rules of the road.
Sender Email Addresses
Ensuring the delivery of your outgoing emails is important to us here at STX. While we make every effort to pave the way for uninterrupted distribution, Email Providers like Google (gmail), MSN, AOL, Yahoo, and others each have their own set of rules for the delivery of emails and texts.
One such provider with restrictive rules when emailing from Beacon is YAHOO. YAHOO will not deliver any Beacon emails when the Sender email address is a YAHOO account. That’s because they require all batch emails be sent via YAHOO servers. Beacon does not use YAHOO servers, therefore these emails will be blocked and never delivered to the intended recipients - this is beyond our ability to control.
Gmail and AOL are the same in that they require batch emails be sent from their respective servers when the Sender email address is a Gmail or AOL account.
IMPORTANT: For the purpose of sending out marketing and Appointment Reminder emails using Beacon, DO NOT USE A YAHOO, GMAIL or AOL EMAIL ACCOUNTS when sending. If your business is currently using a YAHOO, GMAIL or AOL email address, we urge you to set up an alternative address with another provider (i.e. Apple/Mac (@icloud.com), Hotmail, etc.) for this purpose.
It is highly recommended you use a ‘paid for’ email service rather than a ‘free’ one. The ‘paid for’ Email Providers are less restrictive when sending batch emails. Most web hosts will provide custom email services as part of their package. Additionally, your business will be perceived as more professional when receiving emails from, for example, "info@STXSoftware.com", as opposed to "STXInfo@Yahoo.com”.
If you would like to understand more about how emails are handled by the various Email Providers, please visit the DMARC website for an overview or in-depth look.