Summary Email Marketing Benchmarks By Industry 2016
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office that served as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea hub. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively simple concept. Simple email advertising. Many of the thoughts were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff sold them on the use of email advertising, while working hard to make a very simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the while, the business uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email advertising services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of this program. You may read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout features of this ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to specific industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company describes the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your website or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume programs have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Marketing Benchmarks By Industry 2016
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can get and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos via integration using a YouTube account, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a bit more than many other businesses offer in their mobile programs, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or designed as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and every web browser includes a signature fashion, making certain that your emails look good across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The business describes this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you have to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path on the best way best to create my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go to the Emails segment, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Benchmarks By Industry 2016
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you’re somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop option.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I wanted on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email . If you want to, you can assemble your own email designs using a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I managed to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts to a text type. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is rather simple. When you’ve completed all your tweaks, you can either save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to check all is well before distributing your email about the planet, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for delivery to see how timely the automatic system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you might have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a few reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve worked with several different apps where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given action. Users can export this information for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social media area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by state, who opens your emails. Email Marketing Benchmarks By Industry 2016
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with proper integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will reach that point changes, of course, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the company’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you need, there’s still hope. You can use the API or request an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to create and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of subscriptions are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to easily build an email audience through their readers. The plug-in can automatically produce email versions of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source images for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to various lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Marketing Benchmarks By Industry 2016
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social media and email marketing, it is very important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users trying to engage in spam actions. The business is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free provider, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature that looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Key information can be buried and hard to locate, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Benchmarks By Industry 2016
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible nearly 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer information that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this app. The business also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You can also ask for a particular webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who believe consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active site. All readers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation strategies, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any setup on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Marketing Benchmarks By Industry 2016
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People today are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of features like AB analyzing and surveys in all programs; many companies charge extra for these features or only include them into their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a wide range of demographics, from first time ESP users to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I was able to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. If you need your mails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you may need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, causing recipients to mark them as junk and not reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to stop this from occurring, this might be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, so it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge number of pricing plans, including a totally free plan and a massive array of paid plans that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem at the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Benchmarks By Industry 2016
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing depending on the amount of emails they send each month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the very best in the company for anyone who only wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small business which views email as a little element of its advertising and does not have any desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email marketing program with a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there might come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a great deal for the money, provides exceptional support, and the company appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for much more.