Overview Industry Average Email Open Rate
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that functioned as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought heart. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email advertising. Many of their thoughts were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small businesses located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team personally sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the time, the company uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user needs. They also made certain from the outset that anyone who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email marketing solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of this app. You can read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout characteristics of the ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your website or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Industry Average Email Open Rate
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the street. They can get and include contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration using a YouTube account, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a bit more than many other companies offer on their mobile apps, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you can construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the power to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and each internet browser includes a signature style, making certain your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire app (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters from their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply have to establish a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and check data. The company describes this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you need to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear path on how to make my first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, proceed into the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Mail” button in the top right-hand corner. Industry Average Email Open Rate
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization with 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 alternative.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to assemble your own email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and better than I managed to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text type. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite simple. When you’ve completed all of your tweaks, you can save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check all is well before unleashing your email on the planet, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for shipping to view how timely the automated system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re one of the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a couple of reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve worked with a lot of different programs where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about every campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie chart and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given activity. Users may export this information for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your emails. Industry Average Email Open Rate
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that need more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this info with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point varies, naturally, based on the company.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just beginning in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you want, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask 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 program allows users to make and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and track the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to quickly build an email audience through their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically produce email versions of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from places throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to various lists based on which products they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Industry Average Email Open Rate
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral link between social networking and email advertising, it’s very important to check out 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 that directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, 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 the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users hoping to engage in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to preserve its standing as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam check feature which looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support resources. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning tools, but may be opaque at times. Crucial information is often buried and hard to locate, particularly in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially in regards to minute details about strategies. As an example. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Industry Average Email Open Rate
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it is closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the app. The business also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You can also ask for a particular webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly valuable tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. All readers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any installation on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Industry Average Email Open Rate
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most typical observation regarding Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it is really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of attributes like AB testing and surveys in most plans; many companies charge extra for such features or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to those who have attempted many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly important factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. If you want your emails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you might need to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing recipients to mark them as junk and not reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this may be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge variety of pricing plans, such as a totally free plan and a massive array of paid programs which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a little Benchmark emblem at the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Industry Average Email Open Rate
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email marketing based on the number of emails that they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a 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% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options might very well be the very best in the business for anybody who only wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a small company which perspectives email as a little element of its advertising and has no desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company trying to find a easy email advertising program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a lot for the money, offers excellent support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can not ask for much more.