Summary Industry Benchmark Email Open Rates
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and idea hub. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the resources of the fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from planning 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 staff personally sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the while, the business championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user needs. They also made sure from the outset that anyone who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In fact, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of the app. You may read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the simple fact that most of its attributes come standard with every single accounts — including the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There’s also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company explains the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or construct it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Industry Benchmark Email Open Rates
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the street. They can access and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube account, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a little more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile programs, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you may construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the ability to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be prosperous in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and each web browser has a signature style, making certain your emails look great across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full app (which assesses everything out of 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 can create newsletters from their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply need to set up 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 link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The company explains this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my new account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear direction on the best way to create my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go to the Emails segment, then hit the big blue”Create New Mail” button at the upper right-hand corner. Industry Benchmark Email Open Rates
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or classic 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 someone 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 prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automated tweet once the campaign went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email . If you want to, you are able to construct your own email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and much better than I was able to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from your personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text form. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite easy. Once you’ve completed all of your tweaks, you may save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before distributing your email on the world, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for delivery to see how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re one of the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with a lot of different apps where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given action. Users may export this information for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, who opens your emails. Industry Benchmark Email Open Rates
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain increased level marketers who need more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that information with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point varies, naturally, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe the integration you need, there is still hope. You can use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to quickly build an email audience through their readers. The plugin can automatically create email versions of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to supply pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to different lists based on which products they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of their PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. 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 also use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library . Industry Benchmark Email Open Rates
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key connection between social networking and email marketing, it’s very important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template listing is made of social media-specific templates that 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 bring a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email which 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 regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users trying to engage in spam activities. The company 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 supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words commonly used 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 case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support resources. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Key information is often buried and hard to find, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially when it comes to minute details about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Industry Benchmark Email Open Rates
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide advice which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of the program. The business also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You might even ask for a special webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active site. All subscribers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest 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 doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Industry Benchmark Email Open Rates
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of attributes including AB testing and surveys in most plans; many companies charge extra for such attributes or just include them in their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP users to those who have attempted a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly significant factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending needs, but others will. Should you want your mails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this issue.
· 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 concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, leading recipients to mark them as junk and not reading the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to stop this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, so it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge variety of pricing plans, including a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid programs that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo in the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Industry Benchmark Email Open Rates
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing depending on the amount of emails that they send each month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Strategies. 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 lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may just be the best in the company for anybody who just wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a little company which views email as a little element of its marketing and does not have any desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Business looking for a easy email advertising program with a host of great features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Even though there might come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a great deal for the money, offers excellent service, and the company appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can not ask for much more.