Overview Industry Standard Email Open Rates
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that functioned as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and idea heart. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the resources of this fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in near 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 create a simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the while, the company championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer needs. They also made sure from the outset that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email advertising solutions to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, but the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In reality, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of the program. You may read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Below are some 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 specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost 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 customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Industry Standard Email Open Rates
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the street. They can get and add contacts, read reportsand send videos via integration with a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a bit more than many other companies offer on their mobile programs, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to use on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you may build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the power to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be successful in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and every internet browser has a signature style, making sure that your emails look great across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need to set up a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check data. The business explains 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 fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you have to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my new account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path on how to make my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go into the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Industry Standard 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 go for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you are somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally gifted that way, so I moved 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 effort went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start building the email itself. If you would like to, you can assemble your own email designs using a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and much better than I was able to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are 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 list, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts to a text type. When you make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is quite easy. Once you’ve finished all of your tweaks, you may either save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify all is well before unleashing your email on the world, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for shipping to view how timely the automatic system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was likely present in tolerance levels for many users. If you are one of the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered 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 virtually immediately. I have worked with a lot of different programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given action. Users may export this information for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Industry Standard Email Open Rates
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this info with proper integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point varies, of course, dependent on the company.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see the integration you need, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions 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 variety of programs are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to easily build an email audience through their readers. The plug-in can automatically produce email variations of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you source images for your Benchmark mails from places across the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to different lists based on what they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of their PayPal clients to their 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 with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to see how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Industry Standard Email Open Rates
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social networking and email marketing, it’s important to check out the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template listing is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to every email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The Business also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. 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 outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users trying to engage in spam activities. The company is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature that looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that is likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. 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 tools. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to locate, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t see 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 those resources Benchmark offers. Industry Standard Email Open Rates
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible 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 a QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may 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 the app. The business also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You might also ask for a special webinar on a number of other subjects. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly valuable tool for those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active site. All subscribers automatically obtain 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 favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any setup on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Industry Standard Email Open Rates
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People today tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the addition of attributes like AB testing and surveys in most plans; many firms charge extra for such features or just include them into their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a wide range of demographics, from first time ESP users to those who have tried many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. But, I was able to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping needs, but other people will. If you want your mails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you may have to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as spam and not studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to stop this from happening, this might be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, therefore it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge number of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a huge array of paid plans which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the features list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Industry Standard Email Open Rates
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing depending on the amount of mails they send every 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 per month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the very best in the company for anybody who just wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little business which perspectives email as a little aspect of its advertising and does not have any desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Business looking for a simple email marketing program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the app, it provides a great deal for the price, offers exceptional service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can not ask for much more.