Overview Industry Standard Open Rate For Email Marketing
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the ideas were beyond the means of the fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team personally sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the company championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email marketing solutions to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In fact, the organization supplies a complete page of testimonials from local users of the app. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout features of the ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with each account — including the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the advantages 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 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 increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all 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 support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Industry Standard Open Rate For Email Marketing
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can get and include contacts, browse reports, send videos via integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than a number of other companies offer on their mobile apps, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to use in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you have 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 can be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or designed as yearly messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be prosperous in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and each internet browser includes a signature fashion, making certain that your emails look great across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which checks 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 out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply need to set up a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The business describes this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers 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
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you have to validate your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction about how to make my very first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go to the Emails segment, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. Industry Standard Open Rate For Email Marketing
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 go for more customization with 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 moved with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I desired on the message, as well as if I wanted an automated tweet when the effort went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start building the email . If you would like to, you can assemble your personal email layouts employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and better than I was able to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right 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 dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite easy. When you have finished all of your tweaks, you may 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 distributing your email on the planet, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for shipping to see how timely the automatic system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
The 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 almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with several different apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users can export this information for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Industry Standard Open Rate For Email Marketing
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this information with proper integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point varies, naturally, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s key focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you need, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to create and customize events, promote and market tickets, and track the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly 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 via 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 listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to source images for your Benchmark emails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future use.
· 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 clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to various lists based on which products they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of their PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Industry Standard Open Rate For Email Marketing
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key connection between social networking and email marketing, it’s important to check out the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template list consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s participation in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to each email which will direct your readers to each of your social networking 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 those countries. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users trying to engage in spam actions. The business is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to preserve its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature which 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 is likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning resources, but may be opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to locate, particularly in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, especially when it comes to minute details about plans. For instance. That 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 at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Industry Standard Open Rate For Email Marketing
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. 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 are able to reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available almost 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered 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 typical FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of their 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 provide information that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might want to contact support 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 program. The company also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Mail 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 even ask for a particular webinar on quite a few other subjects. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents 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 Requirements — This is a particularly helpful tool for those 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” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active blog. All readers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles 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 discuss newsletter production strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Industry Standard Open Rate For Email Marketing
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the inclusion of features like AB analyzing and surveys in all plans; many companies charge extra for such attributes or just include them into their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a broad range of demographics, from first time ESP users to people who have attempted many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly important aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping needs, but others will. Should you want your emails to go out precisely whenever your schedule dictates, you may need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, this may be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, so it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge number of pricing plans, such as a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid programs which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a small Benchmark emblem at the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Industry Standard Open Rate For Email Marketing
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing depending on the number of emails that they send every month.
o Medium 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 Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the very best in the business for anyone who only wants to dive into email marketing (especially small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little business which views email as a little element of its marketing and does not have any desire to operate beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Company looking for a simple email advertising program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Even though there might come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a great deal for the money, offers exceptional service, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for more.