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Get to know 8 advantages of surveys and polls

Get to know 8 advantages of surveys and polls

Practical Marketer • October 2, 2018

Have you ever wondered what your customers think about your service or product? Are you sure which products your followers might see in your shop? Are you looking for ways to engage with your subscribers? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you will love to learn these eight advantages of surveys and polls, which are actually included for free in your email marketing account.    What is a survey? A survey consists of a series of questions asked to an audience (the larger the better) in order to gather data or to detect statistical tendencies in their opinions about a specific issue. A survey can help to get an idea about how happy your customers are with your service or to understand who they are and what exactly they are looking for. What is a poll? A poll is a mini survey of one or two (at most) questions that may be published on a website to quickly measure public opinion about a topic at a specific moment. Both options are the perfect tools for inviting your audience to speak their minds. The answers may help you to make the necessary adjustments to your products and services or to prepare the right content for your segments that you can create with the information provided. What are the 8 advantages of surveys and polls? Starting a conversation: Sending a survey with open questions is the ideal way to engage with your audience and to open a channel of communication with them. People like it when somebody cares about their opinion. Easy and fast: Create your survey in no time and start receiving feedback from the very moment you sent it to your subscribers. Outsourcing this service would require time and money. Innovative ideas: Seeing your service through your clients’ eyes can help you to improve it. They may be experiencing issues that you are not aware of, or give you new ideas you wouldn’t have thought of. No pressure: People will respond to your poll or survey at the time they consider appropriate, without a time limit and without anyone who can distort their response. Satisfaction: Knowing the level of satisfaction of your customers is essential to growing your business and moving in the right direction. A survey will help you to double check if your perception actually matches the opinion of your customers about you. All-in-one solution: We tend to use more and more different tools with separate logins and functionalities, but surveys and polls are actually included for free in your email marketing account, at least with Benchmark Email, and can be sent to your whole database by email with just one click. No extra costs: Polls and surveys are free: they are included in your Benchmark account at no additional cost. Statistical results: The analysis of results will be quick for all but the open questions. Results will be displayed in percentages that will help you to know the preferences of the majority at just one glimpse. Keys to create a good survey Decide for each question if it is mandatory or not. Some question need to be answered by all respondents and some just make sense for a few of them. Surveys should be easy and quick to answer. According to your audience and the aim of  the survey, we recommend not asking more than five questions. Give a benefit in return for the collaboration to respond. People will dedicate some time on answering your questions. They will do this more happily if they receive a little gift (download, discount, etc.) in exchange. Ask closed questions if you want to get specific, quantifiable answers. However, if you need to explore your respondents opinions and feelings a bit more deeply, leave them some space with open questions. For closed questions, make sure you offer all possible answers or include an “others” field if you are not sure. Use the different types of answers strategically: \"One line\" are open but short answers, which allow up to 255 characters. They are ideal to allow the respondent to give a free answer will still be easy to analyze since it’s brief. \"Radio\" responses allow the respondent to select only one of the given options. It is a closed question used for specific and mutually excluding answers. \"Check\" responses look the same as the “Radio” ones but allow several answers. This is useful when more than one option might apply. \"Dropdown\" responses fulfill the same function as the \"radio\" responses, as the respondent will be only able to pick one, but won’t be able to view all answers at once. Dropdowns are mainly used for long lists of choices like “Countries” or “Months”. \"Descriptive text\" responses are similar to “One line” responses but will have no limitation of characters. You can get high quality feedback with these questions, but analyzing the results might take you longer. “Multiple choice” answers allow the respondent to select several options. It is used when the response options are not mutually exclusive. Benchmark Surveys Benchmark surveys are easy and quick to create. You just have to be clear about the goal of the survey and begin to think about the questions. Also if you need a bit of inspiration to get started, at Benchmark we offer you 6 templates for your surveys. Survey Templates Blank Survey: This template is entirely blank. You create all the questions for this survey from scratch. Services Provided: This survey measures customer satisfaction with goods or services and gives participants a chance to suggest improvement. Event Participation: This template gathers opinion on a special event, from prior expectations to whether the event lived up to those expectations. Company Satisfaction: This template measures if customers are pleased with a company or organization, and gathers demographic data from participants. Website Survey: This survey tracks customer opinion on your Website\'s appearance, content and more. In-store purchase: This template not only measures customer opinion on past product purchases, but sets a gauge for future purchases Go ahead and start creating your own polls and surveys and use the information we have shared with you in this post. And… would you allow us to make a small survey with you? How successful was your first survey? It is an open question and you can leave us your experience in the comments section below :-).


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How To Interpret Your First Email Marketing Campaign

How To Interpret Your First Email Marketing Campaign

Practical Marketer • September 5, 2018

The use of an email marketing tool is not based solely on the sending of promotional campaigns, but the tool becomes an excellent instrument for achieving one or several goals. According to the latest report by Demand Metrics, the three principal reasons why users decide to do email marketing are: Communicate with customers Communicate with prospects Build brand awareness There are also other reasons like generating revenue or capturing data on subscribers, and just 3% of the users do not have any goal. Do you know your email marketing goal? Having a goal is crucial to building your whole email marketing strategy. How should you read your first email marketing report? When you are on the report page, you will find a summary of the outcome of the campaign: With numbers alone, it is difficult to see what happens. However, just below the numbers are changed to percentages from which we can get better insights: This chart is fantastic to get an idea about the campaign performance and to start planning the measures we need to take in our next campaign. In this case, and to best situate yourself, these results belong to an information campaign that was composed of a logo plus the text. It was sent to a database compiled since 2017 and updated every day. Let’s start to analyze the results: OPEN RATE: it is very good. We can determine that the campaign has been useful. It reached the 33%. We should work to reach the 35% next time. BOUNCE RATE: it is just within the limits. This rate should never be higher than 2%, and if possible, it should be lower than 1%. In this article, Want To Start List Hygiene, But You’re Afraid To Start? We give you the key steps you should follow to get a bounce rate of one percent or less. Then, we have: CLICKS INTERACTIONS measure the percentage and the number of subscribers that have clicked on your links. If we click on the number, we will be able to see the name, email address, and date of click. In this case, the campaign did not have any link to click, except the one in the logo, that’s why the click-through rate is too low. This click-through rate is calculated based on opens. It is difficult to know the click-through rate that can be considered as good because it depends on the goal of the campaign (informative o sales) and the design (if we use links, CTAs, etc.). If the goal is that the subscriber clicks, that percentage never should be lower than 1%. Otherwise, we should rethink the content or the design. This part also offers us the possibility to know on which links the user has clicked and how many times. Also, you have a CLICK MAP that shows you like a hot map where the subscriber has clicked: We also have the number and the percentage of the UNSUBSCRIBES, and if you click on the number, you will see the reasons: Knowing the reason is interesting, because in the case of a high number of unsubscribers sharing the same reason you may understand that there is something you\'re not doing well. It is usual that some people lose the interest in your product or information, but if you see that this percentage surpasses 1% on a regular basis, that can give you a signal that the content is no longer relevant for them or that maybe you should change the frequency of the sends. The ABUSE RATE is also important data to keep in mind because it measures the number of subscribers that have marked your campaign as spam. Again, if you click on the number, you will see the report: Even, if it is a double opt-in list, you may have a spam complaint, for example, when you have sent a campaign to that database, and a subscriber does not remember to have signed up for it. If you have more than one isolated complaint, you should review the process of obtaining your subscribers, because it indicates that they are not expecting to receive your emails. This report gives the contact data of the subscriber who has marked you as spam. In Benchmark, we always recommend to include these links... ...to allow the user to exercise his/her rights, and in particular, the link “Report Abuse” that gives the subscribers the chance to mark you as spam. Removing it from your campaigns is preventing yourself from getting valuable information. In this blog, How Do Abuse Complaints Affect Your Newsletter’s Deliverability? We tell you what you should do to avoid abuse complaints. And finally, the FORWARDS RATE tells you how many times your campaign has been forwarded to a user who was not on your list. This rate only counts when subscribers have used the “Forward Email” link in your campaigns, so if you don’t include it, the percentage will be 0. At the bottom of the report, you will find the HOURLY PERFORMANCE: This is a great chart to know the days and hours that work better to send your email marketing campaigns. For example, this campaign was sent on Friday, June 22nd  at 7.30 AM, so if we read the graphic, the subscribers are active on Saturday, 23th at 10.00 AM or Monday 25th at 7.00 AM which, we guess is when many of them login in their inbox for first time to start the working day. It is fantastic to have this information and sending the next campaigns based on the suscribers’ behavior guarantees you a higher engagement. If you shared your campaign on social media channel, you could see the interactions that the users have made on the channel with your post under FACEBOOK ENGAGEMENT. Also, you have an interactive map where you can see the OPENS BY GEOLOCATION: If you send to various countries, this report can be interesting for you, although you need to keep in mind that this information is an estimate and may not be as reliable due to the way ISPs distribute IP addresses. All this information can be downloaded as a PDF or Excel, and you can share the campaign with your sub-accounts, among other things: What results should you expect from your first email marketing campaign? Answering this question is a bit complicated because there are many factors that influence the outcome, such as: Old database Verified database Own database Recent database Design of the campaign Subject line Domain quality or use of public domain Set up of the SPF and CNAME records Use of a Dedicated IP And a few more… But set yourself the following numbers as initial objectives: Open rate: 15% Bounce rate: 0.5% Unsubscribe rate: 0.75% Abuse complaints: 0.05% If you can not reach these metrics, you can always count on the help of our Email Marketing Specialists, who will guide you with their best tips to reach them. Now it\'s your turn to start your campaigns! Would you mind to share your results with us?


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Want To Start List Hygiene, But You’re Afraid To Start?

Want To Start List Hygiene, But You’re Afraid To Start?

Practical Marketer • August 5, 2018

In our daily work, we send email campaigns on a regular basis. However, we tend to not take any action once the campaign has been sent. We’re talking about list hygiene. Do you know that the various ISPs (Hotmail, Gmail, etc.) know if you’re sending to an invalid email address and they can tank your deliverability? Yes, they can. For example, if after checking reports no action is taken in regards to bounces or email addresses that have not opened your last 30 campaigns, ISPs can start to block your campaigns with their filters. They will consider your emails to be from a sender that doesn’t take any action to improve results. That said, do you know what you need to remove? When we are referring to list hygiene, we’re talking about removing the hard bounces and email addresses which aren’t opening your campaigns. If you don\'t already know, there are three different types of bounces: Confirmed bounces. The email addresses that no longer exist and the sending server has tried to contact them three times, but the campaign has been able to be delivered. Hard bounces. These are email addresses that no longer exist. When they bounce three times, they turn into confirmed bounces. This could be due to a mistyped address, the domain no longer existing or the person who belongs to the email address no longer works there, and the address is no longer valid. Soft bounces. They are email addresses that temporally are inactivate. It has not yet been possible to deliver the campaign, but only temporally. Consequently, they are valid email addresses which should not be removed. What might the temporary issue be? It could be that the inbox is full of messages and the person cannot receive more emails until they free up space for it. Perhaps you sent a campaign outside working hours and got an autoresponder, or maybe the server has been down temporarily. These email addresses are not available for a period but when those issues are solved, they back to being activate. It might feel like you can’t see the importance of list hygiene, but we’ve made it easy for you to check the health of your list in your account in the reputation panel. This section will indicate a number between 1 and 8 which evaluates the status of your reputation. Do you know what reputation means? Reputation is a measure used for monitoring the behavior of your campaigns in regards to the spam filters and subscribers’ campaign interactions. It is precisely this interaction which will be improved with list hygiene. This is because you’re sending your campaigns to an email address that really exists and can actually open and click to your links. Similarly, if you remove the email addresses that have not opened your campaigns for a long time, you’ll be increasing the interaction for the rest of your list that remains. Furthermore, you can opt for a smaller plan and only pay for the subscribers that are opening your campaigns and through which you have chances to deliver your message. Please note that this won’t necessarily work with a new list as you likely won’t have enough data or bounces to make any major changes to the hygiene of your list. List verification may be more helpful to you in this instance, to remove things like mistyped email addresses. This is also solved by using double opt-in signup forms. In this blog, One Simple Way To Rescue Your Email Marketing Strategy we shared some ideas on how to increase your database. However, if the database is not current, or if you have never sent email marketing campaigns to it, your campaign’s reports will likely show a high bounce rate (in other words, more than 2%). Do you know what bounce rates you have? An email marketing account should have on average a 2% of bounces as the maximum. Additionally, list hygiene can be necessary if your list lands you in a spam trap. A spam trap is a trap used by ISPs to know which users are sending to a non-permission database or have a very old database. How can list hygiene be done with Benchmark? If you do not have a good control system in place to handle your contacts that you have removed, it’s possible they can be uploaded again into the tool. To solve this, the list hygiene would be: Login in your account Click on “Clean list” Select: confirmed + hard bounces Click on “Create New List” Once it has been created, you need to access the list and click on the three points. Select the option “Copy List” Copy to an “Existing List” and select “Master Unsubscribe List” In this way, we are blocking those contacts that are unuseful to be uploaded again to the tool. Keep in mind that this action is irreversible. If you have a good control system to handle your contacts to avoid your removed addresses being sent to, then the list hygiene would be from the points 1.1 to 1.3, and then click on “Remove from list” If a specific campaign you sent had a high number of bounces, and in that campaign, you selected multiple lists, following the steps above can be tricky. In that case, we recommend you to do the following: Go to Reports and click on the campaign Click on “Bounces” Select “Hard Bounces” Click on the three points and then “Export to File” Download the file and upload it to the “Master Unsubscribe List” If you have spam traps in your account, you should follow the previous steps and include the subscribers who have not opened your last 30 campaigns. The spam traps are in this group because they won’t be opening your emails. These are the four ways that we propose you keep your account clean of bounces to earn a high reputation. Now, you just need to choose the option that fits best with your needs and start doing it. If you need help with this process, you can contact your Email Marketing Specialist, or if you observe an anomaly in your bounce rate, such as a sudden growth in it, feel free to contact us before proceeding with list hygiene. We want to know what list hygiene practices have impacted your email marketing. Share your tips or results in the comments below!


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How can you re-confirm a database?

How can you re-confirm a database?

Practical Marketer • May 23, 2018

Have you updated your privacy policy? Do you just want to keep the most engaged subscribers? Perhaps you want to re-confirm the consent of your database as a preventive measure for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)? In this video, we show you how you can reconfirm a database with Benchmark. Re-confirm your database:   The text you need to use: Opt-in tag:  [opt-in: here you can write in text] Unsubscribe tag: [unsubscribe: here you can write in text] The text is 100% customizable. You just need to modify the italic text. Save the contacts that have re-confirmed in a separate list   Maybe you want to consider sending a campaign again to those who have not opened or to the whole list, excluding the new list of contacts, that have already confirmed. If you want to know more about the GDPR, we invite you to read and watch the webinar we held and in which we explain all the sensitive points that affect your email marketing strategy. Leave your comments or questions below and keep learning with Benchmark!


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