Overview 2015 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study.Pdf
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the means of the fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to make a simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email marketing services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the planet, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of this program. You can read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout features of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business describes the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other programs have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. 2015 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study.Pdf
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several purposes on the road. They can access and add contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a little more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile programs, which makes them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to use in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and every web browser has a signature fashion, making certain your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire app (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, 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 manages an RSS-feed. Users simply need to establish a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from some other apps which 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 campaign sending, and assess statistics. The company explains this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both List 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 account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path on the best way to make my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, go to the Emails segment, then hit on the big blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. 2015 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study.Pdf
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you’re somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not 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 when I wanted an automated tweet once the effort went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin building the email itself. If you want to, you can construct your own email designs using an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I was able to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a list, there are several 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 huge lists of contacts to a text form. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather simple. When you have finished all of your tweaks, you can save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to verify everything is well before distributing your email on the world, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for shipping to view how timely the automated system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a few reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I’ve worked with several different programs where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each effort. The possibly most important statistic, the open speed, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given action. Users can export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your emails. 2015 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study.Pdf
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher level marketers who want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will reach that point changes, of course, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the company’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while larger 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 can use the API or request an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to create and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and track the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of programs are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to easily build an email audience via their readers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations of blog articles and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you supply pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures images you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to different lists based on which products they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of the PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and use the analytics to see how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . 2015 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study.Pdf
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social networking and email advertising, it is important to check out the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, 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 selection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users hoping to take part in spam actions. The business is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to maintain its standing as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support tools. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning resources, but may be opaque occasionally. Key information can be buried and difficult to locate, particularly in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, especially in regards to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. 2015 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study.Pdf
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through these 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.
· Phone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available nearly 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of the program. The business also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You might also request a special webinar on a number of other subjects. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active site. All readers automatically obtain 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 strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any setup on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
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. 2015 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study.Pdf
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most common monitoring concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself as well. People are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of attributes like AB testing and surveys from most programs; many companies charge extra for such attributes or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP users to those who have tried 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 is an increasingly important factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. If you want your emails to go out precisely whenever your program dictates, you may have to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as junk and not studying the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this might be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, so it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge variety of pricing plans, including a free plan and a massive array of paid programs which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a little Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. 2015 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study.Pdf
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 that they send each month.
o Moderate 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 Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may very well be the very best in the company for anybody who just wants to dive into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small company which perspectives email as a little aspect of its advertising and has no desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Business looking for a easy email advertising program using a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a great deal for the price, offers excellent support, and the business seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can not ask for more.