Summary Dma Email Benchmark Report 2014
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and idea hub. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email advertising. Many of their ideas were beyond the means of the fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff personally sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to create a simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the while, the company uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer needs. They also made sure from the outset that anyone who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email advertising services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, but the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization offers a full page of testimonials from local users of the program. You can read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout features of the ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single accounts — including the free ones. Here are some 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 classes, some of which are tailored to particular industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business explains the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The company is a member 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. Dma Email Benchmark Report 2014
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the road. They can access and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube account, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile programs, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you can build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as annual messages like anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be successful in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and every web browser has 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 that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire app (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply need to set up a 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-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. The business describes this role in more detail .
· 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, contact number, and business name, you need to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear direction about the best way best to make my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, go into the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button at the upper right-hand corner. Dma Email Benchmark Report 2014
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you are someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I wanted on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automatic tweet once the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email . If you want to, you can assemble your personal email designs employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and much better than I was able to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You are able to 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 create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather simple. When you have finished all of your tweaks, you can save the 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 automated system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was likely 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 may have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with several other programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users may export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your emails. Dma Email Benchmark Report 2014
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will reach that point changes, of course, based on the company.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just starting out in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see 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 Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to make and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of subscriptions are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to quickly build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plugin can automatically create email versions of blog articles and allows 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 plug-in lets you source images for your Benchmark mails from places throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to different lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of the PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Dma Email Benchmark Report 2014
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social media and email marketing, it’s very important to check out the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons 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 regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users hoping 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 uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that is very likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning tools, but can be opaque occasionally. Key information is often buried and hard to find, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Dma Email Benchmark Report 2014
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available almost 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. One 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 which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this program. The business 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 request a special webinar on quite a few other subjects. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All readers automatically gain 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 latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Dma Email Benchmark Report 2014
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the addition of features like AB testing and surveys from all plans; many firms charge extra for such features or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a broad assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to those who have tried many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. Should you need your emails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing receivers to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is to stop this from occurring, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, so it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid plans that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want 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 into the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Dma Email Benchmark Report 2014
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising depending on the amount of mails that they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Strategies. 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 Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the very best in the business for anyone who just wants to dive into email marketing (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little business which views email as a little aspect of its advertising and has no desire to operate beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a simple email advertising program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a great deal for the price, provides exceptional service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can not ask for much more.