Overview Dma Email Benchmark Report 2017
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office that functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought heart. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the resources 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 staff sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the while, the business uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer needs. They also made certain from the outset that anyone who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email marketing services to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, but the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of the program. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout features of the ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using one of 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 programs have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Dma Email Benchmark Report 2017
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several functions on the road. They can access and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos via integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a bit more than a number of other companies offer on their mobile apps, making them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize on 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 have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you can build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the ability to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or designed as yearly messages such as birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email advertising is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and every web browser has a signature fashion, making certain your emails look great across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full app (which assesses 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 out of their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply have to set up a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and check data. The company explains this function 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.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear direction on the best way to make my very first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go into the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Email” button in the top right-hand corner. Dma Email Benchmark Report 2017
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you are somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I wanted on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automatic tweet once the campaign went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wished 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 layouts using an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text type. When you make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is rather easy. Once you’ve finished all of your tweaks, you can either save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before unleashing your email about the planet, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program 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, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was likely present in tolerance levels for many users. If you are among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a couple of reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of different apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open speed, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given activity. Users may export this information for further analysis by means of 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 which breaks down, by state, who opens your emails. Dma Email Benchmark Report 2017
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who need more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will reach that point changes, of course, dependent on the company.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the company’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just beginning in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have limitations.
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 can use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to make and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of programs are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email audience via their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email variations of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to supply pictures for your Benchmark mails from places throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to different lists based on which products they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of the PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library . Dma Email Benchmark Report 2017
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key connection between social networking and email marketing, it’s important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to each email which will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The Business also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users trying to take part in spam actions. The business is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to maintain its standing as a spam-free supplier, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam check feature that looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support resources. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but may be opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and hard to locate, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially in regards to minute details about strategies. As an example. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, but 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 is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Dma Email Benchmark Report 2017
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible almost 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it is closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects 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 an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer information which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may want to contact assistance 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 this app. The business also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You might even request a special webinar on quite a few different topics. Live webinars include the chance 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 specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active site. All subscribers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their latest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production approaches, 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 setup on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Dma Email Benchmark Report 2017
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of attributes including AB testing and surveys in most plans; many companies charge extra for these attributes or only include them in their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to those who have attempted a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users 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 factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able 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 when they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. If you need your mails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you might need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading recipients to mark them as junk rather than reading the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to stop this from happening, this may be a problem. 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 Provides a enormous variety of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a huge array of paid programs that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the attributes list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Dma Email Benchmark Report 2017
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing based on the number of mails they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options might just be the best in the business for anybody who only wants to dive into email advertising (especially small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little company which perspectives email as a minor aspect of its advertising and has no desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email marketing program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there might come a time when you outgrow the app, it provides a great deal for the price, offers exceptional service, and the business seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for much more.