Overview Email Benchmark Report 2015
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. 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 pro ) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email 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 time, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made certain from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email marketing solutions to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has stuck 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 throughout the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from users of the app. You may read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with every single account — including the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless 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 retailstores. There is also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your website or construct it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the choice 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 clients’ emails 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 customers’ behalf. Email Benchmark Report 2015
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the street. They can get and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube account, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a little more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile apps, making them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use in your email campaign are not 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 have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you can construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the ability to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages such as birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and each web browser includes a signature style, making sure your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire program (which checks everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to 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 attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply need to establish 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-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from some other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The company describes this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides 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
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you need to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction on how best to make my very first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, go into the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button at the upper right-hand corner. Email Benchmark Report 2015
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go 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 personally 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 setup how much observation I desired 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 get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start constructing the email itself. If you want to, you can assemble your own email designs employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are 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 enter contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your 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 create your Benchmark lists, they will show up on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is quite simple. When you have completed 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 verify all is well before distributing your email about the world, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for delivery to see how timely the automated system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was likely present in tolerance levels for many users. If you’re one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a few reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I have worked with several other apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about every effort. The possibly most important statistic, the open speed, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this information for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your emails. Email Benchmark Report 2015
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers who want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of this info with proper integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will reach that point changes, naturally, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just beginning in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you want, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to make and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and track the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of programs are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer through 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 listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source images for your Benchmark mails from locations across the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to see how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Email Benchmark Report 2015
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social media and email advertising, it’s very important to check out the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Like” button into your own 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 into subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account together 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 networking pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users trying to engage in spam actions. The business is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to maintain its standing as a spam-free provider, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
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 assigned to content that’s likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning resources, but can be opaque at times. Key information is often buried and hard to find, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Benchmark Report 2015
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available almost 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because 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 perform 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 will be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer advice which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might 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 this app. The business also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You can also request a special webinar on a number of different topics. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for those new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All subscribers 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 latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any installation on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Benchmark Report 2015
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of features including AB testing and surveys from most programs; many firms charge extra for such attributes or only include them into their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. 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 layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of 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 Benchmark experience. But, I managed to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized 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 mails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you might need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as junk rather than reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to stop this from happening, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, so it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing strategies, including a totally free plan and a massive array of paid programs which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a little Benchmark emblem at the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the attributes list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Email Benchmark Report 2015
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing based on the number of emails that they send each month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a 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 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the best in the business for anyone who only wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a small business which views email as a minor aspect of its advertising and has no desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email advertising program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there may come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a lot for the money, provides excellent service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can not ask for more.