Overview Email Benchmark Report
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the group’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, along with an SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of the ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team sold them on the usage of email marketing, while working hard to create a simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the while, the business uses such novel 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 quick access to outstanding 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 kids in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In reality, the company offers a full page of testimonials from users of this program. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single accounts — including the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers 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 class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company describes the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume programs come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Benchmark Report
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers having an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can get and include contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a little more than many other companies offer on their mobile programs, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the power to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or designed as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each web browser includes a signature style, making certain your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire app (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which manages 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 permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and check statistics. The company describes this role in more detail here.
· 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 validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my new account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear direction about the best way best to create my first email campaign. Great start!
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 segment, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button in the top right-hand corner. Email Benchmark Report
From there, you have to 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 somebody 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 was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I wanted on the message, as well as when I wanted an automated tweet once the effort went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email itself. If you want to, you can assemble your own email designs employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts 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 directly from your 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 show up on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather simple. When you have finished all your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before distributing your email on the planet, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for shipping to see how timely the automated system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you are one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with a lot of different programs where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every effort. The possibly most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie graph 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 activity. Users may export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by country, that opens your emails. Email Benchmark Report
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with proper integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point varies, naturally, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
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 companies, especially those just beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you need, there’s still hope. You can use the API or request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to make and customize events, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of the events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically produce email variations of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal customers for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Benchmark Report
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social media and email marketing, it’s very important to check out the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template list consists of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email that will direct your readers to each of your social networking 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 those countries. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users hoping to take part in spam activities. The business is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to maintain its standing as a spam-free provider, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature that looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning resources, but can be opaque occasionally. Crucial 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 details about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor will you 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. Email Benchmark Report
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form here. Available 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 countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available almost 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and limited 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 typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from 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. A few of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may want 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 Mail Crash Course.” You may see 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 chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, 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 can be a particularly valuable tool for those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any setup on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Benchmark Report
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common observation regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People today are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it is really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the inclusion of attributes like AB analyzing and surveys from all plans; many companies charge extra for such attributes or just include them into their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment of demographics, from first time ESP users to people who have tried a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly significant factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. But, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. Should you want your mails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you may need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading recipients to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is to prevent this from occurring, this might be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge number of pricing plans, such as a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid plans which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a small Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all of 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 accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Email Benchmark Report
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising based on the number of emails that they send each month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Strategies. 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 charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may very well be the best in the business for anybody who just wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a small company which views email as a minor element of its marketing and has no desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business looking for a easy email marketing program using a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there may come a time when you outgrow the app, it provides a great deal for the money, offers excellent service, and the business seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can not ask for much more.