Summary Email Benchmarking Report 2018
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and idea heart. Backed by a little programming team 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 concept. 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 Customers of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to create a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. They also made certain from the outset that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email advertising services to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the globe, however, the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of the program. You may read about Benchmark’s background 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 this ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with every single account — including the free ones. Below are a few 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 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the advantages 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 site or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs have 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 particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery 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 leading email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Benchmarking Report 2018
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the street. They can access and add contacts, read reports, send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a little more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile programs, making them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to use on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty 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 build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or designed as annual messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and every web browser includes a signature style, making certain that your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full program (which checks everything out of 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 blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply need to establish 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 connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from some other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. The business explains this role in more detail here.
· 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.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear direction on the best way to make my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main 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 Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Email Benchmarking Report 2018
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic 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’re someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet once the campaign went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start building the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to assemble your personal email layouts employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and much better than I was able to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts one 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 right from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text type. When you make your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather simple. Once you’ve completed all of your tweaks, you may save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to verify everything is well before distributing your email about the planet, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for delivery to view how timely the automated system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was likely present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re one of the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve worked with a lot of different apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about each effort. The possibly most important statistic, the open speed, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given activity. Users can export this data for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Email Benchmarking Report 2018
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain higher level marketers that want more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks 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 info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will get to that point varies, of course, based on the company.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe the integration you want, there’s 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 software 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 their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of programs are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer via their readers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to various lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of their PayPal clients to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to see how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Benchmarking Report 2018
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social media and email advertising, it’s important to look at the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which permits you to bring 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 websites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to each email that will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The Business also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate 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 fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
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 is likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning resources, but can be opaque occasionally. Key information can be buried and difficult to locate, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, especially when it comes to minute details about plans. As an example. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at 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 Benchmarking Report 2018
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible almost 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide information that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this program. The company also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You can even ask for a special webinar on quite a few different subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, at 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 helpful tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles 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 favorite 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 PC.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Benchmarking Report 2018
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People today are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it is really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys from all plans; many firms charge extra for these attributes or just include them into their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide 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 aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I was able to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. Should you want your emails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you might have to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that remarked 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 email, causing receivers to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, so it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing strategies, including a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid plans which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a small Benchmark emblem at the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Email Benchmarking Report 2018
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email advertising based on the amount of mails they send every 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 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 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the very best in the business for anybody who only wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little company which perspectives email as a minor element of its marketing and does not have any desire to operate beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a simple email advertising program using a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Even though there might come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a lot for the price, offers exceptional service, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for more.