Summary Email Campaign Metrics
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. 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 expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email advertising. Many of their thoughts were beyond the means of the fledgling business, 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 personally sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to create a simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the business championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user requirements. They also made certain from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the organization offers a full page of testimonials from users of the app. You can read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides 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 each account — including the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most notable 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 particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business describes the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or construct it directly 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 particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Campaign Metrics
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers having an Apple device to access several purposes on the street. They can get and include contacts, read reports, send videos via integration with a YouTube account, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a little more than a number of other companies offer on their mobile apps, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty 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 mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages like anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each internet browser includes a signature style, making certain your emails look great across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire app (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages 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 permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The company explains this function 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
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you need to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path on the best way best to create my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go into the Emails segment, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button in the top right-hand corner. Email Campaign Metrics
From there, you have to 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 using 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 had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start constructing the email itself. If you want to, you are able to assemble your own email designs using an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and much 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 input contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts to a text form. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is quite simple. When you’ve completed all of your tweaks, you can save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify all is well before distributing your email on the world, it is possible to send it to your self 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 obtained it in 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was likely within tolerance levels for many users. If you’re one of 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 primary inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
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 register from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I have worked with several other apps where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users can export this information for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Email Campaign Metrics
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it isn’t 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 info with proper integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will reach that point varies, of course, dependent on the business.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you need, there’s still hope. You can use the API or request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to create and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of the events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email audience via their subscribers. The plugin can automatically produce email versions of blog articles 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 plugin lets you source pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations across the web. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to different lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of their PayPal clients for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Email Campaign Metrics
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social networking and email marketing, it’s very important to check out the social networking features contained 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 company’s involvement in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast 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 buttons to every email which will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with 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 utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all 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 hoping to take part in spam actions. The company is entirely in compliance with all 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 from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature which looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that is 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 reduce their spam amounts.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but can be needlessly opaque at times. Crucial information can be buried and hard to locate, particularly in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about plans. For instance. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Campaign Metrics
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to 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 nearly 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 because it is closer to some 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 key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from their 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 provide advice which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this app. The business also offers a webinar known as”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 might even request a particular webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details 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 blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly helpful tool for those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain access to present 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 at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production strategies, 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 PC.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Campaign Metrics
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the addition of attributes like AB testing and surveys from most plans; many firms charge extra for these features or only 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 consumers to people who have tried a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers 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 significant factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. Should you need your mails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you may need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, causing recipients to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from happening, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a huge scale of paid programs that 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 catch. There will be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the features list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Email Campaign Metrics
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email advertising based on the amount of emails they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a 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 a 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 you a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may just be the very best in the company for anyone who only wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a small company which perspectives email as a minor aspect of its marketing and has no desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company looking for a easy email advertising program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Though there might come a time when you launch the app, it provides a lot for the price, provides exceptional support, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for more.