Overview Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and idea 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 execute a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the ideas were beyond the means of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail 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 usage of email advertising, while working hard to create a simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the business uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made certain from the outset that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising 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 adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In reality, the organization offers a full page of testimonials from users of the program. You may read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with each accounts — such as the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to specific industries like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There’s also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business describes the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or construct it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase 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’ mails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several purposes on the street. They can access and include contacts, read reports, send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than a number of other companies offer on their mobile programs, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you may build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the ability to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become successful in email marketing is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and each internet 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 look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full app (which checks everything from 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 mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply have to set up a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The business describes this function in more detail .
· 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.
Ease Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear path on the best way best to make my very first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, proceed into the Emails segment, then hit the large blue”Create New Email” button at the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study
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 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 had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I wanted on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automatic tweet once the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start constructing the email . If you would like to, you can assemble your own email designs using a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, 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 certainly do as I did and manually input contacts at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You are able to 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 into a text form. When you make your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is quite easy. Once you’ve completed all of your tweaks, you may save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before distributing your email on the planet, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for shipping to see how timely the automatic system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you’re among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you might have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a few reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system almost immediately. I’ve worked with a lot of other apps where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the available rate, seems 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 exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users can export this information for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social media area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your emails. Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain increased level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although 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 a small company will reach that point changes, of course, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s key focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just starting out in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or request an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to make and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of subscriptions 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 participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email viewer via their readers. 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 review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you source pictures for your Benchmark mails from places across the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers 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 the PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library . Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral link between social networking and email marketing, it is important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template list consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s involvement in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email which will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The Business also fully Complies with 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 amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users trying to take part in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free provider, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam check feature that looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning tools, but can be needlessly opaque at times. Key information is often buried and difficult to locate, particularly in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially in regards to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible nearly 24 hours daily 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 a QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might want to contact support 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 the program. The company also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Mail 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 even ask for a particular webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly helpful tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active site. All subscribers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter 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 other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of features like AB analyzing and surveys in all programs; many companies charge extra for these attributes or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a wide range 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 the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly important factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. But, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. If you want your mails to go out precisely when your program dictates, you may need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing recipients to mark them as junk and not studying the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from occurring, this may be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, so it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a massive array of paid programs that may 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 will be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email advertising depending on the amount of mails that they send every 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 a month
o Extra Large Plans. 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 charge 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 easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the best in the business for anyone who only wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little business which perspectives email as a minor element of its advertising and has no desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email advertising program with a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there might come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a lot for the money, offers excellent service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for more.