Overview Epsilon Email Benchmark Report
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO expert) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email advertising. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of this fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff sold them on the usage of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the time, the business championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer needs. They also made sure 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 global email advertising solutions to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company supplies a full page of testimonials from users of the app. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of the ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company explains the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or build 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 choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part 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 clients’ behalf. Epsilon Email Benchmark Report
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several functions on the street. They can get and include contacts, read reportsand send videos via integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a bit more than many other businesses offer on their mobile apps, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo 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 offers this ultra-customization option with which you may build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages such as birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and every internet browser includes a signature style, making sure that your emails look good across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish a campaign and template within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The company describes this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my new account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path about the best way to create my very first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, proceed to the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Epsilon Email Benchmark Report
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you are someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as when I wanted an automated tweet once the campaign went out. The following 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 want to, you are able to assemble your own email layouts employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and much better than I was able to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text type. When you create your Benchmark lists, they’ll show up on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is quite easy. When you’ve completed all of your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify all is well before unleashing your email about the world, 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 view 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 probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you may have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a few reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of other apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie graph and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given action. Users can export this data for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your emails. Epsilon Email Benchmark Report
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who need more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of that information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point changes, of course, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just beginning in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you want, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask 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 app permits users to create and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email audience through their readers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find 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 can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to different lists based on what they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to see how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Epsilon Email Benchmark Report
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key connection between social networking and email advertising, it is important to check out the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to every email that 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 concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users trying to engage in spam actions. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business 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 which looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning resources, but may be 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, particularly in regards to minute details about strategies. For instance. 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 at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Epsilon Email Benchmark Report
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at support[email protected] or through the company’s contact form here. 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 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’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide information that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might want to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this program. The company also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You might also request a particular webinar on quite a few other topics. 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, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly helpful tool for all those brand new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
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. Epsilon Email Benchmark Report
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the addition of attributes including AB testing and surveys in all programs; many firms charge extra for these attributes or just include them in their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP users to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling 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 important factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours when they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. Should you need your emails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you may have to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to stop this from occurring, this might be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing plans, including a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid programs 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 catch. There will be a small Benchmark emblem at the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Epsilon Email Benchmark Report
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing depending on the amount 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 a month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options may very well be the very best in the company for anybody who only wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little business which perspectives email as a little aspect of its advertising and has no desire to operate beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company looking for a simple email advertising program using a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Even though there may come a time when you launch the program, it provides a lot for the money, provides exceptional support, and the business appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for much more.