Summary Experian Quarterly Email Benchmark Report 2015
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office that served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and idea hub. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively simple concept. Simple email advertising. Many of the ideas were beyond the resources of the fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning 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 use of email advertising, while working hard to create a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the time, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user needs. They also made certain from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This does not mean 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 via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the globe, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company offers 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 provides Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with each account — such as the free ones. Below 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 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company explains the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey 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 plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Experian Quarterly Email Benchmark Report 2015
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the road. They can get and include contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, 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 businesses offer on their mobile apps, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to utilize on your email campaign aren’t 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 accessible.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or designed as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become successful in email marketing is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since 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. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish a campaign and template within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The company explains this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both Listing 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 business name, you have to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction on the best way best to create my first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, proceed to the Emails segment, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button in the top right-hand corner. Experian Quarterly Email Benchmark Report 2015
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic 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 somebody 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 setup how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin building the email . If you would like to, you are able to assemble your personal email designs employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and much better than I managed to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for those who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts to a text type. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather easy. When you have completed all of your tweaks, you may save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to check all is well before unleashing your email on the world, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for shipping to view how timely the automatic system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was likely within tolerance levels for many users. If you are one of the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you may need to look 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
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I have worked with a lot of other apps where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given action. Users can export this information for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Experian Quarterly Email Benchmark Report 2015
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain increased level marketers who want more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with proper integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will reach that point changes, of course, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
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 beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that customers 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 don’t observe the integration you need, there is still hope. You can use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to make and customize events, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. 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 engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email audience through their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically produce email versions of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you source pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to various lists based on what they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal clients to their 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 .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library . Experian Quarterly Email Benchmark Report 2015
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social media and email advertising, it is very important to look at the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s involvement in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Email — After you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to every email which will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with all 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 numbers to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users hoping to take part in spam activities. The business is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature which looks for words widely 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 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 users a lot of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning resources, but can be opaque at times. Key information can be buried and difficult to locate, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, particularly in regards to minute details about plans. As an example. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Experian Quarterly Email Benchmark Report 2015
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited 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 almost 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. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the program. 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 see the recorded version at any moment. You can even ask for a particular webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly helpful tool for all those new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
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. Experian Quarterly Email Benchmark Report 2015
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it is actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of features including AB analyzing and surveys in all programs; many firms charge extra for these attributes or only include them in their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a broad range 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 all the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who disliked Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. Should you want your mails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you might have to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as junk and not reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to stop this from happening, this may be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge number of pricing strategies, including a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid programs that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid program 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 gives you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the attributes list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Experian Quarterly Email Benchmark Report 2015
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing depending on the number of emails they send every month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Plans. 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 lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options might very well be the best in the company for anybody who just wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little company which views email as a little element of its advertising and has no desire to operate past the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company looking for a easy email marketing program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a lot for the money, offers excellent service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for much more.