Summary Experian Quarterly Email Benchmark Report
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought heart. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively simple concept. Simple email advertising. Many of their thoughts were beyond the resources of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team personally sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the business championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer needs. They also made certain from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing solutions to small and medium-sized companies 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’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from users of this program. 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 simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, 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 describes the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other programs have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Experian Quarterly Email Benchmark Report
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers having an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can access and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than many other companies offer on their mobile programs, making them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you can build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and each internet browser has a signature fashion, making sure that your emails look great across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and check statistics. The business explains this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides 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 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 in to my new account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction about the best way to make my very 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 effort, go into the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Experian Quarterly Email Benchmark Report
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or traditional 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 moved with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was motivated 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 choose which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin building the email . If you would like to, you can assemble your personal email designs using an extremely 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 in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are several 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. When you make your Benchmark lists, they will appear on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is rather easy. Once you have completed all your tweaks, you can either save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check all is well before unleashing your email about 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 shipping to view how timely the automatic system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was likely present in tolerance levels for many users. If you’re one of the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, you may have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve worked with several different programs where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about every campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available rate, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, 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 via a csv or xls file. There is 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. Experian Quarterly Email Benchmark Report
Though all of the information Is Excellent 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 whole 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 Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe the integration you need, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to create and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of programs are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email viewer through their readers. The plug-in can automatically produce email variations of blog articles and allows 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 plug-in allows you to source pictures for your Benchmark mails from places throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark accounts 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 subscribers to various lists based on what they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of the PayPal customers for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and use the analytics to see how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Experian Quarterly Email Benchmark Report
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social media and email marketing, it’s very important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template listing consists of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s involvement in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to every email that will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The Business also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The whole system 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 summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users hoping to take part in spam actions. The company is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free supplier, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test 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’s likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning resources, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to locate, especially if you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, particularly in regards to minute details about strategies. For instance. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Experian Quarterly Email Benchmark Report
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer information which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the app. The business also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You can even ask for a special webinar on a number of different subjects. 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, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active site. All readers 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 favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any setup on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Experian Quarterly Email Benchmark Report
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most common monitoring concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of features including AB analyzing and surveys in all plans; many firms charge extra for such attributes or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide range of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to those who have attempted many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers 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 aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. However, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. If you want your emails to go out precisely whenever your program dictates, you may need to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, leading receivers to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is to stop this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, so it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge variety of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a massive array of paid programs that 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 grab. There will be a small Benchmark logo in the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the attributes list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Experian Quarterly Email Benchmark Report
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email advertising depending on the number of emails 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 Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the best in the business for anyone who just wants to dive into email marketing (particularly small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little company which perspectives email as a minor element of its advertising and has no desire to operate beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Company looking for a simple email advertising program using a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the app, it provides a lot for the price, offers exceptional support, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for more.