Summary Ibm Email Benchmark Study
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office that functioned as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and idea hub. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the ideas were beyond the resources of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to create a simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the while, the company championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user requirements. They also made certain from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to excellent 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 indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In reality, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from local users of this app. You may read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features of the ESP is the fact that most of 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 offers all users access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is 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 advantages 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 build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Ibm Email Benchmark Study
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the street. They can get and add contacts, read reports, send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a little more than many other companies offer on their mobile programs, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to use in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you can build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this via 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 customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and each internet browser includes a signature style, making sure that your emails look good across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (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 handles an RSS-feed. Users only need to set up a campaign and template within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and assess data. The business describes this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction about how to make my very first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, proceed to the Emails segment, then hit on the large blue”Create New Mail” button in the top right-hand corner. Ibm Email Benchmark Study
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you’re someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin constructing the email . If you would like to, you can assemble your own email designs employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and 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 listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts to a text type. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is rather easy. When you’ve completed all your tweaks, you may save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify 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 opted to schedule my email for delivery to see how timely the automatic system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly ideal, 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, then you might 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 perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system almost immediately. I have worked with several different programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given action. Users may export this information for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by country, that opens your emails. Ibm Email Benchmark Study
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that need 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 entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point varies, of course, dependent on the company.
Particular Size Of Business
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 starting out in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see the integration you need, there’s still hope. You can use the API or request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of programs are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer via their readers. The plugin 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 list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to source pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations across the web. Benchmark Power captures images you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of their PayPal clients for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this 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 mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library . Ibm Email Benchmark Study
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social networking and email marketing, it’s important to check out the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to every email which will direct your subscribers 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 selection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users trying to engage in spam activities. The company is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to maintain its reputation as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides 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 delegated 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 assist large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support resources. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning tools, but may be opaque occasionally. Key information is often buried and hard to locate, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute details about plans. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, but 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 register. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Ibm Email Benchmark Study
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are 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 from their 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. A few of the QandAs provide information which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials which 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 might even request a particular webinar on a number of different topics. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information 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 digestible chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly helpful tool for all those brand new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All readers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation 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.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Ibm Email Benchmark Study
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself as well. People are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of attributes including AB testing and surveys from most programs; many firms charge extra for these attributes or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a wide assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have attempted a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly significant aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. Should you want your mails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you might need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing receivers to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this might be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge variety of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a massive scale of paid plans 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 will be a small Benchmark emblem at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the features list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Ibm Email Benchmark Study
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email marketing depending on the number of mails that they send every month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Plans. 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 Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the very best in the business for anyone who only wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a small company which views email as a little element of its marketing and does not have any desire to operate beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company looking for a simple email marketing program using a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Even though there may come a time when you launch the app, it provides a lot for the price, provides exceptional support, and the business seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can not ask for more.