Summary Mailchimp Benchmarks
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought hub. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email advertising. Many of their ideas were beyond the means of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff personally sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the while, the company uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user requirements. They also made certain from the outset that anyone who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, however, the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In reality, the company offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of this program. You may read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout features of the ESP is the simple fact that most of its attributes come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Here are a few 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 retailstores. There’s also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company explains the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or construct it 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 option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Mailchimp Benchmarks
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to get several purposes on the street. They can get and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos via integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a little more than many other companies offer on their mobile programs, which makes them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you may construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be successful in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and each web browser includes a signature fashion, making certain your emails look great across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire app (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to 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 sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply need to establish a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and assess data. The business explains this role in more detail here.
· 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 fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company 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 path about the best way to create my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, go to the Emails segment, then hit the large blue”Create New Email” button at the upper right-hand corner. Mailchimp Benchmarks
From there, you have to decide if you want 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 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 motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I desired on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet when the effort went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start building the email . If you would like to, you can assemble your own email designs using a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and much better than I was able to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to 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 huge lists of contacts to a text type. Once you make your Benchmark lists, they will appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is quite easy. Once you have completed all your tweaks, you can save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to check all is well before unleashing your email on the planet, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for delivery to see how timely the automated system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system almost immediately. I have worked with several other apps where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this information for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your emails. Mailchimp Benchmarks
Though all of this information Is Excellent 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. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this info with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will get to that point varies, naturally, based on the company.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just starting out in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, 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 want, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or request an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program 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 programs are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to easily build an email viewer through their subscribers. The plugin can automatically produce email versions of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you supply images for your Benchmark mails from places throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account 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 may add some of their PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to see how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Mailchimp Benchmarks
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social networking and email marketing, it’s very important to look at the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template list consists of social 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 very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your readers to each of your social networking 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 countries. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the security 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 hoping to engage in spam actions. The company is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent 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 likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning tools, but may be opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and hard to locate, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. That the Free For Life plan comprises 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 mentioned when you register. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Mailchimp Benchmarks
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can 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 per day 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. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of the 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 provide 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 which take users step by step through the features of the app. The company also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You can also request a special webinar on a number of other subjects. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users guidance 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 valuable tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all 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 information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to 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 can post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any setup on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
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. Mailchimp Benchmarks
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most common observation regarding Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys in most plans; many companies charge extra for such features or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide range of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have attempted many different programs before settling on 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 important factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who disliked Their Benchmark experience. However, I was able to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping needs, but other people will. If you need your mails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you may need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this may be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid programs that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a small Benchmark logo at the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Mailchimp Benchmarks
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing depending on the number of emails they send each 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 per 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 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It is easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the best in the company for anyone who just wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little company which perspectives email as a minor element of its marketing and has no desire to work beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a simple email advertising program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there may come a time when you outgrow the app, it supplies a great deal for the price, offers excellent service, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for much more.