Summary Marketingsherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office that functioned as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email advertising. Many of their thoughts were beyond the means of the fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team sold them on the use of email advertising, while working hard to make a very simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the time, the business championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email advertising services to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, but the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from users of the app. You can read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout features of this ESP is the simple fact that most of its features come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There’s also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume programs come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Marketingsherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers having an Apple device to get several functions on the street. They can access and add contacts, read reports, send videos via integration using a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than many other businesses offer in their mobile programs, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty 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 provides this ultra-customization choice with which you can build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages like anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and every internet browser includes a signature style, making certain that your emails look great across the board is important. You can 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 out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, 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 blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply have 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 with no formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from some other apps 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 campaign sending, and assess data. The company describes this function in more detail here.
· 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.
Benefits Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is pretty 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 in to my new account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear path about how best to create my first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go into the Emails segment, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. Marketingsherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. You can 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 went with the drag-and-drop option.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I desired on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automatic tweet when the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start constructing the email itself. If you want to, you can construct 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 much better than I managed to do on my own.
Preventing 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 those who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text form. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather simple. When you have finished all your tweaks, you can save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to check everything is well before distributing your email on the planet, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for delivery to view how timely the automated system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was likely within tolerance levels for many users. If you’re among the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I have worked with several other apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, seems in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given action. Users can export this data 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, that opens your mails. Marketingsherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this information with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will get to that point varies, naturally, dependent on the company.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you need, there is still hope. You can use the API or request an 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 permits users to create and customize events, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to easily build an email viewer via their readers. The plugin can automatically produce email versions of blog articles and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source images for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to various lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of the PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder provides 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 here. Marketingsherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social networking and email marketing, it is very important to check out the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to each email that will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The Business also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection 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 valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users hoping to engage in spam actions. The business is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to maintain its standing as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides 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 is 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 reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support tools. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but may be opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to find, particularly in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, especially in regards to minute particulars about plans. As an example. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Marketingsherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form here. 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 states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible almost 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 because it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide information that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might want to contact support 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 this program. The business also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You can even ask for a particular webinar on quite a few other subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· 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 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 readable chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All readers automatically gain 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 production strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Marketingsherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself too. People are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the addition of features including AB analyzing and surveys from most plans; many companies charge extra for these attributes or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. 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 design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who disliked Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping needs, but other people will. Should you need your emails to go out precisely when your program dictates, you may have to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, causing receivers to mark them as junk rather than reading the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to stop this from happening, this might be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, so it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a massive array of paid programs which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a small Benchmark logo at the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Marketingsherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing depending on the amount of mails 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 Enormous 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 may just be the very best in the company for anyone who only wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a small company which views email as a minor aspect of its marketing and does not have any desire to work beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company looking for a simple email advertising program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it supplies a great deal for the price, offers exceptional support, and the business appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for much more.