Summary Quarterly Email Benchmark Report
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small 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, and an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff personally sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the while, the company championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. They also made certain from the outset that anyone who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the planet, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In reality, the organization supplies a complete 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, among the standout characteristics of the ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. 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 business explains the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using among 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 come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Quarterly Email Benchmark Report
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several purposes on the road. They can access and include contacts, read reports, send videos via integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a little more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile programs, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty 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 may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the ability to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or designed as yearly messages like 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 so via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and every internet browser includes a signature fashion, making sure your emails look good across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which checks everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply need to set up a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The business describes this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List 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
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you have to validate your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction on the best way best to create my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, proceed into the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. Quarterly Email Benchmark Report
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization 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 gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I wanted on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automated tweet when the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email itself. If you would like to, you can assemble your own email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and much better than I was able to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right 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 this email is rather simple. When you have completed all of your tweaks, you can either save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to verify everything is well before unleashing your email about 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 view how timely the automatic system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, you may have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with several different apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the available rate, seems in both pie chart and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given activity. Users may export this data for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Quarterly Email Benchmark Report
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain higher level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of that information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will reach that point varies, of course, based on the business.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 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 a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to make and customize events, promote and market tickets, and track the success of the events via 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 keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to quickly build an email audience through their subscribers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source pictures for your Benchmark emails from places across the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to different lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of their PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Quarterly Email Benchmark Report
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social media and email advertising, it is important to look at the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of societal 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 simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email which will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The Business 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 these nations. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. 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 coverage for any of the 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 maintain its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature that looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support resources. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but can be opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and hard to find, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially in regards to minute particulars about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises 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 will you see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Quarterly Email Benchmark Report
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited 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 restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might 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 offers a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You can also request a particular webinar on a number of different topics. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly helpful tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active site. All readers automatically obtain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation strategies, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Quarterly Email Benchmark Report
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the addition of features like AB testing and surveys from all programs; many companies charge extra for these features or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a broad range 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 significant factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. But, I was able to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. If you want your emails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you might have to consider this issue.
· 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 may feel like spam email, causing receivers to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, this may be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching 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 huge scale of paid plans which 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 little Benchmark logo at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the features list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Quarterly Email Benchmark Report
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising based on the amount of emails 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 Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may very well be the very best in the business for anybody who just wants to dive into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little company which perspectives email as a minor aspect of its marketing and does not have any desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email marketing program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Even though there might come a time when you launch the app, it provides a lot for the money, provides exceptional service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for more.