Overview Sign-Up.To 2015 Email Marketing Benchmark Report 2015
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and idea hub. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff sold them on the use of email advertising, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the time, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made certain from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email marketing services to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the globe, however, the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In fact, the company supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of this app. You can read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features of this ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with each account — including the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless 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 is also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company explains the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans 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 increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Sign-Up.To 2015 Email Marketing Benchmark Report 2015
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several purposes on the road. They can access and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a bit more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile programs, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to use in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you can construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages like anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and each web browser has a signature fashion, making sure your emails look good across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire app (which assesses 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 sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply need to set up a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. The business explains this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides 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, contact number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path on how to create my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, proceed to the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Email” button in the top right-hand corner. Sign-Up.To 2015 Email Marketing Benchmark Report 2015
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you are 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 alternative.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I desired on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet once the campaign went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin constructing the email . If you would like to, you can assemble your personal email layouts employing a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that 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 certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts to a text type. Once you make your Benchmark lists, they will show up 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 may save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before distributing your email on the world, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for delivery to view how timely the automated system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received 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 demand on-the-minute email sending, you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve worked with several other apps where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about every campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each 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’s also a social networking place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Sign-Up.To 2015 Email Marketing Benchmark Report 2015
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain increased level marketers who want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that info with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will get to that point varies, of course, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or request an 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 create and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of their events via their Benchmark Email account. A variety of programs are available, including 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.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email audience via their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email variations of blog posts and allows 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 plugin lets you source images for your Benchmark emails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to your 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 accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to various lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal clients for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and use the analytics to see how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Sign-Up.To 2015 Email Marketing Benchmark Report 2015
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social networking and email marketing, it’s important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation 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”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email that will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users hoping to take part in spam activities. The company is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free provider, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, 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 delegated to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
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 needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to find, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, especially when it comes to minute details about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Sign-Up.To 2015 Email Marketing Benchmark Report 2015
· 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 organization’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to 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 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 is closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find 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 of the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive 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 video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this program. The company also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You can even request a special webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly valuable tool for those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active blog. All readers automatically gain access to current 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 discuss newsletter production approaches, 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 installation on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Sign-Up.To 2015 Email Marketing Benchmark Report 2015
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical observation regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it is 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 customers praise the inclusion of features including AB testing and surveys from most programs; many firms charge extra for such attributes or just include them in their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP users to those who have tried many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly important factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but others will. Should you need your mails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you might need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing recipients to mark them as spam rather than reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing strategies, such as a free plan and a huge array of paid programs that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of each 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 allows you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the features list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Sign-Up.To 2015 Email Marketing Benchmark Report 2015
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email advertising depending on the amount of mails they send each month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Plans. 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 charge cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
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 (particularly small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a little company which views email as a minor element of its advertising and does not have any desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email marketing program with a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Even though there might come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a lot for the money, provides excellent support, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for much more.