Overview B2B Email Benchmark
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought hub. Backed by a small 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 straightforward idea. Simple email marketing. Many of the ideas were beyond the resources of the 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 usage of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the time, the company championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the beginning 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 companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In reality, the company supplies a full page of testimonials from users of this app. You can read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features of the ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with every single account — including the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers 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. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company describes the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. B2B Email Benchmark
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers having an Apple device to get several functions on the road. They can access and include contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a little more than many other businesses offer in their mobile programs, which makes them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to use on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages such as birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be successful in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so through 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 each internet browser includes a signature fashion, making sure that your emails look good across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full app (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 out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need to set up 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 permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The business explains this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my new account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction on the best way to create my first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, proceed into the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. B2B Email Benchmark
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization with 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 set up how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet once the effort went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start building the email itself. If you want to, you are able to construct your own email designs employing a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and much better than I was able to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text form. Once you create your Benchmark lists, they will appear on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is quite easy. Once you have finished all your tweaks, you can either save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to verify all is well before distributing 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 program my email for shipping to see how timely the automated system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you’re one of the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a few reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of other programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given activity. Users can export this information for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by country, who opens your mails. B2B Email Benchmark
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain increased level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point changes, of course, based on the company.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the company’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just beginning in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see the integration you want, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — 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 via their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email audience via their subscribers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with 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 images you find and immediately 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 account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to various lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of the PayPal clients 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 site and site builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . B2B Email Benchmark
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link 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 enormous email template listing is made 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 provides a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your readers 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 regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of all 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 the users hoping to take part in spam actions. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature which looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that is likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning tools, but can be needlessly opaque at times. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to locate, especially if you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially in regards to minute details about strategies. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. B2B Email Benchmark
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies 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 restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone 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 nearly 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this program. The company 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 moment. You might also request a special webinar on a number of other subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly helpful tool for all those new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely 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 can post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any setup on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
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. B2B Email Benchmark
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it is really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the addition of attributes including AB testing and surveys in most plans; many companies charge extra for these features or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad range of demographics, from first-time ESP users to people who have attempted many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with 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 not able to find many people 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 in which their emails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping needs, but other people will. Should you want your mails to go out exactly when your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, causing recipients to mark them as spam and not studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is to stop this from happening, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, so it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge variety of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a huge array of paid plans which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a small Benchmark emblem in the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the features list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. B2B Email Benchmark
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing 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 a month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the best in the company for anybody who just wants to dive into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little company which views email as a little aspect of its advertising and has no desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email marketing program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there may come a time when you outgrow the app, it provides a great deal for the price, provides excellent support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can not ask for more.