Summary Benchmark Company Reviews
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and idea heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO pro ) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email advertising. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team personally sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to create a simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the time, the company uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user needs. They also made sure from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email marketing services to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In reality, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of the app. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout characteristics of the ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single account — including the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers access to its 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 social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using among 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 have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular 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 top email delivery and delivery service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Benchmark Company Reviews
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the street. They can get and include contacts, read reports, send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a bit more than many other companies offer in their mobile apps, making them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to utilize on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly 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 option with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages like birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become prosperous in email advertising is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and every internet browser includes a signature style, making certain your emails look good across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full program (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply need to set up a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The company explains this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both List 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
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path on the best way to create my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, proceed into the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Mail” button in the top right-hand corner. Benchmark Company Reviews
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you are somebody 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 had been prompted 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 automated tweet once the campaign went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to construct your own email designs employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input 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 the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text type. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is rather easy. When you’ve finished all your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify all is well before distributing your email on the planet, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for shipping to view how timely the automatic system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I have worked with several other programs where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given activity. Users may export this information for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your emails. Benchmark Company Reviews
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers who want more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this info with proper 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.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just starting out in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you need, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask 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 program permits users to create and customize events, promote and market tickets, and track the success of the events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to easily build an email audience through their subscribers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog articles and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to source pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to different lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library . Benchmark Company Reviews
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social networking and email marketing, it’s important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing is made of social media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Like” button into 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 into readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to each email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users hoping to engage in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to preserve its standing as a spam-free supplier, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words widely used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning resources, but may be opaque at times. Key information can be buried and difficult to locate, especially in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially in regards to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises 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 at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Company Reviews
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark in 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 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 normal FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer information that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might want to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this app. The business also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You might even request a special webinar on a number of different topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, 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 Requirements — This can be a particularly helpful tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active site. All subscribers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production approaches, 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 setup on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Benchmark Company Reviews
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few 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 attributes including AB analyzing and surveys from most programs; many companies charge extra for these attributes or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad range of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have attempted many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly important aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who disliked Their Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. Should you need your mails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you might have to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, leading recipients to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to stop this from happening, this may be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing plans, such as a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid programs that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Benchmark Company Reviews
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email marketing depending on the amount of emails they send each month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the very best in the company for anyone who just wants to dive into email marketing (particularly small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little company which perspectives email as a minor element of its advertising and has no desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Company looking for a easy email marketing program with a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Even though there might come a time when you launch the app, it provides a great deal for the money, offers exceptional support, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for more.