Overview Benchmark Email Company Profile
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought heart. 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 expert) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the means of the fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to create a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the time, the business championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made certain from the outset that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business 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 little, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company offers a complete page of testimonials from users of this app. You may read 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 nearly all its features come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy 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 such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There’s also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company explains the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using among 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 programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Benchmark Email Company Profile
· 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 include contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a little more than a number of other companies offer on their mobile apps, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages like anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email marketing is through growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each internet browser has a signature style, making certain your emails look great across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full program (which checks everything from 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 from their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users only have 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 with no formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and assess data. The business 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
Signing up for a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path about how best to create my first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, proceed to the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. Benchmark Email Company Profile
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you’re somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I wanted on the message, as well as if 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 finally able to start building the email . If you want to, you can construct your own email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and better than I managed to do in my.
Sending 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 list, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to 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 into a text type. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite easy. When you’ve finished all your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to check everything is well before unleashing your email on the planet, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for shipping to see how timely the automated system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a few reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in 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 Pieces of data about each effort. The possibly most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given activity. Users can export this data for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social media place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Benchmark Email Company Profile
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers who need more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that info 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, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed 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 beginning in email marketing. 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 don’t see the integration you need, there’s 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 program permits users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of subscriptions are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email viewer through their readers. The plug-in can automatically create email versions of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to supply images for your Benchmark mails from places throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically 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 may add any of their PayPal clients to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to observe how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library . Benchmark Email Company Profile
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social media and email marketing, it is important to check out the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous 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 provides a very simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to each email which will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The company 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 numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users trying to take part in spam actions. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to preserve its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that is very likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning resources, but can be needlessly opaque at times. Key information can be buried and hard to find, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Email Company Profile
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible almost 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 is closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide information that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the program. The company also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You might also request a particular webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing generally, 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 digestible chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly helpful tool for those brand new to email marketing who believe consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active site. All readers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts 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 discuss newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any setup on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Benchmark Email Company Profile
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the addition of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys in most programs; many firms charge extra for these features or just 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 users to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours after they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. Should you need your emails to go out precisely whenever your program dictates, you may need to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing receivers to mark them as junk and not studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, so it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge number of pricing strategies, such as a free plan and a massive scale of paid plans which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs 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 may always opt to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits 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 attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Benchmark Email Company Profile
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising depending on the number of emails they send each 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 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 you a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may just be the very best in the business for anyone who only wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a small company which perspectives email as a minor element of its marketing and does not have any desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company looking for a easy email marketing program with a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a great deal for the money, offers exceptional support, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for much more.