Overview Benchmark Email Free Trial
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought heart. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email advertising. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of this fledgling business, but that didn’t 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 team 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 championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user needs. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email marketing services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, 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 throughout the globe, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps 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 history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of 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 particular industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit 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 one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Benchmark Email Free Trial
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers having an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can get and include contacts, read reports, send videos via integration using a YouTube account, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a little more than a number of other businesses offer on their mobile programs, which makes them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you can build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or made as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and every web browser has a signature fashion, making sure your emails look good across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire app (which checks everything from 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 may create newsletters out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply have to set up a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from some other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The business explains this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction about the best way best to create my first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, proceed to the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Mail” button in the top right-hand corner. Benchmark Email Free Trial
From there, you have to 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 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 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 setup how much tracking I wanted on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start building the email . If you want to, you can assemble your personal email layouts employing an extremely 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 at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are numerous 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 to a text type. Once you create your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is rather easy. Once you have completed all of your tweaks, you can save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify all is well before unleashing your email about the planet, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for shipping to view how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was probably present in tolerance levels for many users. If you are one of the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you might have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I have worked with several other programs where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each effort. The arguably most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users may export this information for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Benchmark Email Free Trial
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher level marketers that need more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although 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 reach that point changes, naturally, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see the integration you need, there is still hope. You can use the API or request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of programs are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to easily build an email viewer through their subscribers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you source pictures for your Benchmark mails from places throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to different lists based on which products they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of the PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making app 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 posts and also use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Benchmark Email Free Trial
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral link between social media and email marketing, it is important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template listing consists of social media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Email — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The Business 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 those nations. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users trying to take part in spam actions. The business is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to maintain its standing as a spam-free supplier, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam check feature that looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores every 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” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support resources. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to locate, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute details about plans. For instance. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Email Free Trial
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can 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. Available 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 as it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide information that’s wholly inaccurate, 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 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 even request a particular webinar on quite a few different topics. Live webinars comprise 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 troubles. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for those brand new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. All readers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers 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 talk about newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other 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 score on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Benchmark Email Free Trial
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of attributes like AB analyzing and surveys in all programs; many companies charge extra for these attributes or only include them into their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to those who have tried many different programs before settling 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 can be an increasingly significant aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. But, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. Should you need your emails to go out precisely whenever your schedule dictates, you may have to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, causing recipients to mark them as junk rather than reading the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from occurring, this may be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge number of pricing plans, including a totally free plan and a massive array of paid plans which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Benchmark Email Free Trial
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email advertising based on the amount of mails they send each month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per 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 charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options might just be the very best in the company for anybody who just wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little business 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 little or even medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email marketing program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the app, it provides a lot for the money, provides exceptional support, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for more.