Summary Benchmark Email Integration
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea hub. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the ideas were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff personally sold them on the use of email advertising, while working hard to create a simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the company championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user requirements. They also made certain from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising 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 service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In reality, the company offers a complete page of testimonials from users of this app. You may read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of the ESP is the fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to specific industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit 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 surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. 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 Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Benchmark Email Integration
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several purposes on the road. They can access and include contacts, browse reports, send videos via integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a little more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile apps, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want 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 provides this ultra-customization option with which you can build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages like anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be prosperous in email advertising is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The company 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 every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and every web browser includes a signature fashion, making sure your emails look good across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire program (which checks everything out of 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 may create newsletters from their blogs automatically 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 link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from some other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check data. The company describes this role in more detail .
· 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.
Ease Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you have to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction on how to create my very first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, proceed to the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Benchmark Email Integration
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you are someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop option.
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 when I wanted an automatic tweet once 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 begin constructing the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to assemble your own email layouts using an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and much better than I was able to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are 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 directly from your personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts to a text form. When you make your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is quite simple. When you’ve completed all of your tweaks, you can save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to verify everything is well before distributing your email on the planet, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for delivery to view how timely the automated system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you may have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a couple of reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I’ve worked with a lot of different apps where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie chart and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with 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 area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your emails. Benchmark Email Integration
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will get to that point varies, of course, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s main focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just starting out in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 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 request a 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 account. A variety 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 maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our review 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 allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you supply images for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to various lists based on what they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of the PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library . Benchmark Email Integration
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social networking and email advertising, it is very important to check out the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template list consists of social 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 simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email which will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking 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 these countries. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security 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 engage in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to preserve its standing as a spam-free supplier, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, 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’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support tools. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Key information can be buried and difficult to find, especially if you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, particularly when it comes to minute particulars about plans. For instance. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Email Integration
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available nearly 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may need to contact support 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 the app. The business also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You can also request a special webinar on quite a few different subjects. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files 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 manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically gain 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 at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any setup on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Benchmark Email Integration
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the addition of features including AB testing and surveys from all plans; many firms charge extra for these features or just include them into their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a wide range of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have attempted many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users 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 factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I was able to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping needs, but others will. If you need your mails to go out exactly when your schedule dictates, you might need to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, causing receivers 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 while looking through the template list, so it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge variety of pricing plans, including a free plan and a huge array of paid programs which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a small Benchmark emblem in the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t need 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 of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Benchmark Email Integration
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing based on the amount of emails that they send each month.
o Moderate 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 per month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you 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 invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the very best in the company for anyone who only wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a little company which perspectives email as a minor element of its marketing and has no desire to operate beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company looking for a easy email advertising program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a lot for the money, provides excellent service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can not ask for much more.