Summary Benchmark Email List Cleaning
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office that functioned as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought heart. Backed by a little 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 execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of this fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving 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 sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to create a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the company championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. They also made certain from the outset that anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding 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 assist children in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of this program. You can read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout features of the ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users 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 is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business describes the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Benchmark Email List Cleaning
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can access and add contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a bit more than many other companies offer in their mobile programs, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages like anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email marketing is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely 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 each web browser has a signature fashion, 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 app (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users only have to establish a template and campaign 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 allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check data. The business describes 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 accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path about how to create my first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go into the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Benchmark Email List Cleaning
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. You can 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 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, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet when the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to construct your personal email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I managed to do on my own.
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 listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You can 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. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is rather simple. When you have completed all of your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to check all is well before unleashing 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 program my email for delivery to see how timely the automated system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was likely present in tolerance levels for many users. If you’re one of the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve 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 information about every campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users may export this data for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Benchmark Email List Cleaning
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain increased level marketers that need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will reach that point varies, of course, dependent on the business.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger 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’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 allows users to create and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of programs 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.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email audience through their readers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations of blog articles and allows 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 plug-in lets you source images for your Benchmark mails from locations across the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to various lists based on which products they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of their PayPal clients for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Benchmark Email List Cleaning
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral link between social media and email marketing, it is important to look at the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s participation in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email which 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 regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users hoping to engage in spam activities. The company is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam check feature which looks for words commonly 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 case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to find, 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 includes Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned 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 List Cleaning
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible nearly 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. One 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 advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this app. The business also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. 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 — There are more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss 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 installation on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
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 List Cleaning
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most common observation regarding Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself as well. People are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it is really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of features including AB analyzing and surveys in all plans; many companies charge extra for such attributes or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise 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 the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. If you want your mails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you might need to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from happening, this might be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge variety of pricing strategies, including a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid programs 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 emblem at the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the features list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Benchmark Email List Cleaning
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email advertising depending on the amount of mails that they send each month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a 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 allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the best in the company for anyone who just wants to dive into email marketing (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a small business which views email as a minor aspect of its advertising and has no desire to operate beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email marketing program with a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a great deal for the money, provides excellent service, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for much more.