Summary Benchmark Email List WordPress Plugin
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office which served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email advertising. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of this fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in near 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 very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the time, the company championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made certain from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email marketing services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This doesn’t indicate 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 has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the company offers 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 attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with each accounts — such as the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as 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 describes the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or construct it 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 plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Benchmark Email List WordPress Plugin
· 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, browse reportsand send videos via integration with a YouTube account, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a little more than a number of other companies offer on their mobile apps, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to use in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or designed as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be prosperous in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so 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 each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and each internet browser includes a signature style, making certain that your emails look good across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to 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 sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply have to establish a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using 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 permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The business describes this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear path about how best to make 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 effort, go into the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Benchmark Email List WordPress Plugin
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization using 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 personally gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automated tweet when the effort went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email . If you want to, you are able to assemble your personal email designs employing a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and much better than I was able to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text type. Once you make your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is rather simple. Once you’ve completed all of your tweaks, you can save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to check all is well before distributing your email on the planet, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted 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 at 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a few reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with a lot of other programs where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about every campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users may export this data for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Benchmark Email List WordPress Plugin
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain higher level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of that information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point changes, naturally, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 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 ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Occasions 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 market tickets, and track the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to quickly build an email audience through their readers. The plug-in 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 listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you supply images for your Benchmark mails from places across the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to different lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Benchmark Email List WordPress Plugin
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social networking and email advertising, it’s very important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list consists of social media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s involvement in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which permits you to add 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 sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to each email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking pages.
The company also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users hoping to engage in spam activities. The company is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to maintain its standing 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 stop 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 delegated to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support tools. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but may be opaque at times. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to locate, especially if you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute details about strategies. As an example. 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 in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Email List WordPress Plugin
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at support[email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 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. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics 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. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this app. The company also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You might also request a special webinar on quite a few different topics. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very 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 Requirements — This is a particularly helpful tool for all those brand new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active site. 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 may post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any setup on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes 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 List WordPress Plugin
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys from all plans; many companies charge extra for such attributes or just include them in their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a wide range of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to those who have tried many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all 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 important factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but others will. If you want your mails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you may need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as junk and not reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, so it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge variety of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a huge array of paid plans which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Benchmark Email List WordPress Plugin
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email marketing depending on the number of emails that they send every 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 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 you a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options may very well be the best in the company for anyone who just wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little company which views email as a little element of its marketing and has no desire to operate beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company looking for a simple email marketing program with a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Though there might come a time when you launch the program, it provides a lot for the price, provides excellent support, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for more.