Summary Benchmark Email Marketing Pricing
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and idea hub. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively simple concept. Simple email advertising. Many of the ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail 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 advertising, while working hard to create a simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the company uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer needs. They also made sure from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the planet, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the company supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of this program. You can read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of 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 a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the benefits 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’ emails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Benchmark Email Marketing Pricing
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers having an Apple device to get several purposes on the street. They can get and include contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a bit more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile programs, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually 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 is different and every web browser has a signature style, making sure your emails look good across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which checks everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters from their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply need to establish a campaign and template within 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 other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and check statistics. The business explains this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you have to validate your email address. This is 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 very clear direction on the best way to create my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go into the Emails segment, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Benchmark Email Marketing Pricing
From there, you have to 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 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 was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I desired on the message, as well as if I wanted an automated tweet when the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email itself. If you want to, you are able to construct your own email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts one 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 the 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, then they will appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is rather simple. When you’ve completed all of your tweaks, you can either save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to check everything is well before distributing your email on the world, it is possible to 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 automatic system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a few reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system virtually 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 information about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this information for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your mails. Benchmark Email Marketing Pricing
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers that need more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will reach that point changes, of course, based on the company.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger 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 a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to create and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of the events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email viewer via their readers. The plugin can automatically create email versions of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source images for your Benchmark mails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future use.
· 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 automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to different lists based on what they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal clients to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. 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 website builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to see how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Benchmark Email Marketing Pricing
Social Media Integrations
Because 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 massive email template listing is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users hoping to take part in spam activities. The company is entirely 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, one of 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 materials, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature which looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support resources. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning resources, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Crucial information is often buried and hard to find, particularly in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Email Marketing Pricing
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Available 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 states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible almost 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer information which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may 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 program. The company also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You can also request a particular webinar on a number of different subjects. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly valuable tool for those new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active site. All readers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter articles 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 talk about newsletter creation strategies, 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 installation on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Includes 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 Marketing Pricing
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical observation regarding Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of features like AB testing and surveys in all programs; many firms charge extra for these features or just include them in their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP users to people who have attempted a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all 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 important aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I managed to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. Should you need your mails to go out precisely whenever your program dictates, you might have to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user 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, leading recipients to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from happening, this may be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, so it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge number of pricing plans, including a free plan and a huge array of paid plans that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a small Benchmark emblem at the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt 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 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Benchmark Email Marketing Pricing
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email advertising based on the number of mails they send each month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may very well be the very best in the company for anyone who just wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a little business which perspectives email as a minor element of its marketing and has no desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email marketing program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it supplies a great deal for the money, offers exceptional support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can not ask for more.