Overview Benchmark Email Newsletter
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office that functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought heart. Backed by a little programming team 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 marketing. Many of the ideas were beyond the means of the fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients 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 marketing, while working hard to make a simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the business championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing solutions to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the company offers a full page of testimonials from users of the program. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout features of the ESP is the simple fact that most of its features come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers 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 retailstores. There’s also a class for social 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 feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your website or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other programs have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Benchmark Email Newsletter
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the street. They can access and include contacts, browse reports, send videos through 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 many other companies offer in their mobile apps, making them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to use in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around site 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 internet browser has a signature style, making certain that your emails look good across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which checks everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need 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 with no formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. The business describes this role 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.
Ease 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 was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my new account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path on how best to make my very first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go into the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Benchmark Email Newsletter
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization with 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 setup how much tracking I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet once the campaign went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email . If you would like to, you are able to assemble your personal email designs using an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that 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 certainly do as I did and manually input contacts 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 right from your personal 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, they’ll appear on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is quite simple. Once you have finished all of your tweaks, you may save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before unleashing your email about the planet, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for delivery to see how timely the automatic system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was likely present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. 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 data about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users can export this data for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social media area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your emails. Benchmark Email Newsletter
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will reach that point changes, naturally, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there’s still hope. You can use the API or request a 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 app allows users to create and customize events, promote and market tickets, and track the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email audience through their readers. The plug-in can automatically create email variations of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you source images for your Benchmark emails from locations across 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 accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to different lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal customers 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 blog and website builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to see how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Benchmark Email Newsletter
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral link between social networking and email advertising, it is important to check out the social media features contained 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 media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to each email which will direct your subscribers 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 regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all 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 the users hoping to take part in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to maintain its reputation as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies 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 assigned 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 decrease their spam amounts.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning tools, but can be opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to locate, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Email Newsletter
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible almost 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 a QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the program. The business also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You can even ask for a special webinar on a number of different subjects. 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 generally, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, 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 readable chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly helpful tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active site. All subscribers automatically obtain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Benchmark Email Newsletter
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most common monitoring regarding Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the inclusion of attributes like AB testing and surveys from most programs; many companies charge extra for these attributes or only include them into their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a wide range of demographics, from first-time ESP users to those who have attempted many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers 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 aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. If you need your emails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you might have to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to stop this from happening, this may be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge variety of pricing plans, including a free plan and a massive 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 catch. There’ll be a small Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid program 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 provides you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Benchmark Email Newsletter
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising based on the amount of mails they send every 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 Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per 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 lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the very best in the company for anyone who just wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little company which views email as a minor aspect of its marketing and does not have any desire to operate beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Business trying to find a simple email marketing program with a multitude 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 price, offers exceptional service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for much more.