Summary Benchmark Email Nonprofits
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office that functioned as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought heart. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email advertising. Many of their thoughts were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small companies located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team personally sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the while, the business championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising solutions 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 service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, however, the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization offers a full page of testimonials from users of the app. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout features of this ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There’s also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company explains the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your website or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other programs have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Benchmark Email Nonprofits
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several purposes on the street. They can access and add contacts, read reports, send videos via integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a bit more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile programs, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you may construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or designed as yearly messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email marketing is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each internet browser includes a signature style, making certain your emails look good across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only have to establish a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with 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 brief, this permits them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and check data. The business explains this role in more detail .
· 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 accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This is 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 very clear path on how to make my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, proceed to the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. Benchmark Email Nonprofits
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or traditional 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 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 automatic tweet once the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email . If you want to, you can assemble your own email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and much better than I was able to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You can 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 huge lists of contacts to a text form. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite simple. When you have completed all your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before distributing your email about the planet, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for delivery to see how timely the automatic system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more infrequent 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.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a couple of reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I have worked with several different programs where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about every campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given activity. Users can export this information for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social media place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Benchmark Email Nonprofits
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who need more info such as conversions, which links 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 get to that point changes, of course, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while larger 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 is still hope. You’re able to use the API or request an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to create and customize events, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of programs are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview 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 plug-in can automatically create email versions of blog posts and allows 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 pictures for your Benchmark emails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of the PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Benchmark Email Nonprofits
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social networking and email marketing, it is very important to check out the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of social media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button into your 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 to readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to every email which will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking pages.
The Business also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users trying to engage in spam actions. The company is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally 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 employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam test feature that 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 likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support resources. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning resources, but may be opaque at times. Key information is often buried and hard to locate, especially in the event that 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 comprises Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Email Nonprofits
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to 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. Available almost 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it is closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. You will find more than 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 of the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide information which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might 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 the program. The business also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You can even ask for a particular webinar on quite a few different subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users guidance 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 gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info about email advertising 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 offers 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 production strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has 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 Nonprofits
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the addition of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys in most plans; many firms charge extra for these features or just include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a broad range of demographics, from first time ESP users to those who have tried many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who disliked 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 mails were sent hours when they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. If you want your emails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you may need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, leading receivers to mark them as spam rather than reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP is to prevent this from occurring, this might be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge number of pricing plans, including a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid programs that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a small Benchmark emblem at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Benchmark Email Nonprofits
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email advertising based on the number 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 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the best in the company for anybody who just wants to dive into email marketing (especially small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a small company which perspectives email as a minor aspect of its advertising and does not have any desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Business looking for a easy email marketing program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there may come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a lot for the price, provides excellent support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for more.