Summary Benchmark Email Partner Program
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office that functioned as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. 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 on how best to implement a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email advertising. Many of the ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small businesses 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 advertising, while working hard to create a very simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the time, the company uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user needs. They also made certain from the outset that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising solutions to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of the app. 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 business, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains 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 construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Benchmark Email Partner Program
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several purposes on the road. They can access and include contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a bit more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile programs, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages such as birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become prosperous in email advertising is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and each internet browser has a signature style, making sure your emails look good across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full app (which checks everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users only need to set up 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 connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from some other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The company explains this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both Listing 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
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my new account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear direction about the best way to make my first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, go into the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. Benchmark Email Partner Program
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you are someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally 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, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin building the email itself. If you want to, you can assemble your own email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and better than I managed to do on my own.
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 several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right 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 type. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is quite easy. Once you have completed all your tweaks, you can save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want 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 chose to program my email for delivery to view how timely the automatic system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was probably present in tolerance levels for many users. If you’re one of the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d 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 several other programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each effort. The possibly most important statistic, the available rate, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users can export this information for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Benchmark Email Partner Program
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 links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that info with proper integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will get to that point changes, of course, based on the company.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, 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 can use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to create and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of the events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of programs are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to easily build an email audience through their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically produce email versions of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to source images for your Benchmark emails from locations across the web. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to various lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of their PayPal clients for 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 .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library . Benchmark Email Partner Program
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social networking and email advertising, it’s important to look at the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button into your own 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 into readers.
· Social Links within Email — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email which will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The Business 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 amounts to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The whole system 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 coverage for any of their users hoping to engage in spam actions. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to maintain its reputation as a spam-free provider, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that is likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support tools. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but can be needlessly opaque at times. Key information is often buried and difficult to find, particularly in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, particularly when it comes to minute details about plans. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Email Partner Program
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible 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 a QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any subject (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. A few of the QandAs offer advice 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 the app. The company also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You might also request a special webinar on a number of different topics. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly helpful tool for those new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally 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 latest newsletters on message boards in 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 setup on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has 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 Partner Program
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself as well. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it is actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of features like AB analyzing and surveys from most programs; many companies charge extra for such features or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment of demographics, from first time ESP users to those who have attempted a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with the mobile-friendly email layout 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 Unable to find many Men and Women who disliked Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending needs, but others will. Should you need your emails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you may need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as spam and not studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is to prevent this from occurring, this might be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, so it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous number of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a huge array of paid plans that may 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 emblem in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Benchmark Email Partner Program
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing based on the amount of mails that they send each month.
o Moderate 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 Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also 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 just be the very best in the company for anyone 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 views email as a little 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 trying to find a simple email advertising program with a host of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there might come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a great deal for the price, offers exceptional support, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for more.