Overview Benchmark Email Pay As You Go
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office that functioned as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO expert) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of the fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers 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 usage of email marketing, while working hard to create a simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the time, the company uses such novel 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 quick access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email marketing services 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’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations like 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 hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization offers a full page of testimonials from local users of this program. You can read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout features of the ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company describes the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· 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 works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Benchmark Email Pay As You Go
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers having an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can get and include contacts, read reports, send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even design 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 on their mobile programs, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you may build your mails 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 emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and every internet browser has a signature style, making certain that your emails look good across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire program (which checks everything from 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 can create newsletters out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply need to establish a campaign and template within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from some other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and check statistics. The company explains this function 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.
Benefits Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you need to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear direction on how to create my 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 section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Benchmark Email Pay As You Go
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. You can 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 option.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I desired on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automated tweet when the effort went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin constructing the email . If you would like to, you are able to construct your personal email designs 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.
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 are able to 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. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather simple. Once you have finished all of your tweaks, you can either save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify everything is well before unleashing your email on the world, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for delivery 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 perfect, it was likely present in tolerance levels for many users. If you are among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you may need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with several different programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides 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 activity. Users may export this information for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your mails. Benchmark Email Pay As You Go
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers who need more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of that information with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to 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. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you want, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask a 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 app permits users to create and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of the events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to easily build an email viewer through their subscribers. The plugin 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 plug-in allows you to source images for your Benchmark emails from places across the web. Benchmark Power captures images you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to different lists based on which products they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of the PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review 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 using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to see how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Benchmark Email Pay As You Go
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social media and email marketing, it is important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email that 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 concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users hoping to engage in spam activities. The company is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature which looks for words widely used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that is very likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website 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 details about plans. For instance. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Email Pay As You Go
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available 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 can execute a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this app. The company also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You might even ask for a special webinar on quite a few different topics. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program especially, in 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 valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active site. All readers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation strategies, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes 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 Pay As You Go
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most common monitoring concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it is really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of attributes including AB testing and surveys in most programs; many firms charge extra for such attributes or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a wide assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP users to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. But, I was able to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. Should you need your mails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you may have to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, leading recipients to mark them as spam and not studying the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to stop this from happening, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing plans, such as a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid plans which 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 logo at the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides 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 access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Benchmark Email Pay As You Go
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email marketing depending on the amount of emails they send every 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 per month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It is easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options might just be the very best in the company for anybody who just wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a small company which views email as a minor aspect of its marketing and has no desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email advertising program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a great deal for the price, offers excellent service, and the company appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can not ask for much more.