Summary Benchmark Email Personalization
For many an evening 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 small 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 thoughts were beyond the resources of this fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the company championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email advertising solutions to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, but the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from local users of the app. You can read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to the 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’s 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 explains the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other programs have the option 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 about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Benchmark Email Personalization
· 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 add contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a bit more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile programs, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to utilize in your email campaign are not 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 accessible.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got 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 client has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages such as birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email marketing is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this 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 tool to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and every internet browser includes a signature style, making sure that your emails look great across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire app (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to 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 attribute, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users only have to establish 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-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using 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 purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The business describes 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
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction on how to make my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, go into the Emails segment, then hit on the large blue”Create New Mail” button at the upper right-hand corner. Benchmark Email Personalization
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you’re someone 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 had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I wanted on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automated tweet when the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email itself. If you would like to, you can assemble your personal email designs using an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and much better than I managed to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text form. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is rather simple. When you’ve finished all your tweaks, you may save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to verify all is well before distributing your email on 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 automated system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re one of the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you may have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a couple of reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve worked with a lot of other apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, seems in both pie chart and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given activity. Users may export this information for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by country, who opens your emails. Benchmark Email Personalization
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain higher level marketers that need more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will get to that point varies, naturally, based on the company.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly 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 constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe the integration you want, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or request 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 make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events via their Benchmark Email account. A number 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 plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations 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 lets you source images for your Benchmark mails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to different lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal clients for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview 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 using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Benchmark Email Personalization
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social media and email marketing, it is very important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing consists of social media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s participation 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”Just Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites 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 switches to every email that will direct your readers 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 concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users trying to take part in spam actions. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to maintain its standing as a spam-free provider, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam check 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 very likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Key information can be buried and hard to find, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute particulars about plans. For instance. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Email Personalization
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible almost 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide advice which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this app. The company also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You might even ask for a special webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly valuable tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any installation on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has 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 Personalization
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it is really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the inclusion of features including AB testing and surveys in all programs; many companies charge extra for these attributes or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have tried a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users 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 can be an increasingly significant factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. If you want your emails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you might need to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this might be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, so it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge number of pricing strategies, such as a free plan and a huge scale of paid plans that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a small Benchmark emblem at the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the features list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Benchmark Email Personalization
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing based on the number of emails they send every month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Strategies. 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 credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the best in the business for anyone who only wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a small business which views email as a little aspect of its advertising and does not have any desire to operate beyond 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 amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there may come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a great deal for the money, offers exceptional support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can not ask for more.