Summary Benchmark Email Survey
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and idea hub. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email advertising. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of the fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small businesses located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff personally sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the business uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email advertising services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations such as 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 hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from users of this app. You can read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout features of the ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with every single account — including the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of 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 particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a class for social 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 can create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume programs have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Benchmark Email Survey
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several purposes on the road. They can get and include contacts, browse 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, which makes them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to use in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· 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 construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or designed as yearly messages like birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be successful in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and every internet browser has a signature style, making certain 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. Using the full app (which checks everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters from their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply need to set up a campaign and template within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. 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
Signing up for a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear path about the best way to create my very first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, proceed to the Emails segment, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Benchmark Email Survey
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 go for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you are somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet once the campaign went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin constructing the email itself. If you want to, you can assemble your personal email layouts employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and better than I was able to do on my own.
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 listing, there are several ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text form. When you make your Benchmark lists, they will show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather easy. Once 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 verify all is well before unleashing your email on the planet, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for delivery to view how timely the automatic system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was probably present in tolerance levels for many 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 did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with a lot of 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 possibly most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given action. Users may export this data for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by state, who opens your emails. Benchmark Email Survey
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that need more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of that information with proper integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will reach that point changes, of course, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there is still hope. You can 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 app permits users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to quickly build an email audience via their readers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations of blog posts and allows 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 supply images for your Benchmark emails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of their PayPal clients to 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 also use the analytics to see how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Benchmark Email Survey
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral link between social media and email marketing, it’s important to look at the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s involvement in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides 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”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email which will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users trying to take part in spam actions. The business is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to preserve its reputation as a spam-free supplier, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, 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’s very likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning resources, but can be needlessly opaque occasionally. Key information is often buried and hard to find, especially if you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially when it comes to minute details about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Email Survey
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 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 nearly 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’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. 1 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 information which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this program. The company also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You might also ask for a special webinar on a number of different subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss 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 does not Require any setup on your PC.
Positive 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 Survey
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the addition of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys in all programs; many companies charge extra for these features or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a wide range of demographics, from first time ESP users to people who have attempted many different programs before settling on 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 can be an increasingly important aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours when they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. If you want your mails to go out precisely whenever your program dictates, you may need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing recipients to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to stop this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, therefore it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge variety of pricing strategies, including a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid programs 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 grab. There will be a small Benchmark emblem at 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 up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the features list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Benchmark Email Survey
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing based on the amount of emails that they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Strategies. 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 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the best in the company for anyone who just wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small business which perspectives email as a minor aspect of its advertising and does not have any desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company trying to find a easy email advertising program with a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it supplies a lot for the price, offers excellent service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for more.