Summary Benchmark Email Tutorial
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the resources of this fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to create a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the business uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure 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 marketing services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, however, the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the organization supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of this app. You may read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features 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 its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business explains the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or construct 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 plans have the choice 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 delivery management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Benchmark Email Tutorial
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can get and include contacts, read reports, send videos via integration with a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a little more than many other companies offer on their mobile programs, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email marketing is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each internet browser has a signature style, making certain your emails look good across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire 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 can create newsletters from their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply 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 connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. The company explains this function in more detail here.
· 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 company name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path about how to make my very first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, go to the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Benchmark Email Tutorial
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. You can 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 gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was prompted 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 campaign went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start building the email itself. If you want to, you can assemble your personal email layouts using an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I managed to do on my own.
Sending 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 into a text form. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is quite easy. When you’ve 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 verify everything is well before unleashing your email on the world, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for shipping to view how timely the automated system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, you may need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a few reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I’ve worked with a lot of other apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for 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 data for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Benchmark Email Tutorial
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers who need more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point changes, naturally, dependent on the company.
Specific 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. However, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have limitations.
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 Occasions — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to make and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows 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 readers. The plugin can automatically create 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 lets you source pictures for your Benchmark emails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to a 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 automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to various lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of their PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know 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 articles and also use the analytics to see how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Benchmark Email Tutorial
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social media and email advertising, it is important to check out the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list consists of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s involvement in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to bring 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 websites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The Business also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users hoping to take part in spam actions. The company is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature that looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease 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 offers good learning tools, but may be opaque occasionally. Key information can be buried and hard to locate, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, especially when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Email Tutorial
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to 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. Available nearly 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 is closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s 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 might need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of the app. The company also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You can even request a particular webinar on quite a few different subjects. 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 in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to 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 of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active site. All subscribers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts 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 production approaches, 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 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 Tutorial
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the inclusion of features including AB testing and surveys in all plans; many companies charge extra for these attributes 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 praise from a broad range of demographics, from first-time ESP users to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with 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 significant factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. However, 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 Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping needs, but others will. If you need your emails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you might have to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing recipients to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, so it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge variety of pricing plans, such as a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid programs that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t want 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 Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the features list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Benchmark Email Tutorial
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email advertising depending on the amount of mails 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 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 charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options might very well be the very best in the business for anyone who only wants to dive into email marketing (especially small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little business which perspectives email as a little aspect of its marketing and does not have any desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email advertising program using a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Even though there may come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a great deal for the price, provides excellent service, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for much more.