Summary Benchmark Email User Reviews
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 idea heart. Backed by a small programming team 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 implement a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team personally sold them on the use of email advertising, while working hard to create a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user needs. They also made certain from the outset that anyone who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of the program. You may read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, among 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. Below are some 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 like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping 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 User Reviews
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can get and include contacts, browse reports, send videos via integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send fast 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 intend to utilize on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty 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. Every Benchmark client has the ability to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be prosperous in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each internet browser includes a signature fashion, making certain your emails look good across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (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 blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog 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 allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from some other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. The company describes this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you need to validate your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my new account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path about the best way best to create my very first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, proceed to the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Mail” button in the top right-hand corner. Benchmark Email User Reviews
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go 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 went with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet once the effort went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start building the email . If you want to, you can construct your personal email layouts employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I managed to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts 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 directly from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts to a text type. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather simple. When you have completed all your tweaks, you may save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to verify everything is well before distributing your email about the world, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for shipping to view how timely the automated system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was likely present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I’ve worked with several 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 possibly most important statistic, the available speed, seems in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. 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, in addition to a map which breaks down, by country, who opens your mails. Benchmark Email User Reviews
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain higher level marketers that need more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this info 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 varies, of course, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see the integration you want, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to make and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of the events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, including 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 permits users to easily build an email audience through their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email variations of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to supply images for your Benchmark emails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of the PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know 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 emails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Benchmark Email User Reviews
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social media and email advertising, it’s important to look at the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template list consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s involvement in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — After you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The company 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 countries. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security 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 trying to take part in spam activities. The company is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the program 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 widely used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning tools, but may be opaque occasionally. Key information is often buried and difficult to find, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about plans. For instance. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Email User Reviews
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form here. 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 countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible 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’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the program. The business also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Email 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 also ask for a special webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to sites, offer users advice 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 helpful tool for those new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active blog. All readers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation approaches, 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 score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Benchmark Email User Reviews
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it is really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the inclusion of features including AB testing and surveys from most plans; many firms charge extra for such attributes or just include them into their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have tried many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women 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 where their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. Should you want your mails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you may need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, causing recipients to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, this might be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, so it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing plans, including a totally free plan and a huge array of paid programs which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Benchmark Email User Reviews
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing depending on the amount of emails they send every month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may very well be the very best in the company for anybody who only wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little company which views email as a minor aspect of its marketing and does not have any desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email marketing program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there might come a time when you launch the app, it provides a lot for the price, provides excellent service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for much more.