Summary Benchmark Email Video
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and thought heart. 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 implement a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. 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 Email were small businesses located in close 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 simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the time, the company uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user needs. They also made certain from the outset that anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise 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 organization offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of this program. You may read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with each account — including the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers 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 is also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company explains the benefits 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 site or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other programs 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 Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Benchmark Email Video
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several purposes on the street. They can get and include contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a little more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile apps, which makes them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not 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 can build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the ability to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages like birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through 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 every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and every internet browser includes a signature style, making sure your emails look great across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire program (which checks everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into 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 blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users only have to establish a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with 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 brief, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The business describes this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers 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 account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path about the best way to create my very first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, go to the Emails segment, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Benchmark Email Video
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you are 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 option.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I desired on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start constructing the email . If you would like to, you can assemble your own email designs employing a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You can 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 to a text type. 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 quite easy. When you’ve finished all your tweaks, you can either save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to check all is well before unleashing your email on the world, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for delivery to see how timely the automatic system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you are one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, you may have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered 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 register from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I have worked with several different apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about each effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie chart and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given activity. Users may export this information for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Benchmark Email Video
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that information with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point varies, of course, dependent on the business.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe 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 Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to create and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and track the success of their events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email viewer via their readers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you source pictures for your Benchmark mails from places across the web. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can 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 contributors to various lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of the PayPal customers for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails 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 . Benchmark Email Video
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social networking and email marketing, it is very important to look at the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s involvement in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email which will direct your readers 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 countries. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users trying to engage in spam actions. The business is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to preserve its reputation as a spam-free supplier, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature that looks for words commonly used 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 reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Key information is often buried and hard to locate, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially in regards to minute particulars about plans. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Email Video
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available 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 because it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. You will find over 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 from the 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 offer advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the program. The company also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You might also request a particular webinar on a number of different subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly helpful tool for all those new to email marketing who believe consumed 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 about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active site. All subscribers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any installation on your PC.
Favorable 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 Video
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most common monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the inclusion of features like AB testing and surveys from most programs; many companies charge extra for these features or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad range of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to those who have attempted a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who disliked Their Benchmark experience. But, I managed to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. Should you want your emails to go out precisely when your program dictates, you may need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, leading receivers to mark them as spam and not studying the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP would be to stop this from happening, this might be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing strategies, such as a 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, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a little Benchmark logo in the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t want 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 of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the features list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Benchmark Email Video
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email marketing depending on the amount of emails that they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Strategies. 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 credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the very best in the business for anybody who only wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little company which perspectives email as a minor element of its marketing and does not have any desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company looking for a simple email advertising program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Though there might come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a great deal for the price, offers exceptional support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can not ask for much more.