Summary Benchmark Hospitality Email
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email advertising. Many of the ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small businesses 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 make a simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the company championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer needs. They also made sure from the outset that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email marketing solutions to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist 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 functions large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards 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 businesses. In fact, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from local users of the app. You can read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with each account — such as the free ones. Here are some 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 particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business explains the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of 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 own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Benchmark Hospitality Email
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers having an Apple device to get several purposes on the street. They can access and include contacts, browse reportsand 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 bit more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile apps, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you can construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and each web browser includes a signature style, making certain that your emails look great across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing 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 out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a 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 permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. The business describes this function 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.
Benefits Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction on how best to make my very first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, go to the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button at the upper right-hand corner. Benchmark Hospitality Email
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you’re somebody 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 had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I desired on the message, as well as if I wanted an automated tweet when the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email . If you want to, you are able to construct your personal email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I was able to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text type. When you make your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather simple. When you have finished all your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check all 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 was not exactly ideal, it was likely present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I have worked with several other programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about each effort. The possibly most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, 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 data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by state, that opens your emails. Benchmark Hospitality Email
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that want more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that information with proper integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will reach that point varies, of course, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just beginning in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you want, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask a 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 events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of subscriptions are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer through their readers. The plugin can automatically create email versions of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source images for your Benchmark mails from places throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to various lists based on what they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of the PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Benchmark Hospitality Email
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social networking and email advertising, it’s 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 networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to add 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 enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to each email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking 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 these countries. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users hoping 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 maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam check feature that looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning tools, but can be opaque occasionally. Key information can be buried and difficult to find, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially in regards to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Hospitality Email
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . 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 per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer information which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might want to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this app. The business also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Email 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 other subjects. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for those new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any setup on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Benchmark Hospitality Email
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the inclusion of features including AB testing and surveys in most plans; many firms charge extra for these attributes or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a broad range of demographics, from first time ESP users to those who have tried many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending needs, but others will. If you want your mails to go out precisely whenever your program dictates, you might need to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that remarked 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 mail, leading recipients to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from happening, this might be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, therefore it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge number of pricing plans, such as a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid plans which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a small Benchmark logo in the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all 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 accounts ).
Paid Plans. Benchmark Hospitality Email
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising based on the amount of emails they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may just be the very best in the company for anyone who just wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little business which perspectives email as a minor element of its advertising and has no desire to operate past the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company looking for a simple email marketing program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a lot for the price, provides exceptional support, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for more.