Summary Benchmark Internet Group India Pvt Ltd
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small businesses located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to create a very simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the company championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user requirements. They also made certain from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email marketing services to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the company offers a full page of testimonials from users of the program. You can read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout features of the ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with every single account — including the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers 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’s also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume programs have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. 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 top email delivery and consulting support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Benchmark Internet Group India Pvt Ltd
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several functions on the street. They can access and include contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a little more than many other businesses offer on their mobile apps, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize on 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 don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages like birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and every web browser has a signature fashion, making sure your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only have to establish a campaign and template within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from some other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The business explains this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path on the best way best to create my first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go to the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Benchmark Internet Group India Pvt Ltd
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization with 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 went with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start building the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to construct your personal email layouts using an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and better than I was able to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input 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 right from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts to a text form. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather easy. When you’ve completed all of your tweaks, you may save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify all is well before unleashing your email about the planet, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for delivery to see how timely the automatic 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 probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you’re 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 primary inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered 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 immediately. I have worked with a lot of different programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie chart and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given activity. Users can export this data for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Benchmark Internet Group India Pvt Ltd
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this info with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will reach that point changes, naturally, dependent on the company.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see the integration you want, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to create and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of the events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to easily build an email viewer via 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 list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you supply images for your Benchmark mails from places throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of the PayPal customers to their own 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 .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder provides an integration with 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 Internet Group India Pvt Ltd
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social media and email marketing, it’s very important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing is made of social media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account together 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 the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding 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) protection to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users hoping to take part in spam activities. The company is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to preserve its standing as a spam-free supplier, 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 substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature which 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 very likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support tools. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning resources, but can be opaque at times. Crucial information is often buried and hard to find, especially if you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, particularly when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you register. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Internet Group India Pvt Ltd
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to 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 almost 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to 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 supplies about two dozen video 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 see the recorded version at any time. You might also request a special webinar on quite a few other subjects. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly helpful tool for all those brand new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. 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 can post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss 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.
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 Internet Group India Pvt Ltd
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the inclusion of features including AB analyzing and surveys in all plans; many firms charge extra for such features or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. 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 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 not able to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. But, I was able to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. Should you want your mails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you might have to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as spam rather than reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to stop this from happening, this may be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, so it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing strategies, such as a free plan and a huge array of paid programs which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a little Benchmark emblem at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the attributes list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Benchmark Internet Group India Pvt Ltd
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising based on the amount of mails they send each 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 per month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a 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 allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the very best in the business for anyone who only wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a small business which views email as a minor element of its marketing and does not have any desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email advertising program with a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the app, it supplies a lot for the money, offers excellent support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can not ask for more.