Summary Benchmark Payment Networks Complaints
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office that served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought heart. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email advertising. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to create a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the time, the business championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user requirements. They also made certain from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email advertising services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the organization offers a full page of testimonials from users of the program. You can read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout characteristics of the ESP is the simple fact that most of its attributes come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users access to the 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 class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company explains the advantages of this attribute 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 construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume programs come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Benchmark Payment Networks Complaints
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers having an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can get and include contacts, read reportsand send videos via integration using a YouTube account, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a little more than many other companies offer on their mobile programs, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· 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 power to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or made as yearly messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each internet browser has a signature fashion, making certain that your emails look good across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire program (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which handles 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 link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from some other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and check data. The company explains this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers 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 account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process 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 direction about how to make my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go into the Emails segment, then hit the big blue”Create New Email” button in the top right-hand corner. Benchmark Payment Networks Complaints
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or classic 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 motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I desired on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start building the email . If you want to, you are able to construct your own email layouts employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and better than I was able to do on my own.
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 those who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You can 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 form. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is quite easy. When you’ve finished all of 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 verify everything is well before distributing your email on 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 delivery to see how timely the automatic system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was likely present in tolerance levels for many users. If you’re among the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you may need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a few reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve worked with a lot of different apps where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users can export this information for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social media area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Benchmark Payment Networks Complaints
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain higher level marketers that want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this info with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will get to that point changes, of course, dependent on the business.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you want, there’s still hope. You can use the API or request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — 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 market tickets, and monitor the success of their 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 into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to easily build an email audience via their subscribers. The plugin can automatically produce email versions of blog articles and allows 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 allows you to source pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their own 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 different lists based on what they bought. 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 overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and use the analytics to observe how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library . Benchmark Payment Networks Complaints
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social media and email marketing, 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 is made 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 very simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The Business 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 numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users trying to take part in spam activities. The company is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that is very 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 amounts.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to locate, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, particularly in regards 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 page, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Benchmark Payment Networks Complaints
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at support[email protected] or via the company’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible almost 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 as it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. 1 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 that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of the app. The company also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You can even request a special webinar on a number of different subjects. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· 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 documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly valuable tool for all those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all 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 about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Benchmark Payment Networks Complaints
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common monitoring regarding Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the addition of features like AB testing and surveys in most programs; many firms charge extra for these features or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad range of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to people who have attempted many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users 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 can be an increasingly significant aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. However, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. Should you need your mails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as junk and not studying the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to stop this from occurring, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, so it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge variety of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a massive scale of paid programs that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a small Benchmark emblem in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives 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 (allowing multiple users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Benchmark Payment Networks Complaints
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 that they send each 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 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the best in the business for anyone who only wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little company which perspectives email as a minor element of its advertising and does not have any desire to operate beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email advertising program with a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there might come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a lot for the money, offers excellent service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for much more.