Summary Best Email Marketing Service 2015
For many a day 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 hub. 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 pro ) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of the fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small companies located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team personally sold them on the usage of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the time, the company uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email advertising services to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the planet, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of the app. You can read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout features of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single accounts — including the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 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. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company 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 survey on your site or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Best Email Marketing Service 2015
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers having an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can access and add contacts, read reports, send videos via integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a bit more than many other companies offer in their mobile apps, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to utilize on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages such as birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The company 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 each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and every web browser includes a signature fashion, making sure that your emails look great across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire program (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into 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 mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only need to set up a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables 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 skills to retrieve data from some other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The business describes this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both List 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 pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you have to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction about how best to create my very first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, proceed to the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Best Email Marketing Service 2015
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you are somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I wanted on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet when the effort went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email itself. If you want to, you can construct your own email designs 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 enter contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text form. When you create your Benchmark lists, they’ll show up on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is quite simple. When you’ve finished all your tweaks, you can either save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to verify all is well before distributing your email about the world, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for shipping to see how timely the automated system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was likely within tolerance levels for many users. If you are one of the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system almost immediately. I’ve worked with several other apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific 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 area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your emails. Best Email Marketing Service 2015
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will get to that point varies, naturally, based on the business.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, 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 customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of the events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of programs are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email viewer via their subscribers. 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 listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source images for your Benchmark emails from locations across the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to different lists based on what they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Best Email Marketing Service 2015
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key connection between social networking and email advertising, it is important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Just 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 enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to every 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 selection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users hoping to take part in spam actions. The company is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to preserve its reputation as a spam-free provider, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam check feature which looks for words widely used in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that is likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning tools, but can be needlessly opaque at times. Crucial information can be buried and hard to find, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute details about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in 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. Best Email Marketing Service 2015
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone 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 almost 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide information that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials which 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 watch the recorded version at any time. You might even ask for a special webinar on quite a few different subjects. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users guidance 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 valuable tool for those new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All readers automatically gain 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 in 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 completely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
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. Best Email Marketing Service 2015
Some common points of praise.
· 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 is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of features including AB testing and surveys in all programs; many companies charge extra for such attributes or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to find 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 attempted a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their Benchmark experience. But, I was able to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping needs, but others will. If you want your mails to go out exactly when your schedule dictates, you may need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, causing recipients to mark them as junk and not studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to stop this from happening, this may be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, therefore it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing plans, including a totally 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 credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails 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 account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Best Email Marketing Service 2015
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising based on the number of emails that they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the best in the company 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 business which perspectives email as a minor aspect of its marketing and has no desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company looking for a simple email advertising program using a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Though there might come a time when you launch the app, it provides a lot for the price, provides excellent service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can not ask for more.