Overview Best Email Marketing Software Australia
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of the fledgling business, but that didn’t 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 use of email marketing, while working hard to create a very simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the time, the company championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email marketing services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In fact, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of this app. You may read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark provides 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 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 is also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Best Email Marketing Software Australia
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the street. They can access and include contacts, read reports, send videos via integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a bit more than a number of other companies offer on their mobile programs, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to utilize in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as yearly messages such as birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be prosperous in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely 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 each internet browser includes a signature style, making sure that your emails look good across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users only have to establish a campaign and template 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 allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The company explains this role in more detail here.
· 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.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my new account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path about the best way to create my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, go into the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Email” button at the upper right-hand corner. Best Email Marketing Software Australia
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 using the built-in code editor. If you’re someone 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 had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I desired on the message, in addition to when 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 finally able to begin building the email . If you want to, you are able to construct your own email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and much better than I was able to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are numerous 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 type. Once you make your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is rather easy. Once you’ve finished all your tweaks, you can save email as a draft, send it immediately, 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 your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for delivery to view how timely the automatic system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, you might have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with several other apps where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available rate, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this information for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Best Email Marketing Software Australia
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of that information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point changes, of course, dependent on the company.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the medium 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 observe the integration you need, 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 software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to make and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A number of programs are available, including 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 review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email audience through their readers. The plugin can automatically produce 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 plugin allows you to source pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to various lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Best Email Marketing Software Australia
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral link between social media and email marketing, it is important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template list consists of social media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation in social media 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 into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — After you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to each email that will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users trying to take part in spam actions. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to preserve its reputation as a spam-free provider, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check 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’s 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 decrease their spam amounts.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support tools. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and hard to find, especially in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially when it comes to minute details about strategies. For instance. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Best Email Marketing Software Australia
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited 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. Available nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer information which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this program. The business also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You can even request a particular webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly helpful tool for all those new to email marketing who feel consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. All readers 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 in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any setup on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Best Email Marketing Software Australia
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People today are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it is really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the inclusion of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys from most programs; many companies charge extra for such features or just include them in their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide range of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to people who have tried many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers 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 Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. Should you need your emails to go out precisely whenever your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, leading recipients to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous number of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a massive array of paid programs which can 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’ll be a small Benchmark emblem in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may 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 all but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the features list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Best Email Marketing Software Australia
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising based on the amount of emails that they send each 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 per month
o Extra Large Plans. 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 charge 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 invention, and competitively priced. Its free options might very well be the best in the company for anybody who only wants to dive into email advertising (especially small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a little company which views email as a little aspect of its marketing and has no desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Business looking for a simple email advertising program with a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it supplies a lot for the money, provides exceptional service, and the company appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can’t ask for more.