Summary Best Email Marketing Software For Large Business
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought hub. Backed by a little 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 for how to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small companies located in close 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 create a simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the company championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email marketing services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In fact, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of this app. You may read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of the ESP is the simple fact that most of its features come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Below are some 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 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company describes the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can 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 Benchmark’s High Volume programs 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 boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting clients’ 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 support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Best Email Marketing Software For Large Business
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers having an Apple device to get several functions on the road. They can get and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a little more than a number of other businesses offer on their mobile programs, which makes them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you can build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or designed as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be prosperous in email marketing is through growing your 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 custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and every web browser has a signature style, making sure 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. Using the entire app (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply 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-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check data. The business explains this role in more detail .
· 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.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you need to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my new account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear path about how to create my first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, go into the Emails segment, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Best Email Marketing Software For Large Business
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you’re somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop option.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I desired on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start constructing the email . If you want to, you are able to construct your personal email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that 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 certainly do as I did and manually input contacts 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 right from your personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text type. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather simple. Once you have finished all of your tweaks, you may either save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before distributing your email on the planet, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for shipping to view how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you’re one of the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you may need to look 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
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I’ve worked with several other programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this data for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Best Email Marketing Software For Large Business
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers who need more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this info 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 varies, of course, based on the business.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the company’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, 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 is still hope. You can use the API or ask 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 sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of programs are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to easily build an email viewer via their readers. The plug-in 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 review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you source images for your Benchmark emails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately uploads them to a 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 mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to different lists based on which products they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of the PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Best Email Marketing Software For Large Business
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social networking and email advertising, it’s very important to check out the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template listing consists of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users trying to engage in spam actions. The business is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from 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 materials, Benchmark provides a spam check feature that looks for words widely used in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that is likely to be blocked. In case of a top 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 users a lot of support resources. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning resources, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and hard to locate, especially if you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, particularly in regards to minute details about strategies. For instance. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Best Email Marketing Software For Large Business
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form . Accessible 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 states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available nearly 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice that’s 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 which take users step by step through the features of this program. The company also supplies a webinar known as”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 even request a particular webinar on a number of different subjects. 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 generally, as well as the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to sites, offer users guidance 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 brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed 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 info about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active site. All readers automatically obtain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any setup on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has 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 Software For Large Business
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys in all plans; many companies charge extra for these attributes or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have attempted many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with 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 not able to find many people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. However, I was able to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping needs, but other people will. If you want your mails to go out precisely whenever your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials 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 mail, causing receivers to mark them as spam and not studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from happening, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, so it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous number of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a massive scale of paid programs which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem in the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Best Email Marketing Software For Large Business
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising depending on the number of mails that 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 a 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 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 solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the best in the company for anybody who just wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a little business which views email as a little aspect 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 Business looking for a simple email marketing program with a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a great deal for the money, provides exceptional service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can’t ask for more.