Overview Best Email Marketing Software Of 2018
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea hub. Backed by a little 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 idea. Simple email advertising. Many of their thoughts were beyond the resources of this fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from planning 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 use of email advertising, while working hard to create a simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the company championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer needs. They also made certain from the outset that anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing services to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the planet, but the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In reality, the organization offers a full page of testimonials from users of the program. You can read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of the ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company describes the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your website or build it directly 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 programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Best Email Marketing Software Of 2018
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers having an Apple device to get several purposes on the street. They can get and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a bit more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile programs, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to use on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages like anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become prosperous in email advertising is through growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and every internet browser has a signature style, making certain your emails look good across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a 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 into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters from their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply have 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 without a formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from some other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and assess data. The company describes this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both Listing 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 accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction on the best way best to create my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go to the Emails segment, then hit the big blue”Create New Mail” button at the upper right-hand corner. Best Email Marketing Software Of 2018
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or traditional 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 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 observation I desired on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automatic tweet once the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin constructing the email . If you would like to, you are able to construct your own email layouts using an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and better than I was able to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text type. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is quite easy. When you have completed all your tweaks, you can save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before unleashing your email on the planet, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for delivery to see how timely the automatic system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you are among the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I’ve worked with several other apps 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 available rate, seems in both pie chart and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given action. Users can export this information for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by state, that opens your emails. Best Email Marketing Software Of 2018
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of this info with proper integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will get to that point varies, of course, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal 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 beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you want, there is still hope. You can use the API or request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to create and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of their events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of programs are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email audience via their readers. The plugin can automatically create email versions of blog articles and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to supply images for your Benchmark mails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can 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 subscribers to various lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of the PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to see how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Best Email Marketing Software Of 2018
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral link between social networking and email marketing, it’s important to look at the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing consists of social media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Email — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to every email which will direct your readers 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 regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security of 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 the users hoping to engage in spam actions. The company is entirely 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 company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature that looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores every 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” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning resources, but can be needlessly opaque at times. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to find, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, especially in regards to minute details about plans. For instance. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Best Email Marketing Software Of 2018
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted 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. Accessible almost 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 normal FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer information which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this app. 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 can even request a particular webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· 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 documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for all those brand 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” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information regarding email advertising 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 offers an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production strategies, vote for their favourite 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 rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Best Email Marketing Software Of 2018
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it is really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of features including AB testing and surveys in all programs; many firms 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 incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad assortment of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to people who have tried many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly significant aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. Should you want your emails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you might need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, causing receivers to mark them as junk and not studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, so it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous number of pricing plans, including a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid plans that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the features list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Best Email Marketing Software Of 2018
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email advertising depending on the amount of emails they send every month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Plans. 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 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 you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the very best in the business for anyone who just wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little company which perspectives email as a minor element of its marketing and has no desire to operate past the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business looking for a simple email marketing program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a great deal for the price, provides excellent service, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for more.