Summary Bulk Email Campaign
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which served as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email advertising. Many of their ideas were beyond the means of the fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the business uses such novel 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 quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising solutions 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 service, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company offers a complete page of testimonials from users of this app. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or construct it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. 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 .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Bulk Email Campaign
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the street. They can access and add contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a little more than many other businesses offer in their mobile programs, making them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use 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 don’t 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 can build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the ability to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages like anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email advertising is through growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and every internet browser includes a signature style, making sure that your emails look good across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (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 out of their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only need to set up a campaign and template within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits 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 permits them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage 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 available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path about the best way to create my very first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, proceed into the Emails segment, then hit on the large blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Bulk Email Campaign
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 are someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I desired on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet once the effort went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start building the email itself. 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 alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and much better than I managed to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts to a text form. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is rather easy. When you’ve completed all your tweaks, you may save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to check all 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 chose to schedule my email for delivery to view how timely the automatic system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was likely present in 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 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 in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I’ve worked with a lot of different apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available rate, seems in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users may export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social media area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your mails. Bulk Email Campaign
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain increased level marketers that want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will reach that point varies, naturally, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
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 starting out in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 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 request an 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 app allows users to create and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of programs are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email versions of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to source pictures for your Benchmark emails from places throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to different lists based on what they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of the PayPal clients to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to see how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Bulk Email Campaign
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key connection between social networking and email advertising, it is very important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing consists of social media-specific templates that 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 bring a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons 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 concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of these 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 summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users trying to take part in spam activities. The company is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to preserve its reputation as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides 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 assigned to content that is 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 reduce their spam numbers.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support resources. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Crucial information can be buried and hard to find, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially in regards to minute details about plans. 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 are you going to see it said when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Bulk Email Campaign
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark in 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 daily Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a 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 from the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this app. The business also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You might also ask for a particular webinar on a number of different topics. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active blog. All readers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter 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 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. Bulk Email Campaign
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the addition of features including AB testing and surveys from most plans; many firms charge extra for such attributes or only include them in their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. 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 Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users 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 significant aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. If you need your mails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you may need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t 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 reading the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this might be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, so it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge number of pricing plans, including a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid programs that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a small Benchmark emblem in the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Bulk Email Campaign
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising based on the number of emails that they send each 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 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% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the best in the business for anyone who just wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a small business which views email as a minor element of its marketing and does not have any desire to work beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business looking for a easy email advertising program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there might come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a lot for the money, provides excellent support, and the business seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can’t ask for more.