Summary Bulk Email Campaign Services
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought hub. 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 expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email marketing. Many of the ideas were beyond the means of the fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from moving 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 usage of email advertising, while working hard to create a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the company uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user requirements. They also made certain from the outset that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email marketing solutions to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In fact, the organization supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of this app. You can read more 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 this ESP is the fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers access to its 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 societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company explains the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the choice 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 shipping management program is about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The business 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. Bulk Email Campaign Services
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several functions on the street. They can get and add contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile programs, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· 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. Every Benchmark client has the power to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or designed as yearly messages like anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and every internet browser includes a signature fashion, making sure your emails look good across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that 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 provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which handles 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 with no formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from some other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and check data. The business explains this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers 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 account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear path on how to create my very first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, go to the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Bulk Email Campaign Services
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization with 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 had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automated tweet when the effort went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email itself. If you want to, you are able to construct your own email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and much better than I was able to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for people 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 to a text form. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather easy. Once you have completed all of 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 distributing your email on the planet, you can 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 automated 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 present in tolerance levels for many users. If you’re one of the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a couple of reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve worked with a lot of different programs where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about each effort. The arguably most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given action. Users may export this information for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Bulk Email Campaign Services
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that info with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point changes, naturally, dependent on the business.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s key focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see 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 Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows 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 subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you source pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their 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 subscribers to different lists based on which products they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal customers to their own 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 here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site 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 access to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Bulk Email Campaign Services
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral link between social networking and email marketing, it’s important to look at the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list consists of social media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking 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 these nations. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users hoping to engage 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 maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature that looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but can be opaque at times. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to find, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially when it comes to minute details about strategies. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Bulk Email Campaign Services
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can 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. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide information that’s 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 that take users step by step through the features of the app. The company also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You can also ask for a particular webinar on quite a few other 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 especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, 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 is a particularly valuable tool for all those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation strategies, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any installation on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Bulk Email Campaign Services
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of attributes like AB analyzing and surveys in most plans; many firms charge extra for these attributes or just include them into their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a wide range of demographics, from first time ESP users to people who have tried many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all 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 take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who disliked Their Benchmark experience. However, I was able to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. If you want your emails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you might have to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, leading recipients to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from happening, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, therefore it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge variety of pricing plans, including a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid plans which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a small Benchmark logo in the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Bulk Email Campaign Services
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing based on the amount of emails they send every 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 per month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may just be the best in the company for anyone who only wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small business which perspectives email as a little element of its marketing and has no desire to operate beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email advertising program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it supplies a great deal for the money, offers exceptional support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can’t ask for much more.