Overview Bulk Email Service Provider
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office which served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea hub. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of this fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team personally 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 company championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email advertising services to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the planet, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from users of this app. You can read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features of this ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy 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 particular industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can 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 programs have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. 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 here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Bulk Email Service Provider
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several functions on the road. They can get and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos via integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a little more than many other businesses offer on their mobile programs, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to use in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly 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 choice with which you may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email marketing is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and every web browser includes a signature style, making certain your emails look good across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing 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 may create newsletters out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from some other programs 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 statistics. The business describes this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear direction on the best way best to make my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go to the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Bulk Email Service Provider
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or traditional 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 are somebody 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 alternative.
I had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I desired on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email itself. If you want to, you can construct your personal email designs using a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and much better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a list, there are numerous 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 huge lists of contacts to a text type. Once you create your Benchmark lists, they’ll show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather easy. When you’ve finished all your tweaks, you can either save the 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 world, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for shipping to view how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was likely present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
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 in the Benchmark system almost immediately. I’ve worked with a lot of other programs where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about every campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given action. Users may export this information for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Bulk Email Service Provider
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain increased level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue 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 or not a small company will get to that point changes, naturally, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just starting out in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see the integration you need, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email audience via their readers. 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 plugin lets you supply pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to different lists based on what they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of their PayPal clients for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. 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 blog and website builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Bulk Email Service Provider
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social networking and email advertising, it’s important to check out the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very 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, to help you convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to each email that 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 these countries. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users trying to take part in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature which looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but can be opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to locate, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you register. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Bulk Email Service Provider
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 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 as it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide information that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might want 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 offers a webinar called”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 ask for a particular webinar on quite a few different topics. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly helpful tool for those new to email marketing who feel consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production strategies, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has 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 Service Provider
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself too. People tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it is actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of attributes including AB testing and surveys from all programs; many firms charge extra for such features or only include them into their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad range of demographics, from first-time ESP users to people who have attempted many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers 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 is an increasingly important factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. If you need your mails 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 commented the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, leading recipients to mark them as junk and not reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP is to stop this from happening, this might be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, therefore it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge variety of pricing strategies, such as a free plan and a massive scale of paid programs that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a small Benchmark emblem at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the features list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Bulk Email Service Provider
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email advertising based on the amount of emails they send every month.
o Moderate 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 Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options might just be the very best in the company for anyone who just wants to dive into email advertising (especially small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little business which perspectives email as a minor element of its advertising and has no desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Business trying to find a simple email marketing program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a lot for the price, provides excellent support, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for more.