Summary Clean Email List
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, lunch room, and idea heart. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (comprising 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 concept. Simple email advertising. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of the fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team personally sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to create a very simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the while, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user needs. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of this app. You can read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout features of the ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with every single account — including the free ones. Below are a few 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 such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business describes 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 website or construct it 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 increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Clean Email List
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can get and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a little more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile programs, which makes them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you can build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become successful in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each web browser includes a signature fashion, making certain your emails look great across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire program (which checks 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 from their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply need to set up a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The business describes this function in more detail here.
· 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 accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you need to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path about the best way to make my very first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, proceed to the Emails segment, then hit the big blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Clean Email List
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you’re someone 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 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 when I wanted an automated tweet when the effort went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin constructing the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to assemble your own email designs using a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and better than I was able to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text form. 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 rather easy. When you’ve finished all your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to verify 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 chose to schedule my email for shipping to view how timely the automated system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more infrequent 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
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve worked with several other apps where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each effort. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given action. Users may export this data for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by country, who opens your mails. Clean Email List
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with proper integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will reach that point changes, naturally, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just beginning in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or request a 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 app allows users to create and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of the events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize 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 allows users to easily build an email viewer via their readers. The plug-in can automatically produce email variations of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to source images for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and immediately uploads them to a 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 accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to see how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Clean Email List
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social networking and email advertising, it’s important to check out the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s involvement in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to every email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The Business also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users trying to engage in spam activities. The business is fully 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 in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words commonly 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 case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning tools, but can be needlessly opaque occasionally. Key information is often buried and difficult to find, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute details about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Clean Email List
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available almost 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation 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 subject (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may 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 the app. The company also supplies a webinar known as”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 even ask for a particular webinar on a number of different topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active site. All readers automatically gain access to present 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 creation approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t 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. Clean Email List
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most common monitoring concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the addition of features including AB testing and surveys from all programs; many companies charge extra for these features or just include them into their pricier plans.
· 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 consumers to people who have attempted a variety of programs before settling 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 important factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. If you want your emails to go out exactly when your schedule dictates, you may need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, leading receivers to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP is to stop this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, therefore it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge variety of pricing strategies, such as a free plan and a huge array of paid programs which 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 at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Clean Email List
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email advertising based on the amount of mails they send each month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a 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 lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the very best in the company for anyone who just wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a little business which views email as a little element of its advertising and does not have any desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email marketing program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Though there might come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a great deal for the price, offers exceptional service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can not ask for much more.