Summary Consumer Email Lists
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought heart. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail 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 use of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the while, the business championed such novel 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 outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email advertising 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’s adhered 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 throughout the globe, however, the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of the 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, one of the standout features of the ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single accounts — including the free ones. Here 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 retail. There is also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company explains the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Consumer Email Lists
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers having an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can access and include contacts, browse reportsand send videos via integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a bit more than many other businesses offer in their mobile apps, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you can build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages such as birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be prosperous in email marketing is through growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each web browser includes a signature fashion, making certain that 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. 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 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only have 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 connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. The business explains this role 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
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my new account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear direction on the best way best to make my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, proceed into the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button in the top right-hand corner. Consumer Email Lists
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 with 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 moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I desired on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automated tweet once the effort went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start building the email . If you want to, you can construct your personal email layouts using an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and better than I managed to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text type. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite simple. When you’ve finished all your tweaks, you may save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to check all is well before unleashing your email on the planet, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for delivery to see how timely the automated system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you are one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I have worked with a lot of different programs where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about every campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the available speed, seems in both pie chart and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given activity. Users can export this information for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by state, that opens your emails. Consumer Email Lists
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain higher level marketers that want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will get to that point varies, of course, dependent on the company.
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. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see the integration you want, there is 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 program allows users to create and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of programs are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to quickly build an email viewer through their readers. The plugin can automatically create email variations 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 supply images for your Benchmark mails from locations across the web. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future usage.
· 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 automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of their PayPal clients to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library . Consumer Email Lists
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral link between social media and email marketing, it’s very important to look at the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies 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 Email — After you connect 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 those countries. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of all 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 take part in spam actions. The business is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to preserve its standing as a spam-free supplier, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To stop 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 delegated to content that is very likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but may be opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and hard to find, especially in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially when it comes to minute details about strategies. For instance. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Consumer Email Lists
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible nearly 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 as it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may 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’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer advice which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may want to contact support 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 business also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You can even ask for a special webinar on quite a few different topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files 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 compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly helpful 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 info regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their latest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any installation on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Consumer Email Lists
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most common monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys in all programs; many companies charge extra for these attributes or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a wide assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP users to people who have attempted a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly important aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their mails 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 have time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. If you want your emails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you may need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, causing recipients to mark them as spam and not studying the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to stop this from happening, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a massive scale of paid plans that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a little Benchmark emblem at the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the features list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Consumer Email Lists
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email advertising depending on the amount of mails that 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 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options may very well be the best in the company for anyone who just wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a little business which perspectives email as a minor element of its marketing and has no desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Business trying to find a simple email advertising program using a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there might come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a great deal for the money, provides exceptional support, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for more.