Summary Crm Software Email Marketing
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a small programming group 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 implement a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the resources of this fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small companies located in close 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 easy to operate. All the time, the business uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user requirements. They also made certain from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email marketing solutions to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it 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 up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, but the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization offers a full page of testimonials from users of the app. You may read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout features of the ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with each account — including the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company describes the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular 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 leading email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Crm Software Email Marketing
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can access and include contacts, read reports, send videos via integration with a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a bit more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile programs, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t 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 build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or designed as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and each internet browser includes a signature style, making sure your emails look great across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full app (which checks everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need to set up a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another with no 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 apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and check data. The business describes this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both Listing 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 fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my new account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction on the best way to create my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, go into the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Crm Software Email Marketing
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. You can 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 prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I wanted on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automated tweet once the campaign went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin constructing the email . If you want to, you can construct your own email designs employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and much better than I was able 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 computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts to a text form. Once you make your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is quite simple. When you’ve completed all of your tweaks, you can save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify all is well before distributing your email about 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 view how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re one of the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you might have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve worked with several different apps 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, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given activity. Users may export this information for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your emails. Crm Software Email Marketing
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain increased level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this information with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point changes, naturally, dependent on the business.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you need, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask a 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 via their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of subscriptions are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email audience through their subscribers. 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 using a Benchmark listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to source images for your Benchmark emails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures images you find and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to various lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Crm Software Email Marketing
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social networking and email marketing, it is very important to check out the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment 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 simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to every email which will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users hoping to take part in spam actions. The company is entirely in compliance with all 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 server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature which looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that is likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support resources. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but may be opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to locate, especially if you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. 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 will you 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. Crm Software Email Marketing
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 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 limited hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. You will find more than 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’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may want to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this app. The company also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You might even request a particular webinar on quite a few different topics. Live webinars comprise the opportunity 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, in 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 digestible chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for all those brand new to email marketing who believe consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically gain 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 in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation approaches, 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 setup on your computer.
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. Crm Software Email Marketing
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of features including AB testing and surveys in all programs; many firms charge extra for such attributes or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad assortment of demographics, from first time ESP users to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling 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 can be an increasingly significant factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. But, I was able to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. If you need your mails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you may need to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing recipients to mark them as junk rather than reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge variety of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a huge scale of paid plans that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a little Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Crm Software Email Marketing
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get 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 Plans. 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 credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options might just be the very best in the business for anybody who only wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little company which perspectives email as a little aspect of its marketing and has no desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business looking for a simple email marketing program using a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Though there may come a time when you launch the app, it provides a great deal for the money, offers excellent service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for more.