Summary Ctor Email Benchmark
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and idea heart. Backed by a little 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 their thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving 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 use of email advertising, while working hard to create a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the time, the company championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising services to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of this program. You can read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout features of the ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to particular industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other programs have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Ctor Email Benchmark
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the street. They can get and add contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than many other companies offer in their mobile apps, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· 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 construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or designed as annual messages such as birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually 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 customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and every web browser includes a signature fashion, making sure your emails look great across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire app (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply need 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 some other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The company explains this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List 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, phone number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction about how best to create my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go into the Emails segment, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button in the top right-hand corner. Ctor Email Benchmark
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization using 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 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 setup how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet once 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 start constructing the email itself. If you would like 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, that are great, and much better than I managed to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a list, 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 large lists of contacts into a text type. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather easy. When you have finished all of your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to verify everything is well before distributing your email about the planet, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for delivery to view how timely the automated system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you may have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was automatically 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 few reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I’ve worked with several other programs where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the open speed, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every 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 is also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Ctor Email Benchmark
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher level marketers who need more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with proper integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will reach that point changes, of course, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s key focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have constraints.
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’re able to use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to make and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of the events via 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 utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to quickly build an email viewer via their subscribers. 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 using a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to source pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of the PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library . Ctor Email Benchmark
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social networking and email marketing, it is important to check out the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of social media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides 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 Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to every email which will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users trying to take part in spam activities. The company is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words widely 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 high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Crucial information can be buried and hard to locate, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, especially when it comes to minute details about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in 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 the resources Benchmark offers. Ctor Email Benchmark
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through these 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.
· 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. Available 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. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of the app. The company also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You can also request a particular webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly helpful tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active site. All readers automatically obtain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their latest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about 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 does not Require any installation on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
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. Ctor Email Benchmark
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it is really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of attributes including AB testing and surveys in all programs; many companies charge extra for such features or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a wide range of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people 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 important aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women 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 mails were sent hours when they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. Should you want your emails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you may need to consider 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 have been worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, leading recipients to mark them as junk and not reading the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this may be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a massive scale of paid programs which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the features list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Ctor Email Benchmark
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email advertising depending on the amount of mails they send each month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Strategies. 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 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may just be the best in the company for anyone who only wants to dive into email marketing (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a little business which views email as a minor element of its advertising and does not have any desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Company looking for a easy email marketing program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there may come a time when you launch the program, it provides a lot for the price, provides excellent service, and the company appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for much more.