Summary Disadvantages Of Email Marketing
For many a day 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 group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff 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 needs. They also made sure from the outset that anyone who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising services to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help 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 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 planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of this app. You can read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among 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 some of Benchmark’s most notable 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 specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All 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 boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Disadvantages Of Email Marketing
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers with an Apple device to get several purposes on the street. They can get and include contacts, browse reportsand send videos via integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than many other companies offer on their mobile apps, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as annual messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become prosperous in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and each web browser has a signature style, making sure your emails look great across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire program (which checks everything out of 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 can create newsletters from their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply have to set up a template and campaign 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 allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from some other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage 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 offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction on the best way best to create my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, proceed to the Emails segment, then hit on the large blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Disadvantages Of Email Marketing
From there, you have to decide if you want 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 somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automated tweet when the effort went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to assemble your own email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and much better than I managed to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can 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 are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text type. Once you create your Benchmark lists, they’ll show up on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is quite easy. Once you have completed all of your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to verify all is well before unleashing your email about the world, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for delivery to see how timely the automated system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed 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 in the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. 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 each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users can export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your emails. Disadvantages Of Email Marketing
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain increased level marketers who need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that info with proper integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will reach that point changes, naturally, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe 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 software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to create and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to easily build an email audience via their readers. The plugin can automatically produce email versions of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to source pictures for your Benchmark mails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may 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 very simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Disadvantages Of Email Marketing
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social networking and email advertising, it’s important to look at the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to every email which will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking pages.
The Business also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users trying to engage in spam actions. The company is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words widely used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning tools, but can be opaque at times. Key information can be buried and difficult to find, especially if you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, especially when it comes to minute particulars about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Disadvantages Of Email Marketing
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 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. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might want to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this app. The business also offers a webinar known as”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 also ask for a special webinar on a number of other subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly valuable tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. 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 in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production strategies, vote for their favorite 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 Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Disadvantages Of Email Marketing
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most common observation regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it is really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the inclusion of features including AB analyzing and surveys in all programs; many companies charge extra for these features or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a wide assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP users to people who have tried many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers 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 significant aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable 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 a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. Should you want your mails to go out precisely when your program dictates, you may have to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as junk and not studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is to prevent this from happening, this might be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, so it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge number of pricing strategies, including a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid plans that may 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’ll be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the attributes list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Disadvantages Of Email Marketing
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email marketing based on the amount of emails they send each month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the very best in the company for anyone who just wants to dive into email advertising (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little company which views email as a little aspect of its marketing and has no desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email marketing program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Even though there might come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a lot for the money, offers excellent service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for much more.