Summary Easy To Use Email Marketing Software
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought 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 SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email advertising. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of the fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff sold them on the usage of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the time, the company uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made certain from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email marketing services to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, but the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In reality, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of this program. You can read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout features of the ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with each account — including the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business describes the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to 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 of Benchmark’s High Volume programs have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Easy To Use Email Marketing Software
· 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 through integration using a YouTube account, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a bit more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile apps, which makes them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you may construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages such as birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email marketing is by way of growing your own 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 tool to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and each internet browser includes a signature style, making sure your emails look good across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (which checks everything from 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 from their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply need to set up a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using 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 a nutshell, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The business describes this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both List 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 accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction about how to create my first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, proceed into the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Mail” button at the upper right-hand corner. Easy To Use Email Marketing Software
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 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 went with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I desired on the message, as well as when I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin building the email itself. If you want to, you can assemble your own email layouts using an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I was able to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts one 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 right from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts to a text form. When you make your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather easy. Once you have finished all of your tweaks, you can either save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to verify all is well before distributing your email on the planet, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for shipping to view how timely the automatic system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was likely within tolerance levels for many users. If you are among the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost 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 Bits of information about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides 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 may export this information for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Easy To Use Email Marketing Software
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher 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 proper integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will reach that point varies, naturally, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark made 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 key focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just starting out in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, 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 is still hope. You’re able to use the API or request an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to make and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of programs are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to easily build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations of blog articles and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you supply images for your Benchmark mails from places throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to different lists based on which products they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making app 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 also use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Easy To Use Email Marketing Software
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social networking and email advertising, it’s important to check out the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing is made of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s involvement in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email which will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The Business 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 amounts to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users trying to take part in spam actions. The company is fully 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 supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam check feature which looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores each 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” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning resources, but can be needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to find, particularly in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute details about strategies. For instance. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Easy To Use Email Marketing Software
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Support. 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 can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). 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 as it is closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might want to contact assistance 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 business also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You can also request a special webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable 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.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
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. Easy To Use Email Marketing Software
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of features including AB analyzing and surveys from all plans; many companies charge extra for these attributes or just include them into their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a wide range of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to those who have tried many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. If you want your mails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you may need to consider 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 worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as junk and not studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, this might be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, so it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge number of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a huge array of paid programs which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a small Benchmark emblem in the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the attributes list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Easy To Use Email Marketing Software
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising based on the number of emails they send every month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a 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 Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the best in the business for anybody who just wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little company which perspectives email as a little element of its advertising and has no desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a simple email advertising program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a great deal for the price, offers excellent service, and the business seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for much more.