Overview Email Address
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and idea heart. Backed by a small 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 advertising. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team sold them on the use of email advertising, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the company uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. They also made sure from the outset that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from users of the app. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features of the ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers 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 retailstores. There is also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company explains the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or construct it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other programs have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Address
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several purposes on the street. They can get and include contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a little more than a number of other companies offer on their mobile programs, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty 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 offers this ultra-customization choice with which you can construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or designed as yearly messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The company 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. Since every email program is different and each internet browser has a signature style, making certain that your emails look great across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire program (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply need to set up a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and check data. The company describes this function in more detail .
· 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.
Benefits Of Use
Enrolling in 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 new account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction about the best way to create my first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, go to the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Email” button at the upper right-hand corner. Email Address
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go 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 was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I desired 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 wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin constructing the email . If you would like to, you can assemble your own email designs using a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and better than I was able to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a list, there are several 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 huge lists of contacts to a text form. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is quite easy. Once you’ve completed all your tweaks, you can save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before distributing your email about the world, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for delivery to see how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of different apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about every campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Email Address
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that need more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of this info with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will get to that point changes, naturally, dependent 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 large email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you need, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to create 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, 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 participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to easily build an email audience 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 with a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to supply images for your Benchmark emails from places throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to different lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of the PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Email Address
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral link between social media and email marketing, it’s important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The Business also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the security of 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 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 measures to maintain its standing as a spam-free provider, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature that 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 is very likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support tools. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Key information is often buried and hard to locate, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute details about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Address
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can 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 almost 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 is closer to a 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. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might 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 the program. The company also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You can also request a particular webinar on a number of other 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 in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, 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 Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active site. All readers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles 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 talk about newsletter creation approaches, 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 setup on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Address
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the inclusion of features like 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 locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad range of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have tried many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with 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 important aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. Should you want your emails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you may need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that remarked the social networking 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 receivers to mark them as spam rather than reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to stop this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, so it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge variety of pricing strategies, such as a free plan and a huge array of paid programs which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Email Address
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing based on the number of mails 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 a month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a month
o Massive 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 teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may very well be the best in the company for anybody who only wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little company which views email as a little element of its marketing and does not have any desire to operate beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Business trying to find a simple email marketing program using a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a lot for the money, offers excellent service, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for much more.