Summary Email Address List
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that functioned as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email advertising. Many of their thoughts were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small companies 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 make 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 beginning that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email advertising solutions to small and midsize 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 has 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 upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In reality, the company supplies a full page of testimonials from users of the program. You can read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout features of this ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There’s also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company 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 survey on your website or construct it directly 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 plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Address List
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several functions on the road. They can access and include contacts, browse reports, send videos via integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a bit more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile programs, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· 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 mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as annual messages such as birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and each web browser includes a signature style, making sure that your emails look good across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire app (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters from their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users only have to establish a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and check data. The business explains this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers 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, contact number, and business name, you have to validate your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my new account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction on the best way to make my very first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go into the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Email Address List
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. You can 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 gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop option.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I wanted on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automated tweet when 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 begin building the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to construct your own email layouts employing a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and much better than I was able to do in my.
Sending 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 several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text type. Once you create your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather easy. When you’ve finished all your tweaks, you can save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to check all is well before distributing your email about the world, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for shipping to view how timely the automated system would really be. I advised 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’re among the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I have worked with a lot of other apps where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given activity. Users can export this information for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Email Address List
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain increased level marketers who want more information 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 a small business will reach that point varies, naturally, dependent on the business.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just starting out in email advertising. This is particularly 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 do not observe the integration you need, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or request a 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 app allows users to create and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and track the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A number of programs are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to easily build an email viewer via their readers. The plug-in can automatically create email variations of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you supply images for your Benchmark emails from places across the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may 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 subscribers to various lists based on what they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of the PayPal customers for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Address List
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key connection between social networking and email advertising, it is important to look at the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s involvement in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to every email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking 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 these countries. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users trying to engage in spam activities. The company is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to maintain its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the program 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 used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but may be opaque at times. Crucial information can be buried and hard to locate, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, especially in regards to minute details about plans. For instance. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Address List
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following 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 are able to 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. Available nearly 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform 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’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer information that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this program. The company also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You might also ask for a particular webinar on a number of other subjects. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most 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, in addition to its extremely active blog. All readers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their latest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any setup on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Address List
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People today are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it is really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys from all plans; many firms charge extra for these attributes or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad range of demographics, from first time ESP users to people who have tried a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly significant aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending needs, but others will. If you need your mails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you might have to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as junk rather than reading the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from occurring, this might be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing plans, including a totally 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 charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a little Benchmark emblem at 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 provides you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the features list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Email Address List
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising based on the number of mails that they send each month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Plans. 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 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might 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 strategy can work well for a little business which perspectives email as a little aspect of its advertising and has no desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Business looking for a easy email advertising program with a host of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there might come a time when you launch the program, it provides a great deal for the money, offers exceptional service, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for much more.