Summary Email Blast System
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, lunch room, and thought hub. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the resources of this fledgling business, 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 staff sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to create a simple user interface that 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 anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email advertising solutions 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 service, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In fact, the company offers a complete page of testimonials from users of the app. You can read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout characteristics of the ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with each account — including the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company explains the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using one of 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 programs come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is 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 consulting support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Blast System
· 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 add contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than a number of other businesses offer on their mobile programs, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If 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. Every Benchmark client has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as annual messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and every internet browser has a signature fashion, making certain that your emails look good across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need 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 with no formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and check statistics. The company describes this function in more detail here.
· 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 fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my new account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear direction on the best way to make 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 campaign, go to the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Email Blast System
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 move for more customization with 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 alternative.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email . If you want to, you are able to assemble your own email designs using an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and much better than I was able to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste 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 sending of the email is quite easy. Once you have completed all of your tweaks, you can save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to check everything is well before unleashing your email on the world, it is possible to send it to yourself 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 advised my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you are among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you might need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a couple of reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I have worked with a lot of different apps where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie chart and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given activity. Users can export this data for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social media area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by country, that opens your emails. Email Blast System
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers who need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of this info with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will reach that point varies, naturally, based on the business.
Specific 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. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask 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 allows users to make and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of their 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 participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to easily build an email viewer via their readers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to different lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of the PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Blast System
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social networking and email advertising, it’s important to check out the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template list consists of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email that will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with 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 amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users hoping to engage in spam activities. 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, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam check feature which looks for words commonly used 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 top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but can be opaque at times. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to find, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, especially in regards to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every 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’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Blast System
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might want to contact support 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 view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You can even ask for a special webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. 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 can be a particularly valuable tool for those brand new to email marketing who believe consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production strategies, vote for their favourite 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 computer.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Blast System
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself too. People are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of attributes like AB analyzing and surveys from all plans; many firms charge extra for such features or just include them in 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 a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping needs, but others will. If you want your mails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you may need to consider 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 have been worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, leading receivers to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, therefore it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge variety of pricing plans, including a totally free plan and a massive array of paid programs that 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 grab. There’ll be a small Benchmark logo in the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the features list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Email Blast System
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing depending on the number of emails they send every month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Strategies. 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 per month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It is easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options might just be the very best in the company for anyone who just wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small company which views email as a little aspect of its marketing and has no desire to operate beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Business looking for a simple email marketing program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there might come a time when you outgrow the app, it provides a lot for the money, provides exceptional support, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for much more.