Summary Email Campaign Companies
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small businesses 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 simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the business 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 rapid access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing solutions to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the globe, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of this app. You can read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features of the ESP is the simple fact that most of its attributes come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company explains the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or construct it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Campaign Companies
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers having an Apple device to access several purposes on the street. They can access and include contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a little more than a number of other businesses offer on their mobile programs, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you can construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages such as birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this through 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 your emails look great across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire program (which assesses everything out of 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 from their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply have to establish a campaign and template within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some 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 assess statistics. The company describes this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my new account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction on how to make my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, go to the Emails segment, then hit on the large blue”Create New Mail” button at the upper right-hand corner. Email Campaign Companies
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 somebody 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 had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start building the email . If you would like to, you are able to assemble your personal email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and much better than I managed 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 listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to 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 into a text type. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite simple. Once you have finished 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 on the world, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for delivery to view how timely the automatic system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with several different programs where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about each effort. The possibly most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie chart and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given activity. Users may export this information for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your emails. Email Campaign Companies
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain increased level marketers that need more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will reach that point changes, of course, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
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 company’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients 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 see the integration you want, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or request an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark 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 events, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to quickly build an email audience via their subscribers. The plugin can automatically produce email versions of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to supply pictures for your Benchmark mails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to different lists based on what they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal customers for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to see how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Email Campaign Companies
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social networking and email marketing, it is important to check out the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of social media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s involvement in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to each email that will direct your readers 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 regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users trying to take part in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies 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 is very likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning tools, but may be opaque at times. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to find, particularly if 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 includes Benchmark branding on each email, however 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 said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Campaign Companies
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via 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 even 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available almost 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and restricted 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 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 subject (or sub-topic) or of 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 offer advice which is 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 movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this program. The company also offers a webinar known as”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 might also request a particular webinar on a number of different topics. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to blogs, 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 is a particularly valuable tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” to”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 gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their latest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any setup on your PC.
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 Campaign Companies
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical observation regarding Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of attributes like AB analyzing and surveys from all programs; many companies charge extra for such attributes or only include them into their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP users to people who have tried a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping needs, but others will. If you want your mails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you may 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, causing recipients to mark them as junk rather than reading the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to stop this from occurring, this may be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge number of pricing plans, such as a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid plans which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a little Benchmark emblem 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 need the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Campaign Companies
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing depending on the number of mails that they send every month.
o Medium 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 a 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 good program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the very best in the company for anyone who just wants to dive into email advertising (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small company which views email as a minor aspect of its marketing and does not have any desire to operate beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email marketing program with a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there might come a time when you launch the program, it provides a lot for the price, provides excellent service, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for more.