Summary Email Campaign Cost
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small businesses 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 very simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the while, the business championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email marketing services to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise 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 small, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization supplies a complete page of testimonials from local users of the program. You may read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features of this ESP is the simple fact that most of its attributes come standard with every single account — including the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the benefits of this feature 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 into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume programs come with 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 Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Campaign Cost
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the road. They can get and include contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a little more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile apps, making them considerably more operational.
· 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 picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you can build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as annual messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become successful in email marketing is through growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and every internet browser has a signature style, making sure that your emails look great across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full program (which assesses everything from 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 sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The company describes this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to confirm 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 attractive UI that gave me a very clear path about the best way best to make my first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, go to the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button in the top right-hand corner. Email Campaign Cost
From there, you have to decide If You Would like 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’re 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 had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email . If you want to, you can construct your personal email designs employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I managed to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text form. Once you create your Benchmark lists, they will show up on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is rather easy. Once you’ve finished all of your tweaks, you can save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to verify everything is well before distributing your email on the world, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for shipping to see how timely the automated system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was probably present in tolerance levels for many users. If you’re among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you may have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered 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 in the Benchmark system almost immediately. I’ve worked with a lot of different apps where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given action. Users can export this information for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your emails. Email Campaign Cost
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this info with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point changes, naturally, dependent on the company.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see the integration you want, there’s still hope. You can use the API or request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to create and customize events, promote and market tickets, and track the success of their events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of programs are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows 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 plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer through their subscribers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations of blog articles and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures images you find and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their 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 purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Email Campaign Cost
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social media and email marketing, it’s important to look at the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to each email which will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking 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 numbers to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users trying to take part in spam actions. The company is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test 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 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 Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning tools, but can be needlessly opaque at times. Key information is often buried and hard to find, particularly in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially when it comes to minute particulars about plans. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Campaign Cost
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone 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 daily Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer information that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may need 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 this program. The business also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You can also ask for a particular webinar on quite a few different subjects. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active site. All readers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any setup on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Campaign Cost
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it is really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of attributes like AB analyzing and surveys from all programs; many firms charge extra for these attributes or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a broad assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP users to people who have tried a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design 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 was able to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. Should you want your emails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you may need to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as spam rather than reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is to stop this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, so it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge number of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a massive scale 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 little Benchmark logo in the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Email Campaign Cost
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for 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 per month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the best in the business for anybody who just wants to dive into email marketing (particularly small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a small business which perspectives email as a minor aspect of its advertising and does not have any desire to operate beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Business looking for a easy email marketing program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a lot for the money, offers exceptional support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for much more.