Overview Email Campaign Results
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office that functioned as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email advertising. Many of the ideas were beyond the resources of the fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the company championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing services to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist 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 functions large 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, but the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In fact, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from local users of this program. You can read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout features of this ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with each accounts — such as the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company describes the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All 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 own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Campaign Results
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the street. They can access and include contacts, browse reports, send videos via integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a bit more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile apps, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty 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 provides this ultra-customization choice with which you can construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or made as yearly messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and every web browser includes a signature fashion, making sure that your emails look great 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. Using the entire program (which checks everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to 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 automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply need to establish a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The company describes this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List 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 accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you need to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my new account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear direction about how to create my 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 create a new campaign, go to the Emails segment, then hit on the large blue”Create New Mail” button in the top right-hand corner. Email Campaign Results
From there, you must 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 gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I wanted on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automated tweet when the effort went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start building the email . If you would like to, you are able to construct your personal email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be 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 enter contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to 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 large lists of contacts to a text form. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is rather simple. Once you have completed all of your tweaks, you may either save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to check everything is well before distributing your email on the planet, 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 really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you might have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I’ve worked with a lot of other programs where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about every effort. The possibly most important statistic, the open speed, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by country, who opens your emails. Email Campaign Results
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain higher level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will get to that point varies, naturally, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have limitations.
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 ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to create and customize events, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of the events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email viewer through their readers. The plug-in can automatically create email variations of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you supply images for your Benchmark mails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to different lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal clients to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. 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 use the analytics to observe how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library . Email Campaign Results
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key connection between social networking and email advertising, it is important to check out the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which allows you to add 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 readers.
· Social Links within Email — After you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to every 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 concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire platform 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 their users trying to engage in spam actions. The company is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to maintain its standing as a spam-free supplier, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words widely utilized 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 high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning tools, but can be opaque at times. Key information is often buried and difficult to find, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes 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 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 the resources Benchmark offers. Email Campaign Results
· 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 here. Accessible 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 countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available nearly 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 some QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might want to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this app. The business also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You might also request a particular webinar on quite a few different subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly valuable tool for those new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain 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 at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation strategies, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any installation on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
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 Results
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most common observation regarding Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys in most plans; many companies charge extra for these features or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide range of demographics, from first-time ESP users to people who have attempted many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with 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 take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. If you need your mails to go out exactly when your schedule dictates, you may need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, leading recipients to mark them as spam rather than reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, so it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous number of pricing plans, such as a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid programs that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose 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 around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Email Campaign Results
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email advertising based on the amount of mails that they send every month.
o Moderate 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 Strategies. 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 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options might very well be the best in the business for anyone who only wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a little business which perspectives email as a minor element of its marketing and does not have any desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email marketing program using a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Though there might come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a lot for the money, provides excellent service, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for more.