Summary Email Campaign Size
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea hub. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email advertising. 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 Mail were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team personally sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the time, the company championed such novel 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 support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising services to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids 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 big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the planet, however, the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from local users of the app. You can read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout features of this ESP is the simple fact that most of its features come standard with every single 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 the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There’s also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the advantages 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 build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other programs have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Campaign Size
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the street. They can access and add contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a bit more than many other companies offer in their mobile programs, making them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or designed as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and every internet browser has a signature style, making certain your emails look great across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 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 handles an RSS-feed. Users simply have to establish a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables 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 skills to retrieve data from some other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check data. The company explains this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both List 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 account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a 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 make a new effort, go to the Emails segment, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Email Campaign Size
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization with 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 was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I desired on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email itself. If you would like to, you can construct your personal email designs using a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and much better than I managed to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts to a text type. When you create your Benchmark lists, they will show up on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite simple. Once you’ve completed all of your tweaks, you may either save the 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, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for delivery to see how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve worked with several other programs where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about each effort. The arguably most important statistic, the available rate, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given action. Users can export this data for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social media place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by country, that opens your emails. Email Campaign Size
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who want more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of this info with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will get to that point changes, of course, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s key focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or request a 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 permits users to create and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events via their Benchmark Email account. A variety of subscriptions are available, such as 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 engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to quickly build an email audience through their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email versions of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to supply images for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of the PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Email Campaign Size
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral link between social networking and email advertising, it’s very important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to each email that will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The Business 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 those countries. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users trying to engage in spam activities. The business is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent 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 assigned to content that’s likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but can be needlessly opaque at times. Key information is often buried and difficult to locate, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about plans. For instance. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at 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 the resources Benchmark offers. Email Campaign Size
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to 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. Accessible 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 is closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are 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 the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide information that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the program. The company also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You might also request a particular webinar on quite a few different topics. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable 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 feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain 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 in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production strategies, vote for their favorite 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 PC.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes 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 Size
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the addition of features like AB testing and surveys from all plans; many companies charge extra for such features or only include them into their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad range of demographics, from first-time ESP users to people who have tried many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly significant aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I was able to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some 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 lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. Should you need your emails to go out precisely when your program dictates, you might need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, therefore it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing strategies, including 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 plans do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem at the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Campaign Size
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising based on the number of emails that they send each 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 a month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge 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’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the best in the business for anybody who only wants to dive into email marketing (particularly small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little company which views email as a minor aspect of its advertising and has no desire to work beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business looking for a simple email marketing program with a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there might come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a lot for the money, provides exceptional support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can not ask for more.