Overview Email Campaign Website
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (comprising 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 business, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email 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 use of email advertising, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the time, the company uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. They also made certain from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, but the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the company supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of this app. You can read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business 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 plans 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 increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Campaign Website
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the street. They can access and include contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than many other companies offer on their mobile programs, which makes them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to use in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you can build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be prosperous in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and every web browser includes 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 entire app (which checks 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 may create newsletters out of their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users only 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 with no formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from some other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The company explains this function 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.
Ease Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you need to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear path on how to make my first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go to the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Email Campaign Website
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or classic 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 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 setup how much observation I desired on the message, as well as when I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email . If you would like to, you can assemble your personal email designs employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and much better than I was able to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts one 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 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 make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is rather easy. Once you have finished all of your tweaks, you may save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify all is well before unleashing your email about the planet, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for delivery to view how timely the automatic system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was likely within tolerance levels for many users. If you are among the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, you may have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a couple of reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I have worked with several different apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie graph and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given activity. Users can export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social media area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Email Campaign Website
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this information with proper integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will get to that point varies, naturally, based on the business.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see the integration you need, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Events 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 market tickets, and track the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A number of programs are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to easily build an email viewer via 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 listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to various lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal clients to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to see how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Email Campaign Website
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social media and email advertising, it is very important to check out the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template listing is made of social media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s involvement in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to every email which will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The company also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire 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 summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users hoping to engage in spam actions. The company is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to maintain its reputation as a spam-free provider, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature that looks for words widely used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but can be opaque at times. Key information is often buried and difficult to find, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly in regards to minute details about plans. As an example. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Campaign Website
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform 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. A few of the QandAs offer information which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this app. The company also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You might even ask for a particular webinar on a number of different subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for all those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All readers 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 discuss newsletter production approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any setup on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Campaign Website
Some common points of compliments.
· 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 a few say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of features including AB testing and surveys from most programs; many companies charge extra for these features or just include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to those who have attempted a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of 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 Men and Women who disliked Their Benchmark experience. But, I was able to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but others will. Should you need your emails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you may have to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer 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, causing recipients to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to stop this from happening, this may be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, so it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous number of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a huge array of paid programs that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There will 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 in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the features list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Email Campaign Website
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email advertising based on the number of emails that they send each month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Plans. 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 credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It is easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options might very well be the best in the business for anybody who only wants to dive into email advertising (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little business which perspectives email as a little aspect of its advertising and does not have any desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Company looking for a easy email marketing program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the app, it provides a great deal for the price, provides exceptional service, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for much more.