Summary Email List Software
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea hub. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email advertising. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling company, 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 sold them on the usage of email marketing, while working hard to create a 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 needs. They also made sure from the outset that anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing solutions to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, but the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization supplies a complete page of testimonials from local users of the app. You can read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most 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 most of its features come standard with each account — including the free ones. Below are some 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 particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company describes the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email List Software
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers having an Apple device to get several purposes on the road. They can get and add contacts, read reports, send videos via integration with a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a little more than a number of other businesses offer on their mobile programs, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the ability to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so 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 every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and each internet browser includes a signature fashion, making sure that your emails look good across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire program (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters from their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only need to set up a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and assess data. The business describes this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you have to validate your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear direction on the best way best to create my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, proceed into the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button at the upper right-hand corner. Email List Software
From there, you must decide if you want 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 are 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 prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I wanted on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automated tweet once the effort went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start building the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to assemble your own email layouts employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and better than I managed to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts at a time. However, for those 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 large lists of contacts to a text type. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather easy. When you have completed all your tweaks, you can either save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to verify all is well before distributing your email on the planet, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for shipping to see how timely the automated system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was likely present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a couple of reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with a lot of other apps where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open speed, appears in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this information for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Email List Software
Though all of the 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 earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point changes, of course, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while bigger 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 is still hope. You can 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 app permits users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to quickly build an email audience via their readers. The plugin can automatically create email versions of blog posts 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 plug-in lets you source images for your Benchmark emails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to various lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of their PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Email List Software
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social media and email advertising, it’s important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template listing consists of social media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to every email which will direct your subscribers to each of your social media 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 these countries. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.
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 hoping to take part in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides 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 likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to find, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, particularly in regards to minute details about plans. For instance. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor will you 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 List Software
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. 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. 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 is closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. One 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 provide advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this app. The company also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You might also ask for a special webinar on quite a few different topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, 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 readable chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active site. All subscribers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their latest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email List Software
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the addition of attributes including AB testing and surveys in most programs; many firms charge extra for these attributes 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 compliments from a broad 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 design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. If you want your mails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing recipients to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to stop this from occurring, this might be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid plans which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a small Benchmark emblem in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan 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 record. Notable absences into the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email List Software
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising depending on the amount of emails that they send each month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Plans. 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 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge 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 Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the very best in the business for anybody who only wants to dip 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 element of its marketing and does not have any desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business looking for a simple email marketing program with a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Even though there might come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a lot for the money, offers exceptional service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for more.