Overview Email Marketing Ads
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea hub. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email advertising. Many of their thoughts were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff sold them on the use of email advertising, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the while, the business championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising services to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the globe, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In reality, 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 provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout features of the ESP is the simple fact that most of its features come standard with each account — such as the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides 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 societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business describes the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume programs 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 particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Ads
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers having an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can get and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos via integration using a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than many other businesses offer in their mobile apps, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to utilize in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or made as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email advertising is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so 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 tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and every web browser includes a signature fashion, making certain that your emails look great across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire 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 may create newsletters from their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply need to establish a campaign and template 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 with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The company describes 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.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you have 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 on how best to make my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, go into the Emails segment, then hit the large blue”Create New Email” button at the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Ads
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you’re someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop alternative.
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 wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email . If you would like to, you are able to construct your personal email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which 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 input contacts at a time. However, for those who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text type. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is rather simple. When you’ve completed all your tweaks, you can either save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check all is well before distributing your email on 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 see how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, you might have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a few reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I have worked with a lot of other apps where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about every campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given activity. Users can export this information for additional analysis by means of 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 which breaks down, by country, who opens your mails. Email Marketing Ads
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that need more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point changes, of course, based on the business.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s main focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe the integration you need, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or request 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 make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of programs are available, including 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 Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer through their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically produce email variations of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to source pictures for your Benchmark mails from places 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 to 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 overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to see how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library . Email Marketing Ads
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social media and email marketing, it is very important to check out the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s involvement in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which allows you to add 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 enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email that will direct your readers 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 concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users hoping to engage in spam activities. The company is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam check 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 likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support resources. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but may be needlessly 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. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Ads
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone 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. Accessible 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 because it is closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal 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 their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer information which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might need to contact assistance 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 the app. The company also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You might even request a particular webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly helpful tool for those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding 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 may post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any setup on your computer.
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 Marketing Ads
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People today are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it is really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of features like AB analyzing and surveys from most plans; many companies charge extra for these features or only include them into their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a broad range of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to those who have attempted many different programs before settling 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 significant aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. If you want your mails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you may need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as spam rather than reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, this might be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, so it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a massive array of paid programs that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo in the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the features list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Marketing Ads
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing based on the number of emails they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer 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 just be the best in the business for anyone who only wants to dive into email advertising (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little company which perspectives email as a little element of its advertising and does not have any desire to work beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Business looking for a simple email marketing program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there may come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a lot for the money, provides exceptional service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for much more.