Overview Email Marketing Business
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO expert) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of the fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team personally 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 time, the business uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user requirements. They also made certain from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email marketing services to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help 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 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 roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In fact, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from users of this program. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with each accounts — such as the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to particular industries like education, entertainment, and retailstores. 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 advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Marketing Business
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can access and include contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a bit more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile programs, which makes them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you can construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the power to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be successful in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and every internet browser includes a signature fashion, making sure that your emails look great across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire program (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish a campaign and template within 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 recover data from some other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The company explains this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my new account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path about the best way to create my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, proceed into the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Business
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you’re somebody 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 set up how much observation I wanted on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automated tweet once the effort went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email itself. If you would like to, you can assemble your personal email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I was able to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter 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 directly from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts to a text form. When you create your Benchmark lists, they will appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather easy. Once you have completed all your tweaks, you may either save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to verify everything is well before unleashing your email on the world, 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 automatic system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you’re one of the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a couple of reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost immediately. I have worked with several other apps where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every effort. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given action. Users may export this information for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by state, who opens your emails. Email Marketing Business
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of this info with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will reach that point varies, of course, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just beginning in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the fact 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 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 app allows users to make and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and track the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of subscriptions are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to quickly build an email audience through their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email variations of blog articles and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations across the web. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account 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 some of the PayPal customers for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very 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 posts and also use the analytics to observe how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Email Marketing Business
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social networking and email advertising, it is very important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list consists of social media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” 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 buttons to every email which will direct your readers to each of your social networking 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 clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users trying to engage in spam actions. The business is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to maintain its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature that looks for words commonly used 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 the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning tools, but can be needlessly opaque at times. Crucial information can be buried and hard to locate, especially 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 comprises Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t see 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 in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Business
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible nearly 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it is closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer information which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may want to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this program. The company also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You might even request a special webinar on a number of other subjects. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details 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 sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active site. All readers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may 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 entirely web-based and does not Require any installation on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Marketing Business
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself too. People are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the addition of features like AB analyzing and surveys from most programs; many firms charge extra for these attributes or only include them into their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a wide range of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have attempted a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users 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 can be an increasingly significant aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. But, I was able to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. Should you need your mails to go out precisely when your program dictates, you may need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, leading recipients to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP is to stop this from occurring, this might be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing plans, including a totally free plan and a huge array of paid plans which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you may always choose 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 record. Notable absences to the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Business
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising depending on the number of mails they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per 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 lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may just be the best in the business for anybody who just wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little company which perspectives email as a little aspect of its marketing and does not have any desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email advertising program with a host of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Even though there may come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a great deal for the price, offers exceptional service, and the company appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can not ask for more.