Summary Email Marketing Chicago
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email advertising. Many of the thoughts were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small businesses 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 marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the company championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user needs. They also made certain from the outset that anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing services to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the globe, however, the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from users of the app. You may read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features of the ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless 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 retail. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company describes the benefits 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 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 own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Chicago
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the street. They can access and include contacts, read reports, send videos via integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a little more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile programs, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture 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 option with which you can construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the ability to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as yearly messages like anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become successful in email marketing is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and every internet browser has a signature style, making certain that your emails look good across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire app (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply need to set up a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The company describes this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both Listing 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
Signing up for a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path on the best way to make my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go to the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Chicago
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic 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 went with the drag-and-drop option.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automated tweet once the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email . If you want to, you can construct your own email layouts using an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and much better than I managed to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts to a text form. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is quite simple. When you have finished all your tweaks, you can save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before unleashing your email about 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 delivery to view how timely the automatic system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you’re among the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, you may have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary 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 couple of reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I have worked with several different apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about every campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given action. Users may export this data for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by country, that opens your emails. Email Marketing Chicago
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point varies, of course, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just starting out in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 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 an 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 create and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of their events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of subscriptions are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to quickly build an email viewer through their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email versions of blog posts and permits 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 allows you to source pictures 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 use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to various lists based on what they purchased. 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 overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to see how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Email Marketing Chicago
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral link between social networking and email advertising, it’s very important to look at the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list consists of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s participation in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the collection 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 info. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users hoping to engage in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to preserve its standing as a spam-free supplier, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature which looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that is likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support tools. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning tools, but can be needlessly opaque at times. Key information can be buried and difficult to find, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Chicago
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can 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 per day Monday — Friday and limited 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. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer information that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may need to contact support 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 program. The business also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You can also ask for a particular webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are 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, very similar to blogs, offer users guidance 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 valuable tool for those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All readers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any setup on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
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 Marketing Chicago
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most common monitoring regarding Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of features including AB testing and surveys from most programs; many firms charge extra for these attributes or just include them in their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide range of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all 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 factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. If you need your emails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you may have to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as spam rather than reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is to prevent this from occurring, this may be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, so it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge variety of pricing strategies, including a totally 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, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a little Benchmark emblem at the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the features list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Chicago
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising based on the number of emails that they send every month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the very best in the company for anyone who just wants to dive into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little company which perspectives email as a little aspect of its marketing and does not have any desire to work beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email advertising program with a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it supplies a great deal for the price, offers excellent support, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for more.