Overview Email Marketing Design Software
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email advertising. Many of the thoughts were beyond the resources of this fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff personally sold them on the use 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 software which adapted to user needs. They also made certain from the outset that anyone who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide 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 adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, but the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In reality, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of this app. 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 business, among the standout characteristics of the ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with each account — 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 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 social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business explains the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to 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 of Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with 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 own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Design Software
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers having an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can get and add contacts, browse reports, send videos via integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a bit more than many other businesses offer in their mobile apps, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· 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 construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or made as annual messages like birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email marketing is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and every internet browser includes a signature style, making sure that your emails look good across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire app (which checks everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only have to set up 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 using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The company describes 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
Signing up for a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you need to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my new account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear direction about how to make my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, go into the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button in the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Design Software
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization using 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 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 desired on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start building the email . If you want to, you are able to construct your personal email layouts using an extremely 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 on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your 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 make your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite easy. Once you have completed all of 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 everything is well before unleashing your email about the planet, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for delivery to see 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 likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you may have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve worked with a lot of other programs where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about each effort. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie chart and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given activity. 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 that breaks down, by state, who opens your emails. Email Marketing Design Software
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain increased level marketers who need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will reach that point changes, naturally, dependent on the business.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the fact 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 don’t observe the integration you need, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to make and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A number 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 keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer through their readers. 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 with a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to source images for your Benchmark emails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly 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 customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to various lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to observe how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Marketing Design Software
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social media and email advertising, it is important to look at the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s participation in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to each email that will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The Business also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users trying to take part in spam actions. The company is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam test feature that looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning tools, but can be needlessly opaque occasionally. Key information is often buried and difficult to find, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. That 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 in the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Design Software
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through 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 states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible nearly 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute 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. Some of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the program. The company also supplies 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 time. You can even request a special webinar on a number of different topics. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly valuable tool for all those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active site. All subscribers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can 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 additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any setup on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Marketing Design Software
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common monitoring concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself as well. People today tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of features including AB analyzing and surveys in all plans; many firms charge extra for such attributes or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a wide assortment of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to those who have attempted a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I was able to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. Should you want your emails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing recipients to mark them as junk and not studying the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to stop this from happening, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, so it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing plans, including a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid programs that may 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 small Benchmark emblem at the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Design Software
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising depending on the number of emails that they send each 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 Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options might just be the very best in the company for anyone who just wants to dive into email advertising (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little company which views email as a minor aspect of its marketing 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 easy email advertising program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a lot for the price, provides excellent support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can not ask for much more.