Overview Email Marketing Hosting
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. Backed by a little programming group 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 idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning 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 team personally sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to create a simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the company uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made certain from the outset that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email marketing solutions to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of the program. You can read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with each account — including 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 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company explains the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or build it directly 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 plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Marketing Hosting
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can access and include contacts, read reportsand send videos via integration with a YouTube account, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a little more than many other businesses offer in their mobile programs, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you can build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or made as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each web browser includes a signature fashion, making sure your emails look great across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply need to set up a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The company describes this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact 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 (using the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing 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 own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, go to the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button in the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Hosting
From there, you have to 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 are somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I wanted on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automated tweet once the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin constructing the email . If you would like to, you are able to assemble your own email designs employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and better than I was able to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to 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 into a text type. When you make your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is quite easy. When you have completed all of your tweaks, you may either save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify everything is well before unleashing your email on the world, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for delivery to see how timely the automated 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 are among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with several different apps where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about each effort. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given activity. Users may export this data for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Email Marketing Hosting
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers that need more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business 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 smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, 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’s still hope. You can use the API or request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to make and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of programs are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to easily build an email audience via their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email versions of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you supply images for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to different lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review 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 provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to see how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Email Marketing Hosting
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social media and email marketing, it is very important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template listing is made of social media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Email — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons 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 concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users trying to take part in spam actions. The business is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to preserve its standing as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature which looks for words widely used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that is very likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning resources, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to find, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially in regards to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. That the Free For Life plan comprises 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 mentioned when you register. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Hosting
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’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 limited hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide advice which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of the program. The business also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You can also ask for a special webinar on a number of different topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as 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 at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production strategies, 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 computer.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Marketing Hosting
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it is really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of features including AB analyzing and surveys in all programs; many companies charge extra for these features or just include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to people who have attempted a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly significant factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. If you need your emails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, leading receivers to mark them as spam rather than reading the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, 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 Offers a enormous number of pricing strategies, including a totally free plan and a massive array of paid programs which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a small Benchmark logo in the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Hosting
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email advertising based on the amount of mails they send every month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 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 allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is 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 dip into email advertising (especially small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little company which views email as a minor aspect of its marketing and does not have any desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company looking for a easy email marketing program with a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the app, it provides a lot for the money, offers exceptional service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for much more.