Summary Email Marketing Laws
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought heart. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff sold them on the use of email advertising, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the while, the business championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user 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 grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising services to small and midsize companies 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’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from users of the app. You can read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of the ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with each account — such as the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using among 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 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 particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Laws
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can access and include contacts, read reports, send videos via integration with a YouTube accounts, and even design and send fast 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 much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to use in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or designed as yearly messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and every internet browser has a signature fashion, making sure that your emails look good across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire app (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to 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 site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and check data. The company explains this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear direction on how best to make my first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, proceed into the Emails segment, then hit the big blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Laws
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you are 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 had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I desired on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet when the effort went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email itself. If you would like to, you can assemble your own email designs employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and much better than I was able to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts 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 personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text type. When you make your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite easy. When you’ve finished all your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to verify everything is well before distributing your email about the world, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for shipping to see how timely the automatic system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of 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 main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a few reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I’ve worked with several different programs where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users may export this data for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social media area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your emails. Email Marketing Laws
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that info with proper integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will reach that point varies, naturally, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe the integration you need, there is still hope. You can use the API or ask an 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 events, promote and market tickets, and track the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A number of programs are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to easily build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically produce email variations of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from places across the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark accounts 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 can even add subscribers to different lists based on what they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of the PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website 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 respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library . Email Marketing Laws
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key connection between social networking and email marketing, it’s important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template listing is made of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s involvement in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to every email which will direct your subscribers 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 nations. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users trying to engage in spam activities. The business is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature that looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that is likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support tools. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but can be needlessly opaque at times. Crucial information is often buried and hard to find, especially in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, especially when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to 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 Laws
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Founded 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 typical FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a key word search of any topic (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 provide information which is 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 that take users step by step through the features of the program. The business also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You might even request a particular webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly valuable tool for those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all of 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 information about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely 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 may post their latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any installation on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
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 Laws
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of features including AB analyzing and surveys from most plans; many firms charge extra for such features or just include them into their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to those 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 more and more 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. However, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. If you want your emails to go out exactly when your schedule dictates, you may have to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, leading recipients to mark them as spam and not studying the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this might be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge variety of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid plans which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the attributes list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Email Marketing Laws
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing based on the amount of mails they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the best in the company for anybody who only wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little company which perspectives email as a little element of its marketing and has no desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company looking for a simple email advertising program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Though there may come a time when you outgrow the app, it provides a great deal for the money, offers exceptional support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for more.