Overview Email Marketing Reseller
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email advertising. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of the fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving 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 sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to create a very simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the time, the company championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email advertising services to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization supplies a complete page of testimonials from local users of the program. You may read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single accounts — including the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most notable 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 particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains 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 website or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting clients’ mails 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 business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Reseller
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several functions 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 templates that are available. That is quite a bit more than many other businesses offer on their mobile apps, which makes them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan 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 do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you can build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each web browser includes a signature fashion, making certain your emails look great across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full app (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users only 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 without a formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The business describes this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you need to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear path about how to make my first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, proceed into the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Reseller
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go 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 prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I desired on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automated tweet when the effort went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start building the email . If you would like to, you are able to construct your own email layouts using an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and much better than I was able to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts at a time. However, for those who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You can 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 form. Once you create your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is quite easy. Once you have completed all your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to verify everything is well before unleashing your email about the world, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for shipping to see how timely the automatic system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was likely present in tolerance levels for many users. If you are one of the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with several other programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open speed, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users can export this information for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Email Marketing Reseller
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers who need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that info with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will reach that point changes, of course, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you need, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to make and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and track the success of the events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of programs are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to supply images for your Benchmark mails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to different lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of the PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. 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 articles and also use the analytics to see how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Email Marketing Reseller
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral link between social networking and email advertising, it is very important to look at the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing is made of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button to 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 to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to each email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking pages.
The company also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users hoping to engage in spam actions. The company is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free supplier, among them membership in 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 materials, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature that looks for words widely used in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that is very likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning resources, but can be opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to locate, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially when it comes to minute details about strategies. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Reseller
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone 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 restricted 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 base than a typical FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer advice which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the app. The company also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You can also ask for a special webinar on a number of different subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to sites, 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 can be a particularly helpful tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any setup on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Includes 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 Reseller
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it is really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of features including AB testing and surveys from most programs; many companies charge extra for such features or just include them in their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a broad assortment of demographics, from first time ESP users to people who have attempted a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their Benchmark experience. However, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending needs, but others will. Should you need your emails to go out precisely whenever your program dictates, you might need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, causing receivers to mark them as junk and not studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is to prevent this from occurring, this may be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge number of pricing plans, including a free plan and a huge array of paid programs that 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 little Benchmark logo at the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Reseller
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising depending on the number of emails they send each month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Plans. 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 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 solid program. It’s easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the best in the business for anyone who just wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a small business which views email as a minor aspect of its marketing and has no desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business looking for a simple email advertising program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it supplies a great deal for the money, offers exceptional service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can not ask for much more.