Summary Email Marketing Robot Software
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought hub. 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 on how best to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email advertising. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving 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 make a very simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the while, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. They also made sure from the outset that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing solutions to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist 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 through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In fact, the organization offers a full page of testimonials from local users of this app. You can read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout features of the ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with each accounts — such as the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users access to its 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 social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Robot Software
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers having an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can get and include contacts, read reports, send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a little more than many other businesses offer in their mobile programs, which makes them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you can construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the ability to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as annual messages like anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and every internet browser includes a signature fashion, making certain your emails look good across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire program (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters from their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users only have to establish a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and check data. The company describes this role in more detail here.
· 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.
Benefits Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you need to validate your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my new account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear path on the best way to create my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. 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 at the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Robot Software
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization with 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 personally gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I desired on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin constructing the email . If you want to, you can assemble your own email layouts employing a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I managed to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are several 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 huge lists of contacts into a text form. Once you make your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite simple. Once you have finished 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 check all is well before distributing your email on the planet, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for delivery to see how timely the automated system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was probably present in tolerance levels for many users. If you’re one of the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main 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 are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of different apps where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie chart and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given activity. Users can export this data for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by country, who opens your emails. Email Marketing Robot Software
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will reach that point changes, naturally, based 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 big email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just starting out in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there’s still hope. You can use the API or request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to make and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and track the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of programs are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to easily build an email audience via their readers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations across the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their 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 contributors to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal customers for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Email Marketing Robot Software
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social networking and email advertising, it is very important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template listing is made of social media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to each email that 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 regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the security 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 hoping to engage in spam activities. The business is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to maintain its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature which looks for words widely used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning resources, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Key information can be buried and hard to find, particularly in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, especially when it comes to minute details about strategies. For instance. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Robot Software
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible almost 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’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are over 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 an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may want to contact assistance 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 program. The business also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You can even request a special webinar on quite a few other subjects. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly valuable tool for those new to email marketing who feel consumed by all 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 info about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All readers automatically obtain access to current 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 creation approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any setup on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Marketing Robot Software
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the addition of features including AB testing and surveys in all programs; many firms charge extra for these attributes or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad range of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to people who have tried a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all 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 take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their Benchmark experience. But, I managed to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. If you need your mails to go out precisely when your program dictates, you may need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing receivers to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, so it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a huge scale of paid plans which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo in the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the features list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Robot Software
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing based on the amount of emails that they send each month.
o Moderate 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 Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options may very well be the best in the company for anyone who just wants to dive into email marketing (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 advertising and has no desire to work beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Business looking for a simple email marketing program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Even 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 customers. You can not ask for much more.