Overview Email Marketing Server
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff personally sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the while, the company championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer needs. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email marketing services to small and medium-sized businesses 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 has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of the program. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout features of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with each account — such as the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to specific industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company describes the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other programs have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost 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 customers’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Server
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers having an Apple device to access several purposes on the street. They can access and add contacts, browse reports, 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 bit more than a number of other companies offer on their mobile apps, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be prosperous in email advertising is through growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and every internet browser includes a signature style, making sure your emails look good across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which handles 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-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The business describes this role in more detail .
· 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
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This is 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 direction on how to make my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, proceed into the Emails segment, then hit the big blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Server
From there, you must 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 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 was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I desired on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign 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 can construct your own email layouts employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which 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 enter contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts to a text type. When you make your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather simple. When you’ve completed all your tweaks, you can save the 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 unleashing your email on the planet, 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 view how timely the automatic system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re one of the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you might need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of other apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open speed, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given action. Users may export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your mails. Email Marketing Server
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain increased level marketers that need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of that information with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will reach that point changes, of course, based on the company.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 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 a 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 app allows users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A number of programs are available, including 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 review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email viewer through their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email variations 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 source images for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on what they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal clients for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview 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 offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to observe how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Marketing Server
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social media and email advertising, it is very important to check out the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s involvement in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to every email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users hoping to engage in spam actions. The business is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to preserve its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam check feature which looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning resources, but can be needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and hard to locate, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Server
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can 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 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 base than a normal FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this program. The company also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You might even request a special webinar on a number of different subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers 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 talk about newsletter creation strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any setup on your PC.
Favorable 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 Server
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the addition of attributes like AB testing and surveys from most plans; many companies charge extra for such attributes or just include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have attempted many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours when they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. Should you want your emails to go out exactly when your schedule dictates, you may need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, leading receivers to mark them as spam rather than reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP is to prevent this from occurring, this may be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge number of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a huge scale of paid plans that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the features list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Server
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing based on the amount of mails 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 per month
o Extra Large Strategies. 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 is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the best in the company for anyone who only wants to dive into email marketing (particularly small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a small business which perspectives email as a little element of its advertising and has no desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Business looking for a simple email marketing program using a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Even though there might come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a great deal for the price, provides excellent support, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for much more.