Summary Email Marketing Services
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought hub. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the resources of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small companies 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 make a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the time, the business championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. They also made certain from the outset that anyone who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email marketing services to small and midsize 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 such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of the program. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users 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 retailstores. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey 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 rates. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery 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 top email delivery and consulting support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Services
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the street. They can access and add contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a bit more than many other businesses offer in their mobile apps, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you can construct 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 occasion lead-up, or designed as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email advertising is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and each internet browser has a signature style, making sure that your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (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 from their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply have to set up a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and check statistics. The company explains this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark 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 account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path about the best way best to make my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, proceed to the Emails segment, then hit on the big blue”Create New Mail” button at the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Services
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization using 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 gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet when the effort went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start building the email . If you would like to, you can construct your personal email layouts using an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from your personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text type. Once you create your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is rather easy. Once you’ve completed all of your tweaks, you can either save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify everything is well before distributing your email on the world, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for delivery to view how timely the automated system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you’re among the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I’ve worked with a lot of other apps where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given action. Users may export this data for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Email Marketing Services
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who need more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will reach that point changes, naturally, based on the company.
Specific 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 businesses, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you want, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to create and customize events, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of the events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of programs are available, including 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 engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email audience through their subscribers. The plug-in 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 overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to source pictures for your Benchmark mails from places across the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to various lists based on what they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of the PayPal customers for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to see how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Marketing Services
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social media and email marketing, it’s very important to look at the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, 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 all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users trying to take part in spam activities. The business is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business 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 commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
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 opaque occasionally. Key information is often buried and hard to locate, particularly in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially in regards to minute details about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, however 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 said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Services
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 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 restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide information which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of the program. The business also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You can even request a special webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· 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 blogs, offer users guidance 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 helpful tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active site. All readers automatically gain 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 newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any setup on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Marketing Services
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical observation regarding Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it is really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of features like AB testing and surveys in most programs; many companies charge extra for such attributes or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly 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 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 significant aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who disliked Their Benchmark experience. However, I was able to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. Should you need your emails to go out exactly when your schedule dictates, you might have to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to stop this from occurring, this might 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 valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge number of pricing plans, including a totally free plan and a massive array of paid programs which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Services
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email advertising based on the number of emails they send each month.
o Medium 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 per month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may very well be the very best in the company for anyone who just wants to dive into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small business which perspectives email as a minor element of its marketing and does not have any desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a simple email advertising program with a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there may come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a lot for the price, provides excellent service, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for more.