Summary Email Marketing Software App
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email advertising. Many of their ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small businesses located in close 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 simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the while, the business championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. They also made sure from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the planet, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In reality, the company offers a full page of testimonials from users of the app. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout features of this ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers 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’s also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company explains 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 poll on your website or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume programs come with 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 Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Software App
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can get and add contacts, read reports, send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a bit more than many other businesses offer in their mobile programs, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to use on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you may build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the ability to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be successful in email marketing is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and every web browser has a signature style, making certain that your emails look great across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full app (which checks 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 automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only need to set up a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from some other apps which 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 campaign sending, and check data. The company describes this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts 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 process for me. Upon logging in to my new account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear direction on the best way to make my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go into the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Mail” button at the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software App
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic 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 personally gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation 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 get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin building the email . If you would like to, you can construct your own email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and much better than I managed to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file 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 form. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is quite simple. When you’ve completed all of your tweaks, you may either save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to check all 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 chose to program my email for shipping to see how timely the automatic system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you may need to look 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 about in a few reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with several different programs where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given activity. Users can export this information for additional analysis by means of 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 state, who opens your emails. Email Marketing Software App
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain increased level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will get to that point changes, naturally, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just beginning in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe the integration you want, there’s 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 software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to make and customize events, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A number of programs are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email audience through their subscribers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog articles 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 plugin allows you to supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from places throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on what they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of the PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library . Email Marketing Software App
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key connection between social media and email marketing, it is very important to look at the social networking features included 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 institution’s involvement in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — 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 Business also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole platform 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 coverage for any of the users trying to engage in spam activities. The company is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to maintain its standing as a spam-free supplier, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature that looks for words commonly 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 top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning tools, but may be opaque at times. Crucial information is often buried and hard to find, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially in regards to minute details about strategies. As an example. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Software App
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via 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 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. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this program. The company also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You might even ask for a special webinar on a number of different subjects. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising 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 exceptionally active blog. 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 latest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation strategies, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Marketing Software App
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it is really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of attributes like AB testing and surveys in most plans; many firms charge extra for these features or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have attempted a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly significant factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping needs, but others will. If you need your emails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you may need to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as junk rather than reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is 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 valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous number of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a massive scale of paid programs that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem in the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the features list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Marketing Software App
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email advertising based on the amount of mails they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may very well be the best in the business for anybody who only wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little business which views email as a little aspect of its marketing and does not have any desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email advertising program using a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it supplies a lot for the money, offers excellent support, and the company appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can’t ask for more.