Summary Email Marketing Software
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and thought heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO pro ) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the means of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers 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 usage of email advertising, while working hard to create a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the business championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email marketing services to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of the app. You can 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 features of the ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with each accounts — such as the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most notable 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 particular industries like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There’s also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company explains the advantages of this feature 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 directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other programs have the option 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 business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Marketing Software
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can get and add contacts, read reportsand send videos via integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than many other businesses offer on their mobile programs, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you can build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as annual messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be prosperous in email marketing is through 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 provides an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and each web browser includes a signature fashion, making certain that your emails look great across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire app (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to 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 site which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply need to set up a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug-in link. 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 brief, this permits them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and assess data. The business describes this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company 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 appealing UI that gave me a clear direction on how best to create my very first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, go into the Emails segment, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button at the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. You can 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 moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email itself. If you want to, you are able to assemble your own email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly 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 are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text type. When you make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather simple. When you have finished all your tweaks, you may either save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify 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 chose to schedule my email for shipping to see how timely the automated system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of other programs where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given action. Users can export this information for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by country, who opens your mails. Email Marketing Software
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain increased level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this info with proper integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point varies, naturally, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while larger 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’re able to 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 program allows users to make and customize events, promote and market tickets, and track the success of the 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 into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email viewer through their readers. The plug-in can automatically produce email variations of blog articles and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source pictures for your Benchmark emails from places across the web. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can 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 contributors to different lists based on which products they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of the PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Marketing Software
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social media and email marketing, it is 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 company’s participation in social media 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”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to every email that will direct your readers 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 numbers to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users trying to take part in spam actions. The company is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
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 is very likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support tools. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Key information can be buried and difficult to locate, especially in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially in regards to minute particulars about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every 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 sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Software
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible nearly 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might want to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this app. The business also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You can also ask for a particular webinar on quite a few other subjects. 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 in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for those brand new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. All readers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any installation on your PC.
Positive 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 Software
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical observation regarding Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the inclusion of attributes like AB analyzing and surveys from most programs; many companies charge extra for such attributes or just include them into their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a wide range of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have tried many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users 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 can be an increasingly significant factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping needs, but other people will. If you want your emails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you may have to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading recipients to mark them as junk and not studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to stop this from occurring, this might be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a massive scale of paid programs which may 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 will be a little Benchmark emblem in the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the features list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Marketing Software
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email advertising based on the amount of mails that they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a 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 Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may very well be the best in the business for anybody who only wants to dive into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small company which views email as a minor aspect of its advertising and has no desire to work beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email marketing program with a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there may come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a lot for the money, offers excellent support, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for much more.