Summary Email Marketing Software Capterra
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. Backed by a small programming team 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 execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of the ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small businesses located in near 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 create a simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the while, the company uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anyone who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising services to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the globe, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization offers a full page of testimonials from users of this program. You may read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout features of this ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with every single account — including the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps 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 polls using one of 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 programs come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Marketing Software Capterra
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to access several functions on the street. They can access and include contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a little more than many other companies offer in their mobile apps, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the ability to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as annual messages such as birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be prosperous in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and every internet browser includes a signature style, making sure your emails look great across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a 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 to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters from their blogs mechanically 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 within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities 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, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and check data. The business describes this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear path about how best to make my very first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, proceed into the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software Capterra
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you are someone 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 was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start building the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to assemble your own email designs 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 was able to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts at a time. However, for those who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You can 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 large lists of contacts to a text type. When you make your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite simple. When you have completed all of your tweaks, you may save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to verify everything is well before distributing your email about the planet, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for delivery to view how timely the automated system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you’re among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you might need to appear 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
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I have worked with a lot of other programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about every effort. The possibly most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given action. Users can export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Email Marketing Software Capterra
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain increased level marketers who need more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will reach that point varies, naturally, dependent on the company.
Specific 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. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate 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 need, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or request an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to create and customize events, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of the events via their Benchmark Email account. A variety of programs are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer through their readers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog articles and permits 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 plugin allows you to supply images for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account 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 overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of the PayPal customers for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to see how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library . Email Marketing Software Capterra
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social media and email marketing, it is very important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of social media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s involvement in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”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 fan pages, so you can convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, 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 the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users hoping to engage in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature that looks for words widely used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a high 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 service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but can be opaque at times. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to locate, particularly in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute details about plans. For instance. That 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 register. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Software Capterra
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form . Accessible 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. Available almost 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may need to contact support 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 app. The company also offers a webinar known as”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 can also ask for a special webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. 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 can be a particularly valuable tool for all those 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 info regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All readers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles 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 talk about newsletter creation strategies, 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.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
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 Capterra
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it is really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of attributes like AB testing and surveys from most programs; many firms charge extra for such attributes or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a wide range of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. If you want your mails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you may have to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, leading receivers to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to stop this from occurring, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, so it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge variety of pricing strategies, such as 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 programs do not require credit 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 can always choose to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Email Marketing Software Capterra
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising based on the number of emails they send every 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 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 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge 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’s Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the very best in the company for anybody who just wants to dive into email advertising (especially small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little business which perspectives email as a minor element of its marketing and does not have any desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company looking for a simple email advertising program using a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it supplies a great deal for the price, provides exceptional support, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for much more.