Overview Email Marketing Software Customers
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and idea hub. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small companies located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to create a very simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the time, the business championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user requirements. They also made certain from the outset that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email advertising services to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the planet, but the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In reality, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of the app. You may read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of the 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 notable offerings.
· Countless 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. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company explains the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans 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 benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Marketing Software Customers
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several functions on the street. They can access and include contacts, browse reports, send videos via integration using a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a little more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile apps, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be prosperous in email marketing is through growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and every internet browser has a signature style, making sure your emails look good across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire program (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, 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 connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The business explains this function 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 business name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction about the best way to create my first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go into the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button in the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software Customers
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization using 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 option.
I had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automatic tweet once the campaign went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin building the email . If you would like to, you can assemble your personal email designs employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and better than I was able to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts 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 directly from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts to a text form. When you make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is quite easy. When you have completed all of 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 everything is well before distributing your email about the world, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for shipping to view how timely the automated system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was likely present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed 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 in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I have worked with several other programs where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users may export this data for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Email Marketing Software Customers
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher level marketers who need more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this information with proper integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point varies, naturally, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just starting out in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see the integration you need, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to make and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of programs are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to easily build an email audience via their subscribers. The plug-in 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 review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you supply images for your Benchmark emails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to different lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of the PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Marketing Software Customers
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social networking and email advertising, it’s important to look at the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s involvement in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which permits you to bring 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 websites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to every email which will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the safety of all 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 the users hoping to take part in spam actions. The company is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to preserve its standing as a spam-free supplier, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature which 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 reduce their spam numbers.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning resources, but may be opaque at times. Key information is often buried and difficult to find, particularly in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Software Customers
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted 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 nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this app. The company also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You can also ask for a particular webinar on a number of different topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly helpful tool for all those new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active site. All subscribers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter articles 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 talk about newsletter production strategies, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any setup on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes 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 Customers
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of features including AB testing and surveys in all plans; many firms charge extra for these features or only 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 broad assortment of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to people who have tried many different 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 can be an increasingly significant aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. Should you want your emails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you might need to consider 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 were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, leading receivers to mark them as junk and not reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this might be a problem. 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 plans, such as a 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’ll be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows 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 account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Software Customers
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising depending on the number of mails that 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 Strategies. 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 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options might very well be the best in the business for anyone who only wants to dive into email marketing (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a small business which perspectives email as a little element of its marketing and does not have any desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company trying to find a easy email advertising program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there might come a time when you launch the program, it provides a lot for the price, offers exceptional service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can not ask for more.