Summary Email Marketing Software Desktop
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email advertising. Many of the thoughts were beyond the resources of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email 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 advertising, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the time, the business championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer needs. They also made certain from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, but the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of the app. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the features 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. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides 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 retail. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company describes the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Marketing Software Desktop
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers having an Apple device to access several functions on the street. They can access and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos via integration using a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a little more than many other businesses offer on their mobile apps, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you can build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or designed as yearly messages such as birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email marketing is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around website 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 each internet browser includes a signature style, making sure that your emails look good across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only have to set up a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The business describes this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List 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
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my new account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path on the best way to create my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, proceed into the Emails segment, then hit the big blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software Desktop
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. You can 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 gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop option.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I desired on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automated tweet when the effort went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start constructing the email itself. If you want to, you are able to construct your own email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and much better than I was able to do on my own.
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 those who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right 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. Once you make your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather simple. When you’ve 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 check everything is well before unleashing your email on the world, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for delivery to see how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was likely present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost immediately. I have worked with several other apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about every campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given activity. Users may export this information for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking 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 Desktop
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will get to that point changes, naturally, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. 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 roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you need, there is 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 applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to create and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to quickly build an email audience via their readers. The plug-in can automatically produce email versions 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 plug-in lets you supply images for your Benchmark emails from locations across the net. 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 to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Email Marketing Software Desktop
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social networking and email advertising, it’s very important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template listing is made of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s involvement in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your readers to each of your social media 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 clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the safety 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 business is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to preserve its standing as a spam-free supplier, among them membership from 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 which looks for words commonly utilized 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” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning resources, but can be opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and hard to find, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute details about strategies. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Software Desktop
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible almost 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 because it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the app. The business also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You can even ask for a special webinar on quite a few different topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program especially, 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 than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. All readers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Marketing Software Desktop
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself as well. People are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it is really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of features including AB analyzing and surveys from all plans; many companies charge extra for such features or just include them in their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide range of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have tried a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. Should you need your emails to go out precisely whenever your program dictates, you might need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, causing recipients to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge number of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a huge array 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 will be a little Benchmark emblem in the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid plan 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 gives you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Software Desktop
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising based on the number of emails they send each 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 per month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the best in the company for anybody who only wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small business which perspectives email as a little element of its marketing and has no desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business looking for a easy email advertising program using a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there may come a time when you launch the app, it provides a great deal for the money, provides excellent service, and the company appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can not ask for more.