Overview Email Marketing Software For Large Volume
For many a day 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 heart. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email advertising. Many of the ideas 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 personally sold them on the usage of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the while, the company uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising solutions to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of this program. You may read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features of the ESP is the simple fact that most of its attributes come standard with each account — such as the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers 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’s also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or construct it 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 Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The company is a member 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 clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Software For Large Volume
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can access and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos via integration with a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than a number of other companies offer on their mobile programs, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you can construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages like birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and each web browser includes a signature fashion, making sure your emails look good across the board is crucial. 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 out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish 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 skills to recover data from some other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The company describes this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers 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
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you need to validate your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear path on the best way best to make my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, proceed to the Emails segment, then hit on the big blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software For Large Volume
From there, you must decide If You Would like 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 are someone 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 set up how much observation I desired on the message, as well as when I wanted an automated tweet when the effort went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email itself. If you want to, you are able to construct your own email designs using an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I managed to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to 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 huge lists of contacts to a text form. When you create your Benchmark lists, they’ll show up on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is rather easy. Once you have completed all of your tweaks, you may save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to check 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 chose to program my email for delivery to view how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re one of the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary 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’d read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I have worked with several other apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about each effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this data for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Email Marketing Software For Large Volume
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that need more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that 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 changes, naturally, dependent on the business.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the company’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially 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 larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there is still hope. You can use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to create and customize events, promote and market tickets, and track the success of the events via their Benchmark Email account. A variety of programs are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to quickly build an email audience via their subscribers. The plug-in 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 source pictures for your Benchmark mails from places throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their 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 here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library . Email Marketing Software For Large Volume
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social networking and email marketing, it’s very important to check out the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of social media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s involvement in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email which will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The company also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users hoping to engage in spam activities. The company is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to preserve its reputation as a spam-free provider, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature that looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s 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 Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support tools. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning resources, but can be opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to locate, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute details about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor will you 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 For Large Volume
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at support[email protected] or through the company’s contact form here. 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 even 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible nearly 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is 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 may want 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 company also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You can also request a particular webinar on quite a few other subjects. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly valuable tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All readers automatically obtain 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 newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss 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 does not Require any installation 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 For Large Volume
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it is really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of attributes including AB testing and surveys from most plans; many companies charge extra for such attributes or just include them in their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide range of demographics, from first time ESP users to those who have tried many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping needs, but others will. Should you need your mails to go out precisely whenever your schedule dictates, you might have to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing recipients to mark them as spam and not reading 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 valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a huge scale of paid programs that 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 at the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Software For Large Volume
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing based on the number of emails that 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 a month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Enormous 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% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options might just be the very best in the business for anybody who only wants to dive into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little company which views email as a minor aspect of its marketing and does not have any desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email advertising program using a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there might come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a great deal for the price, offers exceptional support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for more.