Summary Email Marketing Software For Restaurants
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea hub. Backed by a little 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 execute a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small companies 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 marketing, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user needs. They also made certain from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the globe, however, the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In reality, the organization offers a full page of testimonials from users of this program. You can read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with each account — such as the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company describes the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Software For Restaurants
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers having an Apple device to get several purposes on the street. They can get and add contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a little more than many other businesses offer on their mobile apps, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to use in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. 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 company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website 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 each web browser includes a signature fashion, making certain that your emails look great across the board is important. 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 app (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only 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 without a formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and check statistics. The business describes this role in more detail here.
· 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 account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction on how best to make my first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, proceed to the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software For Restaurants
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you’re somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I desired on the message, as well as if I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email itself. If you want to, you can assemble your own email designs using a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and much better than I managed to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text form. When you make your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is quite simple. Once you have finished all of your tweaks, you can save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before distributing your email on the planet, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for shipping to view how timely the automatic system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for most 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 did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
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 register from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with several other programs where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats such as 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 information for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social media area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by country, who opens your mails. Email Marketing Software For Restaurants
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain increased level marketers that need more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with proper integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point varies, naturally, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the company’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, 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 want, there’s 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 software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to create and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and track the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of programs are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to easily build an email audience through their readers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to supply images for your Benchmark mails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to different lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of the PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to see how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Email Marketing Software For Restaurants
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral 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 enormous email template listing consists of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s involvement in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to every email which will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users trying to take part in spam activities. The business is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free provider, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature which looks for words widely used in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s 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 numbers.
Customer Service and Support
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 may be opaque at times. Crucial information is often buried and hard to locate, particularly in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises 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 are you going to see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Software For Restaurants
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available almost 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide information which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might 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 this program. The company also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You might even request a special webinar on quite a few different topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives 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, in addition to its extremely active blog. All readers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Positive 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 For Restaurants
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most typical observation regarding Benchmark, and some thing 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 competitors. The business also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of features including AB testing and surveys in all plans; many firms charge extra for such attributes or just include them into their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to those who have attempted many different programs before settling 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 can be an increasingly significant aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping needs, but others will. Should you need your mails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you might need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that commented 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 mail, leading receivers to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this might be an issue. On the other hand, 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 number of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a massive array of paid plans which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a small Benchmark logo at the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you can 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 up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Software For Restaurants
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising depending on the amount of emails they send each 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 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 a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options might very well be the best in the business for anybody who only wants to dive into email advertising (especially small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a small company which views email as a little aspect of its advertising and does not have any desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company looking for a easy email marketing program with a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the app, it supplies a great deal for the price, provides exceptional service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for much more.