Overview Email Marketing Software For WordPress
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and thought heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email advertising. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of this fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff sold them on the usage of email marketing, while working hard to create a very simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email advertising services to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the globe, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In reality, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of the program. You can read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout characteristics of the ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single 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 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 class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business describes the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business 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 clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Software For WordPress
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several purposes on the road. They can access and add contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube account, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a little more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile programs, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend 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 fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you can construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each internet browser has a signature fashion, making sure your emails look good across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full program (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site 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) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from some other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and check data. The business describes this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear path about the best way best to make my first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go into the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Email” button at the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software For WordPress
From there, you must decide If You Would like 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’re 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 alternative.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I desired on the message, as well as if I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email . If you want to, you can assemble your personal email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that are 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 enter contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text form. Once you make your Benchmark lists, they will appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is quite easy. Once you’ve finished 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 want to check everything is well before distributing your email about the planet, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for shipping to see how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re one of the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you might have 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.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system almost immediately. I’ve worked with several different programs where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the open speed, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given activity. Users may export this data 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 that breaks down, by country, who opens your mails. Email Marketing Software For WordPress
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain higher level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that information with proper integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point varies, of course, based on the business.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe the integration you want, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or request an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to make and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and track the success of the events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of programs are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to quickly build an email audience via their readers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to source pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts 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 may add any of the PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Marketing Software For WordPress
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social networking and email marketing, it’s very important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template list consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”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 enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to each email that will direct your subscribers 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 concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users hoping to take part in spam activities. The company is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to maintain its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature that looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning resources, but may be opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and hard to find, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about plans. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t see 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 For WordPress
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can 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. 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 because it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. 1 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 provide information which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of the program. The business also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You might also request a special webinar on a number of other subjects. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly helpful tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active site. All readers automatically gain access to current 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 strategies, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any setup on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Marketing Software For WordPress
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the inclusion of attributes like AB analyzing and surveys from all plans; many firms charge extra for such attributes or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise 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 layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. If you want your emails to go out precisely whenever your schedule dictates, you may have to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, so it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing strategies, such as a free plan and a massive scale of paid plans that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a small Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Marketing Software For WordPress
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing depending on the number of mails that they send each month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may just be the very best in the business for anyone who just wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little company which views email as a little aspect of its marketing and has no desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business looking for a easy email advertising program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there may come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a great deal for the money, offers excellent support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for more.