Overview Email Marketing Software Free Download
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office that functioned as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and idea hub. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail 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 simple to operate. All the while, the company championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, but the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of this app. You can read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the simple fact that most of its features come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company describes the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of 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 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 customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Software Free Download
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the street. They can get and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos via integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a bit more than many other companies offer on their mobile apps, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to use on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture 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 emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or designed as annual messages such as birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be prosperous in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each web browser has a signature fashion, making certain that your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (which checks everything from 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 from their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The business explains this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path on how best to make my first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go into the Emails segment, then hit the big blue”Create New Mail” button at the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software Free Download
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move 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 set up how much tracking I desired on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automatic tweet when the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email . If you want to, you are able to assemble your personal email layouts using an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and 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 people who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You can 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 huge lists of contacts to a text type. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is quite simple. Once you’ve 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 unleashing your email on the planet, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for delivery to see how timely the automated system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you might have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve worked with a lot of different apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about every effort. The possibly most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users can export this information for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Email Marketing Software Free Download
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers who need more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with proper integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point changes, naturally, dependent on the company.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large 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 fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not 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 Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to create and customize events, promote and market tickets, and track the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of programs are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer via their readers. The plug-in can automatically create email versions of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to supply pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to different lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of the PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to see how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library . Email Marketing Software Free Download
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral link between social networking and email advertising, it is important to check out the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template listing is made of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, 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 all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users hoping to take part in spam actions. The company is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature which looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that is likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support tools. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Key information is often buried and difficult to find, especially if you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially when it comes to minute particulars about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you register. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Software Free Download
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can 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 nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it is closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer advice which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may want to contact support 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 this app. The company also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You might even request a special webinar on quite a few other subjects. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly helpful tool for all those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions 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 subscribers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers 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 creation approaches, 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.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Marketing Software Free Download
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of attributes including AB testing and surveys in all plans; many firms charge extra for such attributes or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a broad range of demographics, from first-time ESP users to people who have tried many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all 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 factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. Should you want your emails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you might need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading recipients to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to stop 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 legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge variety of pricing plans, including a totally free plan and a massive array of paid plans which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a small Benchmark logo at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the attributes list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Marketing Software Free Download
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email advertising based on the number of mails that they send each month.
o Medium 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 Massive 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% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the very best in the business for anyone who only wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a small business which views email as a minor aspect of its advertising and does not have any desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company looking for a easy email marketing program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Though there may come a time when you launch the app, it provides a lot for the money, provides excellent support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for more.