Summary Email Marketing Software In
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office that functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea 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 pro ) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of this fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning 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 personally sold them on the usage of email marketing, while working hard to create a simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the while, the company championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email marketing services to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of the app. You can read more 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 features of this ESP is the simple fact that most of its features come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides 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 social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company explains 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 survey on your website or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume programs 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 increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Marketing Software In
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the street. They can access and add contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a little more than many other companies offer on their mobile apps, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to utilize on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or made as annual messages such as birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your 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 provides an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and every internet browser includes a signature fashion, making sure your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 each 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 establish 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 connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from some other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and assess data. The business explains this function in more detail here.
· 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.
Benefits Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you have to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction on how to create my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, go into the Emails segment, then hit the large blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software In
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you are somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I wanted on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email itself. If you want to, you can construct your own email designs employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and much better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text form. When you create your Benchmark lists, they will show up on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is quite easy. Once you’ve 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 verify all is well before distributing your email on 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 delivery to see how timely the automated system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably present in tolerance levels for many users. If you are among the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, you may have to appear 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 are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of other apps where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about every campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical type. 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 data for additional analysis via 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 emails. Email Marketing Software In
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain higher level marketers that need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of that information with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will reach that point varies, naturally, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you want, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask an 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 sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of subscriptions 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 maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to easily build an email audience via their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically produce email versions of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to source pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations across the web. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their 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 overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may 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 very simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Email Marketing Software In
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social media and email advertising, it is important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s involvement in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to every email which will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The Business also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The whole platform 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 policy for any of their users hoping to take part in spam actions. The business is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to preserve its reputation as a spam-free provider, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature which looks for words commonly 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 high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support tools. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning resources, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Crucial information is often buried and hard to find, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, especially when it comes to minute particulars about plans. As an example. The Free For Life plan comprises 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 those resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Software In
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone 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. Available almost 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 a QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide advice which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might need to contact assistance 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 supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You might even request a particular webinar on a number of different topics. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly helpful tool for those new to email marketing who feel consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides 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 entirely web-based and does not Require any installation on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
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 In
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the inclusion of features like AB testing and surveys from most programs; many firms charge extra for these attributes or only include them into their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP users to people who have attempted many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers 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 is an increasingly significant factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. Should you want your emails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you may need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading recipients to mark them as junk and not reading the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing strategies, such as a free plan and a huge array of paid programs which may 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 in the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program allows 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 into the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Software In
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing based on the number of mails that they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large 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 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options might very well be the very best in the business for anyone who just wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small business which views email as a minor aspect of its marketing and does not have any desire to operate beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Company trying to find a easy email marketing program using a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a great deal for the price, provides exceptional support, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for more.