Overview Email Marketing Software In Php
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that functioned as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought heart. 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 pro ) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email advertising. Many of their ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email 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 use of email marketing, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the company championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made certain from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising solutions to small and midsize businesses 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 stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of the program. You can read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout features of this ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users access to the 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 societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or construct 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 choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Marketing Software In Php
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several purposes on the street. They can access and include contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a little more than a number of other businesses offer on their mobile apps, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or made as annual messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and every web browser includes a signature fashion, making sure that your emails look great across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full app (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters from their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply need 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 link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with 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 a nutshell, this allows them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. The business explains 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.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you have to validate your email address. This was 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 on how to create my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, proceed into the Emails segment, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software In Php
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. You can 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 personally gifted that way, so I moved 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, in addition to if I wanted an automatic tweet once the effort went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email . If you would like to, you can construct your own email designs using a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts to a text form. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite easy. When you have finished all of your tweaks, you can either save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify everything is well before unleashing your email on the world, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for shipping to see how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was likely present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a couple of reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I’ve worked with several different apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about each effort. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie chart 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 related to a given action. Users may export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, who opens your emails. Email Marketing Software In Php
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this info with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point changes, naturally, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality 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 see the integration you need, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask a 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 allows users to create and customize events, promote and market tickets, and track the success of the events via their Benchmark Email account. A variety of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to quickly build an email viewer via their readers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog articles and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to source images for your Benchmark mails from locations across the web. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to different lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal clients for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Email Marketing Software In Php
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral link between social networking and email marketing, it is important to check out the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to each email that will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users hoping to engage in spam actions. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature that 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 is likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support resources. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning resources, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and hard to find, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially in regards to minute particulars about plans. For instance. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Software In Php
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Service. 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 are able to reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available nearly 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 because it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might want to contact support 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 app. The company also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You can even ask for a special webinar on a number of other subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout 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, similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for those new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active site. All readers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their latest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Marketing Software In Php
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most common 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 actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the inclusion of features like AB testing and surveys in all plans; many firms charge extra for these attributes or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a wide range of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to people who have attempted many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which 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 Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. Should you need your mails to go out precisely when your program dictates, you might have to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing recipients to mark them as junk and not studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is to prevent this from happening, this might be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, therefore it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous number of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a huge scale of paid programs that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a small Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Software In Php
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing based on the amount of emails that they send every 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 per month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may just be the best in the company for anyone who only wants to dive into email marketing (especially small, local businesses). 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 work past the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email marketing program using a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Even though there might come a time when you launch the app, it provides a lot for the price, provides excellent service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can’t ask for much more.