Summary Email Marketing Software Magic Quadrant
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought hub. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the resources of this fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team personally sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to create a simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the while, the company uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user needs. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email marketing solutions to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids 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 serves large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of the program. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features of the ESP is the fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with each account — such as the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company describes the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other programs 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 delivery management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Marketing Software Magic Quadrant
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can get and add contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than a number of other companies offer on their mobile apps, which makes them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you can construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the ability to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be successful in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and every internet browser includes a signature fashion, making certain your emails look great across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full app (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply need to set up a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills 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 functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and check statistics. The company describes this role in more detail here.
· 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 pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path on the best way best to create my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, proceed into the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Mail” button in the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software Magic Quadrant
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 go for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you are someone 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 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 when I wanted an automatic tweet when the effort went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start constructing the email itself. If you want to, you are able to construct your own email designs using a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and much better than I managed to do in my.
Preventing 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 directly from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts to a text form. When you make your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is rather simple. Once you have completed all of your tweaks, you can save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before unleashing your email about the world, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for delivery to view how timely the automatic system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you’re one of the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you may have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a couple of 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 different apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about each effort. The possibly most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given activity. Users may export this data for further analysis by means of 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 mails. Email Marketing Software Magic Quadrant
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain higher level marketers that need more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that info with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will get to that point varies, naturally, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you need, there’s still hope. You can use the API or request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to create and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to easily build an email audience through their subscribers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source images for your Benchmark mails from places across the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. 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 website builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to see how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Email Marketing Software Magic Quadrant
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral link between social networking and email marketing, it’s important to check out the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template listing is made of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides 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 enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to each email which will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users hoping to engage 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 preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature that looks for words widely used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning resources, but may be opaque at times. Key information is often buried and hard to find, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially in regards to minute particulars about plans. As an example. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Software Magic Quadrant
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted 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 nearly 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 because it is closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of the 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. Some 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 provides about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this app. The company also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You can also ask for a particular webinar on quite a few other subjects. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly helpful tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. 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 can post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favorite 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 PC.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
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 Magic Quadrant
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the inclusion of features like AB analyzing and surveys from all programs; many companies charge extra for such attributes or just include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad range of demographics, from first time ESP users to people who have attempted a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly significant factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I was able to find a couple of 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 in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. If you want your emails to go out precisely when your program dictates, you might have to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, leading recipients to mark them as junk and not reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is to prevent this from happening, this might be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, so it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing strategies, including a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid plans which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. 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 in case 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 Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the features list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Marketing Software Magic Quadrant
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing based on the number of mails 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 Strategies. 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 a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options might just be the very best in the business for anybody who only wants to dive into email advertising (particularly small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little business which views email as a little aspect of its marketing and has no desire to operate beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company looking for a easy email marketing program with a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Though there might come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a lot for the money, provides exceptional service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can not ask for more.