Summary Email Marketing Software Management
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought heart. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the ideas were beyond the means of the fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team sold them on the usage of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the company championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. They also made sure from the outset that anyone who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the company offers a full page of testimonials from local users of this program. You can read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with every single accounts — including the free ones. Below are some 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 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 mails. The business describes the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or construct it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Software Management
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can get and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a little more than a number of other companies offer on their mobile apps, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to utilize on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email marketing is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and each internet browser has a signature fashion, making sure your emails look good across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire program (which assesses everything out of 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 may create newsletters out of their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only have 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 with no formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from some other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and assess data. The company 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 fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my new account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear direction on the best way best to create my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, proceed to the Emails segment, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button at the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software Management
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you’re someone 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 alternative.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I desired on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automated tweet once the campaign went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start building the email . If you would like to, you are able to construct your personal email designs employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and better than I was able to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input 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 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 create your Benchmark lists, they will appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is quite easy. When you have completed all of your tweaks, you can save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to check everything is well before distributing your email on the planet, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for delivery to see how timely the automatic system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was probably present in tolerance levels for many users. If you’re among the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a few reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system almost immediately. I’ve worked with a lot of other programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given activity. Users may export this information for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social media place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by state, that opens your emails. Email Marketing Software Management
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not 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 whole lot of this information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point changes, naturally, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or request an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing 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 track the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email audience through their readers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with 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 net. 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 can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to different lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal customers for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Email Marketing Software Management
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key connection between social networking and email advertising, 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 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 offers a simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Email — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, 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 all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The whole system 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 outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users hoping to engage in spam actions. The company is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature that looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but can be needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and hard to find, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Software Management
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible nearly 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a keyword search of any subject (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 information which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this program. The business also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You might also request a particular webinar on quite a few different topics. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to sites, 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 all those new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards in 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 setup on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Includes 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 Management
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most common monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself as well. 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 company also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the inclusion of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys in most programs; many companies charge extra for these features or only include them in their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a wide assortment of demographics, from first time ESP users to people who have tried a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with 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 aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I managed to find 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. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping needs, but other people will. If you need your mails to go out precisely whenever your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews 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 email, causing recipients to mark them as junk and not studying the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to stop this from happening, this might be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous number of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid programs that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge 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 up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Marketing Software Management
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising depending on the number of mails that they send every month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Plans. 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 you a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options might just be the best in the business for anyone who only wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little business which views email as a little element of its advertising and does not have any desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Business looking for 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 great deal for the money, offers excellent service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for much more.