Summary Email Marketing Software Microsoft Dynamics
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. 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 expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the ideas were beyond the resources of the fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team personally sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to make a simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the while, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anyone 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 services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization offers a full page of testimonials from local users of the program. You may read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with each account — such as the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers access to the 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. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company describes the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys 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 come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Software Microsoft Dynamics
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several functions on the road. They can get and add contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a little more than many other businesses offer on their mobile programs, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize in 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 don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or designed as yearly messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each internet browser has a signature fashion, making certain that your emails look great across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire program (which checks everything out of 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 can create newsletters out of their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users only need to set up a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from some other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The business explains this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both Listing 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, contact number, and business name, you have to validate your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my new account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear path about the best way best to create my 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, go to the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software Microsoft Dynamics
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization using 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 personally gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I desired on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet once the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin constructing the email itself. If you would like to, you can construct your own email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and better than I managed to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text type. Once you create your Benchmark lists, they’ll show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather easy. Once you’ve completed all your tweaks, you may either save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to check all is well before unleashing your email about the world, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for shipping to view how timely the automatic system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, 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, you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed 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 enroll from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I have worked with several 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 available rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users can export this information for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Email Marketing Software Microsoft Dynamics
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that information with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will get to that point varies, of course, based on the business.
Specific 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. On the other hand, the company’s key focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see the integration you want, there’s still hope. You can use the API or request a 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 program permits users to make and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of the events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of subscriptions are available, including 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 plug-in which permits users to easily build an email audience via their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically produce email versions of blog posts 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 images for your Benchmark emails from places throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making program and download it .
· 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 subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Marketing Software Microsoft Dynamics
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social networking and email marketing, it is very important to look at the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template listing consists of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Like” button into your own 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 to readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email that will direct your subscribers 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 concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users trying to take part in spam actions. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to preserve its standing as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores each 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 high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning resources, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Key information is often buried and difficult to locate, particularly 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 includes Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said 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 Microsoft Dynamics
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it is closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a keyword search of any topic (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 are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may need 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 business also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You can even request a particular webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program especially, 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 manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly valuable tool for those brand new to email marketing who believe consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active site. All subscribers automatically obtain 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 creation strategies, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any setup on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Marketing Software Microsoft Dynamics
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most common monitoring concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself as well. People are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it is really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the addition of features including AB testing and surveys in all programs; many companies charge extra for such features or only include them into their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide 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 the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to discover 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 the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. If you need your mails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you might have to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, causing recipients to mark them as junk rather than reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, so it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge variety of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a massive scale of paid plans that can 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 will be a little Benchmark emblem at the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you can always choose 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 provides you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the features list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Software Microsoft Dynamics
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email marketing based on the amount of mails that they send every month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per 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 per month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options may very well be the best in the company for anyone who just wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little company which perspectives email as a little aspect of its advertising and has no desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Company trying to find a easy email marketing program using a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the app, it supplies a lot for the money, offers excellent service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for more.