Overview Email Marketing Software One Time Fee
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. Backed by a small 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 on how best to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small companies 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 advertising, while working hard to create a simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the time, the company championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user needs. They also made certain from the outset that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing solutions to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the company offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of this program. You can read about Benchmark’s history 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 nearly all its attributes come standard with each account — including the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides 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 retail. There’s also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business describes the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your website or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Software One Time Fee
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several purposes on the road. They can get and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a little more than many other companies offer in their mobile programs, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to use in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages like anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email marketing is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and each web browser includes a signature fashion, making certain 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 entire app (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply have to establish a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug-in link. 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 a nutshell, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The company describes this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you need to validate your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction on the best way best to create my first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, go into the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software One Time Fee
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 somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as when I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email itself. If you want to, you can assemble your personal email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and much better than I was able to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text form. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is quite simple. Once you have finished all your tweaks, you may save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before unleashing your email on the planet, 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 delivery to view 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 was not exactly perfect, it was likely present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re one of the more infrequent users who need 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 perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost immediately. I’ve worked with several different apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about every campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the available speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this data for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by state, who opens your emails. Email Marketing Software One Time Fee
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers who want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will reach that point varies, naturally, dependent on the company.
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 company’s key focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe the integration you need, there is still hope. You can use the API or request an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of the events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email audience through their subscribers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog posts and permits 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 plug-in allows you to supply pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find 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 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 the 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 blog and website builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to see how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Email Marketing Software One Time Fee
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social media and email advertising, it’s important to look at the social networking 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 involvement in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every 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 collection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company uses 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 valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users hoping to engage in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to maintain 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 host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words widely used 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 top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support tools. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning resources, but may be opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and hard to find, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially when it comes to minute details about plans. 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 webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Software One Time Fee
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available almost 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of 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 offer advice which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may need to contact assistance 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 app. The business also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can see 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 include the opportunity to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who believe consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically gain access to current 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 in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any setup on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
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 One Time Fee
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common monitoring regarding Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the inclusion of attributes like AB testing and surveys in all plans; many companies charge extra for such features or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a wide range of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling 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 important aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. If you need your emails to go out precisely when your program dictates, you might need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, leading receivers to mark them as spam 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 whilst searching through the template list, so it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge number of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a huge scale of paid programs which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a small Benchmark emblem in the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, 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 of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Software One Time Fee
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 they send each month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a 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 credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the best in the company for anybody who only wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a small company which views email as a little element of its marketing and has no desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a simple email advertising program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there may come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a great deal for the price, provides exceptional service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for more.