Overview Email Marketing Software Pro
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff sold them on the use of email advertising, while working hard to create a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the company uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This does not indicate 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 Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the company supplies 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 provides Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. 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 explains the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your website or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs have 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 own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Marketing Software Pro
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers having an Apple device to access several functions on the street. They can access and include contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a bit more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile programs, which makes them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to utilize in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you may build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and every internet browser includes a signature style, making certain that your emails look good across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to 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 provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters from their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish a campaign and template within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The company explains this function in more detail .
· 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
Signing up for a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you need to validate 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 appealing UI that gave me a very clear path about how to make my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go to the Emails segment, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software Pro
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. You can 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 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 automated tweet once the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start building the email . If you would like to, you can assemble 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’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text form. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is rather simple. When you have completed all of your tweaks, you can either save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to verify all is well before distributing your email about the planet, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for shipping to see how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a few reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve 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 information about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given activity. Users may export this data for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social media area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Email Marketing Software Pro
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that info with proper integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will reach that point varies, of course, based on the company.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the fact that customers 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 need, there is still hope. You can use the API or request an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to make and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plugin can automatically create email versions of blog articles and allows 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 plugin lets you supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to various lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to see how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Marketing Software Pro
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social networking and email marketing, it’s important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s involvement in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons 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 regarding the selection 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 info. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the security 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 trying to take part in spam activities. The company is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to maintain its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
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 is very likely to be blocked. In case 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 resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning resources, but may be opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and hard to find, especially in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, particularly when it comes to minute details about strategies. As an example. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Software Pro
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone 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. Accessible nearly 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 is closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide information which is wholly inaccurate, 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 the app. The company also offers 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 can also request a particular webinar on a number of different subjects. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their latest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production strategies, 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.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes 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 Pro
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the inclusion of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys in most plans; many companies charge extra for such attributes or only include them in their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad range of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have tried a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly important factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. If you need your mails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you might need to take into account 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 were concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing receivers to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is to stop this from happening, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a massive array of paid plans that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails 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 accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Marketing Software Pro
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing based on the amount of mails that they send each 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 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may very well be the very best in the company for anybody who only wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little business which perspectives email as a little element of its advertising and has no desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business looking for a simple email advertising program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a lot for the money, offers excellent support, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for more.