Overview Email Marketing Software Requirements
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small 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, and an SEO pro ) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of this fledgling business, but that didn’t 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 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 requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent 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 assist children in need. This does not 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 upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization offers a full page of testimonials from users of the app. You can read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features of the ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with each accounts — 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 classes, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There’s also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume programs have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Software Requirements
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several functions on the road. They can access and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos via integration with a YouTube accounts, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a bit more than a number of other businesses offer on their mobile apps, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you can construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and every web browser has a signature fashion, making sure that 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. Employing the full app (which checks everything out of 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 out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only have 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 with no formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from some other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and assess data. The company describes this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is fairly 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 in to my new account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path on how to create my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go into the Emails segment, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software Requirements
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you are someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automated tweet once the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start constructing the email itself. If you want to, you are able to construct your own email layouts employing a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and much better than I was able to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text form. When you make your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this 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 date and time for delivery. If you would like to check all is well before distributing your email on the world, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for shipping to see how timely the automated system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was likely present in tolerance levels for many 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 did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I have worked with several different apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given activity. Users can export this information for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social media area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your emails. Email Marketing Software Requirements
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient 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 that information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will reach that point varies, naturally, based on the company.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s key focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you need, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to create and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety 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 keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email versions 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 plugin allows you to supply images for your Benchmark mails from places throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to various lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of their PayPal clients for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to observe how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Marketing Software Requirements
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social media and email advertising, it is important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing consists of social media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email which will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The Business also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the safety of all 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 hoping to take part in spam activities. The company is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to maintain its reputation as a spam-free provider, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam check feature which looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support tools. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Key information is often buried and difficult to find, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially when it comes to minute details about strategies. For instance. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, however 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 said when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Software Requirements
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to 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 almost 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer advice which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of the app. The business also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You might also ask for a particular webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly helpful tool for those new to email marketing who believe 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, in addition to its extremely active site. All subscribers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their latest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation strategies, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any setup on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Marketing Software Requirements
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 today are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of attributes including AB testing and surveys from all programs; many companies charge extra for these features or only include them into their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users 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 is an increasingly important factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their Benchmark experience. However, I was able to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. Should you need your emails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as junk and not reading the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from occurring, this may be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing plans, such as a totally free plan and a massive array of paid programs which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo at 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 want the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features list. 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 Requirements
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email advertising based on the number of mails they send each month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per 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 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It is easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may just 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 plan can work nicely for a little business which views email as a little aspect of its marketing and has no desire to work past the basics 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 excellent option. Though there may come a time when you launch the app, it provides a great deal for the price, offers exceptional support, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for much more.