Summary Email Marketing Software Small Business
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea hub. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email advertising. Many of the ideas were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to create a very simple user interface that 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 beginning that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing 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 serves big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the planet, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In reality, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from users of the program. You may read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of the ESP is the simple fact that most of its features come standard with each account — including the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business explains the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or construct it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost 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 business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Marketing Software Small Business
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers having an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can get and add contacts, browse reports, send videos via integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a bit more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile apps, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize 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 do not 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 build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the power to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or made as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each internet browser includes a signature fashion, making sure that your emails look great 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. Using the entire app (which assesses 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 may create newsletters out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which handles 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 link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from 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, manage campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The business 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.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear direction on the best way to make my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, go into the Emails segment, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software Small Business
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you’re someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I wanted on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet when the effort went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start constructing the email . If you want to, you are able to assemble your personal email layouts employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I managed to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are numerous 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 to a text type. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather easy. Once you have completed all of your tweaks, you may save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to verify everything is well before unleashing your email on the world, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for shipping to see how timely the automatic system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, you may have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost immediately. I have worked with a lot of other apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about each effort. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given activity. Users can export this data for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, who opens your emails. Email Marketing Software Small Business
Though all of the information Is Excellent 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. Though 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 company will reach that point changes, naturally, based on the business.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see the integration you want, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to make and customize events, promote and market tickets, and track the success of their events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free option.
· 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 review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to quickly build an email audience via their readers. The plugin 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 overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· 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 mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to different lists based on what they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of their PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to see how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Email Marketing Software Small Business
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social media and email advertising, it is very important to check out the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of social media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email that will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The Business 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 these nations. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users hoping to take part in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam check feature which looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that is very likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but can be opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and hard to locate, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. 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 in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned 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 Small Business
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form . Available 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. 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’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide 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 video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of the app. The business 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 time. You might even request a special webinar on quite a few different topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions throughout 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, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for all those brand new to email marketing who believe absorbed 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 about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any installation on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
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 Small Business
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of features like AB analyzing and surveys from all plans; many companies charge extra for these attributes or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a broad range of demographics, from first time ESP users to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling on 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 can be an increasingly significant factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. Should you want your mails to go out precisely whenever your schedule dictates, you may need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from happening, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing plans, such as a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid plans which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Software Small Business
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email marketing depending on the amount of emails they send each month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Strategies. 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 Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the very best in the company for anybody who just wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little company which views email as a little element of its marketing and does not have any desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Company looking for a simple email advertising program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a lot for the money, offers exceptional service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for much more.