Summary Email Marketing Software That Allows Purchased Lists
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office that functioned as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of the fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small businesses located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff personally sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the business championed 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 quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing services to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of the program. You can read more about Benchmark’s background 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 simple fact that most of its attributes come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company explains the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume programs come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Marketing Software That Allows Purchased Lists
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several functions on the street. They can access and include contacts, read reportsand send videos via integration using a YouTube account, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a little more than many other businesses offer in their mobile programs, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to use on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as annual messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be successful in email advertising 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 entirely 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 internet browser has a signature style, 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 program (which checks everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. The business explains this function 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
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path on how to create my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go to the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software That Allows Purchased Lists
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you’re somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I wanted on the message, as well as when I wanted an automated 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 itself. If you would like to, you can construct your own email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and better than I managed to do on my own.
Sending 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 people who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the 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 will appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is quite easy. Once you have completed all of your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify all is well before distributing your email about the world, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for delivery to see how timely the automated system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more rare 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.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a couple of reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of other programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the available speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given activity. Users can export this information 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 mails. Email Marketing Software That Allows Purchased Lists
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers that need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that info with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will reach that point varies, of course, based on the company.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the company’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while bigger 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’re able to 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 program permits users to make and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and track 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 allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to quickly build an email audience via their subscribers. The plug-in 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 list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you supply pictures for your Benchmark mails from places across the web. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to different lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails 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 enormous integration library here. Email Marketing Software That Allows Purchased Lists
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social networking and email advertising, it’s very important to check out the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of social media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to every email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking pages.
The Business 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 countries. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users trying to engage in spam actions. The business is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam check feature which looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but can be opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to find, particularly in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute particulars about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned 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 That Allows Purchased Lists
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited 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. Available 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’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive 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 inaccurate, so in some cases, you might want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this program. The business also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You can even request a special webinar on a number of other subjects. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter articles 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 strategies, vote for their favorite 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 Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Marketing Software That Allows Purchased Lists
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People today tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the addition of features like AB testing and surveys in all plans; many companies charge extra for these attributes or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad range of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all 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 Men and Women who disliked Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping needs, but other people will. If you need your mails to go out precisely when your program dictates, you might have to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as junk rather than reading the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this may 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 legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a huge scale of paid plans which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a small Benchmark logo at the bottom of every 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 plan permits you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Marketing Software That Allows Purchased Lists
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing depending on the amount 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 Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the best in the business for anyone who only wants to dive into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a small business which views email as a minor aspect of its marketing and does not have any desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Business looking for a simple email advertising program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there might come a time when you outgrow the app, it supplies a great deal for the price, provides excellent service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can’t ask for much more.