Summary Email Marketing Software Top Rated
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office that served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and thought heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving 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 personally sold them on the usage of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the business uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user needs. They also made sure from the outset that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email marketing services to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, but the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In reality, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from local users of this program. You can read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides 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 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 business describes the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or construct it 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 programs have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Marketing Software Top Rated
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several purposes on the road. They can access and include contacts, browse reports, send videos through 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 little more than many other businesses offer on their mobile programs, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo 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 may build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages like anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become successful in email marketing is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and every internet browser includes a signature style, making certain your emails look great across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users only have to set up a campaign and template inside 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 permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The company explains this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers 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 pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you have to validate your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my new account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction about the best way best to make my very first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, proceed into the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button in the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software Top Rated
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you are somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally 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, in addition to if I wanted an automatic tweet when the effort went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to assemble your own email designs using an extremely 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 input contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts to a text form. When you create your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is rather easy. Once you’ve finished all your tweaks, you may either save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to check all is well before distributing your email on the planet, you can send it to your self 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 advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was likely within tolerance levels for many users. If you’re one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then 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 perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system almost immediately. I have worked with a lot of different programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie chart and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given action. Users can export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Email Marketing Software Top Rated
Though all of the 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 revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will reach that point varies, of course, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the company’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially 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 approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe 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 app permits 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 programs are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email viewer through their readers. The plug-in can automatically create email variations of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you supply images for your Benchmark emails from places throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to different lists based on what they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to observe how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Email Marketing Software Top Rated
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social networking and email advertising, it is important to check out the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s involvement in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to every email which will direct your subscribers 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 regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The entire platform 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 summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users hoping to take part in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature that looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that is likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support tools. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning tools, but may be opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and hard to find, especially in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially in regards 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 will you see it said when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Software Top Rated
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through these 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.
· Phone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible almost 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of the 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. Some of the QandAs provide information which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might need to contact support 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 program. The company also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You can also ask for a particular webinar on quite a few other subjects. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. 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 is a particularly helpful tool for those new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email advertising 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 provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any setup 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 Top Rated
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the addition of attributes like AB analyzing and surveys in most programs; many companies charge extra for such features or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment 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 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 aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours when they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping needs, but other people will. If you need your mails to go out exactly when your schedule dictates, you may need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, leading receivers to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to stop this from occurring, this may be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, therefore it might 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 charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a little Benchmark emblem in the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the attributes list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Email Marketing Software Top Rated
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising depending on the number of emails that they send each month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may very well be the best in the business for anybody who only wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a small business which views email as a minor element of its marketing and has no desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Business looking for a easy email advertising program with a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Though there might come a time when you outgrow the app, it supplies a lot for the price, provides excellent support, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for more.