Summary Email Marketing Software Updates
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO pro ) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email advertising. Many of the ideas were beyond the means of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email 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 usage of email marketing, while working hard to create a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer needs. They also made certain from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves 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 planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In reality, the organization offers a full page of testimonials from users of this app. You can read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout features of this ESP is the simple fact that most of its attributes come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless 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 like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There’s also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other programs have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Software Updates
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the street. They can access and include contacts, read reports, send videos via integration using a YouTube account, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a bit more than many other companies offer in their mobile programs, making them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to use in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers 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 can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages like birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and every web browser has a signature style, making sure that your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire app (which checks everything from 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 may create newsletters from their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply have to establish a campaign and template within 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 allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. The company explains this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you have to validate your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to 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. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, go into the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Mail” button in the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software Updates
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 move 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 moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I desired on the message, as well as when I wanted an automated tweet once the campaign went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start building the email . If you want to, you can construct your own email designs using an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts 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 personal 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 make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite simple. Once you have finished all of your tweaks, you may save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to check everything is well before unleashing your email on the planet, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for shipping to view how timely the automated system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you may have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve 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 each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given activity. Users may 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 which breaks down, by country, who opens your emails. Email Marketing Software Updates
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain increased level marketers that want more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of that information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will get to that point changes, naturally, based on the business.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large 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 reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there is still hope. You can use the API or ask an 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 program permits users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of programs are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to easily build an email viewer via their readers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog articles and allows 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 plug-in allows you to supply pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Email Marketing Software Updates
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social networking and email marketing, it is important to look at the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list consists of social media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking pages.
The Business also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users hoping to engage in spam activities. The business is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to maintain its standing as a spam-free supplier, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature that looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that is 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 decrease their spam amounts.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Crucial information can be buried and hard to find, especially in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute details about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Software Updates
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Available 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 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 a QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might 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 program. The business also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You might even ask for a special webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very 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 Requirements — This can be a particularly helpful tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Marketing Software Updates
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common monitoring regarding Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s really the component 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 features including AB analyzing and surveys in most programs; many firms charge extra for such attributes or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP users to people 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 more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly important factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who disliked Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. Should you want your emails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you may need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, leading receivers to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to stop this from happening, this might be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge number of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a massive array of paid plans which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem at the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program allows 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 to the features list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Software Updates
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing depending on the amount of emails that they send every month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per 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 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the best in the company for anyone who just wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little company which perspectives email as a minor aspect of its marketing and has no desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business looking for a simple email advertising program with a host of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a lot for the price, offers excellent support, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for much more.