Overview Email Marketing Software Web Based
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and idea hub. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email advertising. Many of the thoughts were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the time, the company uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user needs. They also made certain from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising solutions to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of this program. You can read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with each accounts — such as the free ones. Here 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 specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Email Marketing Software Web Based
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the street. They can access and add contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a bit more than many other businesses offer in their mobile programs, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you may build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as yearly messages like birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email advertising is through growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and every web browser has a signature fashion, making certain that your emails look good across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply have to set up a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The business describes this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers 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 account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear path on the best way to create my first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, go into the Emails segment, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button at the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Software Web Based
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you are someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet once the effort went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start constructing the email itself. If you want to, you are able to assemble your personal email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and better than I was able 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 those who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from your personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text type. Once 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 your tweaks, you can save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to verify all is well before distributing your email about 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 view how timely the automated system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I have worked with several other apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about each effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open speed, appears in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given activity. Users may export this data for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s 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 mails. Email Marketing Software Web Based
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of this info with proper integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will get to that point changes, naturally, dependent on the business.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the tiniest 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 beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe the integration you want, there’s still hope. You can use the API or request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to create and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and track the success of their events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to easily build an email viewer through their subscribers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog articles 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 plug-in allows you to source pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to different lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal clients for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to see how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Marketing Software Web Based
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral link between social networking and email marketing, it is very important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to each email that will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The company 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 utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users trying to take part in spam activities. The company is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to maintain its reputation as a spam-free provider, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature that looks for words widely used in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that is likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning tools, but can be opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and hard to find, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially when it comes to minute particulars about plans. As an example. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, 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 Web Based
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform 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 are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may 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 known as”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 can even request a particular webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly helpful tool for all those brand 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” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any installation on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has 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 Web Based
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it is actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the inclusion of features including AB analyzing and surveys from most programs; many companies charge extra for such attributes or just include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide range of demographics, from first time ESP users to those who have tried many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping needs, but others will. If you want your mails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you might have to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, this might be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, so it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge number of pricing plans, such as a totally free plan and a massive array of paid programs which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want 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 Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Email Marketing Software Web Based
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email advertising depending on the amount of mails they send every 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 Plans. 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 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options might just be the very best in the business for anybody who just wants to dive into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little company which perspectives email as a little aspect of its advertising and has no desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email advertising program with a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Even though there may come a time when you launch the app, it provides a lot for the money, offers exceptional service, and the company appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can’t ask for more.