Overview Email Marketing Spam
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and idea hub. Backed by a small programming group 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 straightforward idea. Simple email advertising. Many of their thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to make a very simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the time, the company championed such innovative 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 quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions big 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 roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of this program. You can read 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 characteristics of the ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with each accounts — such as the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company 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 poll on your site or construct 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 option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Spam
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can access and include contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a little more than a number of other companies offer on their mobile programs, which makes them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to utilize on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you can construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or designed as annual messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and each web browser has a signature fashion, making sure your emails look good across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which assesses 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 may create newsletters from their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only have 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-in 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 a nutshell, this permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check data. The company describes this role in more detail .
· 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.
Benefits Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path about how to make my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go to the Emails segment, then hit on the big blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Spam
From there, you must decide If You Would like 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 gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop option.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet when the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email . If you would like to, you can assemble your personal email designs using a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for those 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 large lists of contacts into a text form. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather simple. Once you have completed all of your tweaks, you may either save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to check all is well before unleashing your email about the planet, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for shipping to view how timely the automated system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
The 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’ve worked with a lot of different apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this data for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by country, that opens your emails. Email Marketing Spam
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers who need more information 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, naturally, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the tiniest 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 particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while bigger 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’re able to use the API or request an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to make and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of their events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of programs are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to easily build an email audience via their subscribers. The plugin can automatically produce email versions of blog posts and permits 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 allows you to source images for your Benchmark emails from places throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to 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 overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal customers for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and use the analytics to see how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Marketing Spam
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social media and email advertising, it is important to check out the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates that 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 allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to each email which will direct your readers 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 regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users hoping to take part in spam actions. The company is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to maintain its standing as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature which looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores every 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 help large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support resources. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but may be needlessly 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, especially when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Spam
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone 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. Available nearly 24 hours per day 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 typical FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this app. The company also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You can even ask for a particular webinar on a number of other subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance 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 specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly valuable tool for those new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog 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 posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their latest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has 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 Spam
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of attributes like AB testing and surveys from all programs; many firms charge extra for these attributes or only include them in their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP users to those who have attempted many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers 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 factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who disliked Their Benchmark experience. But, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. Should you want your mails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you may have to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing recipients to mark them as spam 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 while searching through the template list, so it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge variety of pricing plans, such as a totally free plan and a huge array of paid plans that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo in the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Marketing Spam
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising based on the number of emails they send each month.
o Moderate 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 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 charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options might just be the best in the business for anybody who just wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small business which views email as a little element of its marketing and has no desire to operate beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business looking for a simple email marketing program with a host of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the app, it supplies a lot for the money, provides excellent support, and the business seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can’t ask for more.