Overview Email Marketing Training
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office that served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea hub. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email marketing. Many of the ideas were beyond the resources of this fledgling business, 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 sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the while, the company uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email advertising solutions to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In reality, the company supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of the app. You can read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout characteristics of the ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with every single accounts — including the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to specific industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company explains the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or build it directly 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 plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Training
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the road. They can get and add contacts, read reportsand send videos via integration with a YouTube accounts, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a bit more than many other businesses offer in their mobile programs, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you have 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 client has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or designed as annual messages like anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so 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 custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and each internet browser includes a signature style, making sure your emails look great across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire program (which checks everything out of 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 can create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish a template and campaign 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 abilities to recover data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and assess data. The company describes this function 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 accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear direction on how to make my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, proceed to the Emails segment, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button at the upper right-hand corner. Email Marketing Training
From there, you must 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’re someone 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 alternative.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I wanted on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automated tweet once the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email . If you want to, you can construct your personal email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and 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 at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text form. When you make your Benchmark lists, they’ll show up on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather easy. When you’ve completed all your tweaks, you can either save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to verify everything is well before distributing your email about the world, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for shipping to view how timely the automated system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you might need to appear 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
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost immediately. I’ve worked with several different apps where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given activity. Users can export this data for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your mails. Email Marketing Training
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that info with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will reach that point changes, of course, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s main focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see the integration you need, there is still hope. You can use the API or request an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to create and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of their events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of programs are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer through their readers. The plug-in can automatically produce email variations of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations across the web. Benchmark Power captures images 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 may even add subscribers to different lists based on which products they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of the PayPal clients for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Email Marketing Training
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social networking and email marketing, it’s important to check out the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” 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 with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to every email that will direct your subscribers 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 those countries. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users hoping to take part in spam activities. The company is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to maintain its standing as a spam-free provider, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam test feature that 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’s very likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning resources, but can be opaque at times. Key information can be buried and hard to find, particularly in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, particularly when it comes to minute details about plans. For instance. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Training
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form . 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 countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible 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 because it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may want 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 this app. The business also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You can even request a special webinar on quite a few different topics. Live webinars include the opportunity 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 specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — 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 marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active site. All subscribers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles 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 favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any installation on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
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 Training
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most typical observation regarding Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People today are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys from most programs; many companies charge extra for such attributes or just include them into their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad range of demographics, from first time ESP users to people who have tried many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly important aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. However, I was able to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but others will. If you want your mails to go out exactly when your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that commented 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 and not studying the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, so it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid plans which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid plan if 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 all but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Email Marketing Training
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing depending on the number of emails they send each month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 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 allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options might very well be the best in the company for anyone who only wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little company which perspectives email as a little aspect of its marketing and has no desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Business looking for a simple email advertising program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a great deal for the price, provides excellent service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for more.