Summary Email Marketing Web
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that functioned as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the means of the fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients 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 use of email marketing, while working hard to create a simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the time, the business championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present 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 mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, however, the company hasn’t 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 app. You may read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout characteristics of the ESP is the simple fact that most of its features come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to particular industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans 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 boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Web
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the road. They can access and add contacts, read reports, send videos through integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a little more than many other businesses offer on their mobile programs, making them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you may build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the ability to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and every web browser includes a signature fashion, making certain your emails look great 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. 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 can create newsletters out of their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only need to set up 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-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from some other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage 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 offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction on how best to create my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, proceed to the Emails segment, then hit the large blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Web
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 move for more customization using 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 went with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I wanted on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin constructing the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to assemble your personal email designs employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and much better than I managed to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts one 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 personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text type. When you make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is quite simple. When you’ve finished all your tweaks, you can either save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before unleashing 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 automatic system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was probably present in tolerance levels for many users. If you’re one of the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system almost immediately. I have worked with a lot of other apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users can export this information for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking 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 Web
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers who want more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of that information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point changes, naturally, based on the business.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the reality that customers 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 don’t observe the integration you need, there is still hope. You can use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to create and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. 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 participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email audience via their readers. The plug-in can automatically create 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 plugin lets you source pictures for your Benchmark emails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to different lists based on what they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal customers 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 program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder offers an integration with 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 access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Marketing Web
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social networking and email advertising, it’s important to look at the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing is made of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s involvement in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to each email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The Business also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users hoping to take part in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, 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 assigned to content that is likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support tools. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but can be needlessly opaque at times. Key information can be buried and hard to find, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute details about plans. As an example. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t find 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’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Web
· Live Support and Email — 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 in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 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 as it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. One 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 provide advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the app. The company also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You can also request a particular webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to sites, offer users guidance 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 new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. All readers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their latest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation 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 setup on your PC.
Favorable 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 Web
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common observation regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of attributes like AB testing and surveys from all programs; many firms charge extra for such attributes or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad assortment of demographics, from first time ESP consumers 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 significant factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. But, 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 after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. Should you want your mails to go out precisely whenever your schedule dictates, you may have to take into account 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 were worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, leading recipients to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to stop this from occurring, this may be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, therefore it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing plans, such as a totally free plan and a massive array of paid plans that may 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 will be a little Benchmark logo in the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the attributes list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Marketing Web
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing depending on the amount of emails that they send every month.
o Moderate 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 per 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 a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may very well be the very best in the business for anyone who just wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little business which perspectives email as a little element of its marketing and does not have any desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Company trying to find a easy email marketing program using a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there may come a time when you launch the app, it provides a lot for the money, offers excellent service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can not ask for much more.