Overview Email Marketing Websites
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought 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 SEO expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from planning 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 team sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the company championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user requirements. They also made certain from the outset that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising services to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the planet, but the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In reality, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from users of the app. You can read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout characteristics of the ESP is the simple fact that most of its attributes come standard with each accounts — such as the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users 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’s also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company explains the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or construct it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume programs have 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 particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Marketing Websites
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers having an Apple device to get several purposes on the street. They can get and include contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than a number of other businesses offer on their mobile programs, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to use in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you may construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the ability to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be successful in email marketing is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and every internet browser includes a signature fashion, making sure your emails look great across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire 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 from their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply have to set up a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from some other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The company describes this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you need to validate your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my new account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear direction about how to create my very first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, proceed into the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Email Marketing Websites
From there, you have to 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 using 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 alternative.
I had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I wanted on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automated tweet once the effort went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start constructing the email itself. If you would like to, you can construct your own email layouts using 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 in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts to a text type. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is quite simple. Once you have finished all your tweaks, you can save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check all is well before distributing your email about the planet, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for shipping to see how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was likely present in tolerance levels for many users. If you’re one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I have worked with several other apps where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about every effort. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given action. Users may export this data for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, that opens your emails. Email Marketing Websites
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers who want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that info with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will reach that point changes, naturally, dependent on the company.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not 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 Events — 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 through their Benchmark Email account. A number of programs are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer through their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email versions of blog articles and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you supply images for your Benchmark mails from places throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to various lists based on what they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some 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 here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to see how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Email Marketing Websites
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social networking and email marketing, it is very important to look at the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to every email that will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The Business also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the security of all 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 hoping to engage in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to maintain its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature that looks for words widely 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 top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support resources. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning tools, but may be opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and hard to locate, particularly in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute details about plans. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Marketing Websites
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Offered 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 typical FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide information that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might need 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 program. The company also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may see 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 throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to sites, 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 all those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts 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 discuss newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your computer.
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 Websites
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most common monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys from all programs; many companies charge extra for these features or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad range of demographics, from first-time ESP users to people who have tried many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly significant aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. However, I managed to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. Should you need your mails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you may have to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, leading recipients to mark them as junk rather than reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is to prevent this from occurring, this might be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing plans, including a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid plans 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 logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Marketing Websites
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising based on the number of mails that they send every month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Massive 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 teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may very well be the very best in the business for anyone who only wants to dive into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little company which views email as a minor element of its advertising and has no desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email advertising program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Though there might come a time when you launch the app, it provides a lot for the price, provides exceptional service, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for more.