Overview Email Newsletter Companies
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, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of the ideas were beyond the resources of this fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email 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 which would be easy to operate. All the while, the business championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. They also made sure from the outset that anyone who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing services to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise 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 small, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization offers a full page of testimonials from local users of this app. You may read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout characteristics of the ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There’s also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business describes the advantages of this attribute 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 build 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 choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The company is a member 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 customers’ behalf. Email Newsletter Companies
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the road. They can get and add contacts, browse reports, send videos via integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a bit more than many other businesses offer on their mobile apps, making them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to use in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need 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. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as annual messages such as birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each internet browser includes a signature style, making sure that your emails look good across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (which checks everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply have to set up a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check data. The company explains this role 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 accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my new account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path on the best way best to create my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, proceed to the Emails segment, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button in the top right-hand corner. Email Newsletter Companies
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you’re somebody 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 was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I desired on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automated tweet once the campaign went out. The next task was to choose 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 own email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and much better than I managed to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input 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 directly from your personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts to a text form. When you create your Benchmark lists, they’ll show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is rather simple. Once you’ve finished all of your tweaks, you may save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to verify all is well before distributing your email on the planet, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for shipping to view how timely the automatic system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a few reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system virtually 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 information about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, 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 activity. Users can export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social media place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your mails. Email Newsletter Companies
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this info with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point changes, naturally, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s key focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see the integration you want, there is still hope. You can use the API or request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to create and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events via their Benchmark Email account. A variety of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email audience through their subscribers. The plugin can automatically produce email versions of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on which products they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal customers for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to observe how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Email Newsletter Companies
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social media and email marketing, it’s very important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template listing is made of social media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — After you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The company also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of these 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 legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users hoping to take part in spam actions. The company is entirely 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, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, 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 likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning tools, but can be opaque at times. Key information is often buried and difficult to find, especially if you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute particulars about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Newsletter Companies
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible almost 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will 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 supplies about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this app. The business also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You might even ask for a special webinar on a number of different subjects. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents 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 compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain 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 newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional 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 score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Newsletter Companies
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most common monitoring concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself as well. People today are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, 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.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of features like AB analyzing and surveys in most plans; many firms charge extra for such features or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad range of demographics, from first-time ESP users to people who have attempted many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping needs, but others will. If you need your mails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you may have to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, causing recipients to mark them as spam and not studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to stop this from occurring, this might be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, so it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a huge array of paid programs that 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 emblem at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program allows 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 into the features list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Email Newsletter Companies
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing based on the amount of emails 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 a month
o Extra Large Plans. 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 a 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 solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may just be the best in the business for anybody who just wants to dive into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a small company which perspectives email as a little element of its advertising and has no desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a simple email marketing program with a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Though there might come a time when you outgrow the app, it provides a great deal for the money, offers exceptional service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for much more.