Summary Email Newsletter Programs
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office that functioned as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and idea heart. 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 pro ) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of this fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small businesses 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 marketing, while working hard to create a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the company championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email advertising services to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, but the company has not 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 may read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy 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 retail. There’s also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company explains the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your website or construct it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Newsletter Programs
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the street. They can access and add contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube account, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a little more than many other companies offer in their mobile apps, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you can construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the power to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as yearly messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become prosperous in email advertising is through growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and each internet browser includes a signature style, making certain your emails look good across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full program (which assesses 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 can create newsletters out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only 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 link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The business describes this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List 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, contact number, and business name, you need to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path about how best to create my first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, proceed to the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Mail” button in the top right-hand corner. Email Newsletter Programs
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 with the built-in code editor. If you are somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as when I wanted an automated tweet when the effort went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email . If you would like to, you can assemble your own email designs employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and 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 enter contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are numerous 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 large lists of contacts into a text form. When you create your Benchmark lists, they will appear on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite easy. Once you’ve finished all of your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to check all is well before distributing your email on the world, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for shipping to see how timely the automatic system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to look 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 Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of different programs where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about every effort. The possibly most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie chart and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given activity. Users can export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Email Newsletter Programs
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers who need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will reach that point changes, of course, based on the company.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just beginning in email advertising. 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 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 occasions, promote and market tickets, and track the success of their events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of programs are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows 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 Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plugin can automatically create email versions of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you source pictures for your Benchmark emails from places throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately 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 are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to various lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of the PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Email Newsletter Programs
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social media and email advertising, it is very important to look at the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s involvement in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to each email which will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The Business also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users trying to take part 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 reputation as a spam-free provider, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam check feature that looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that is likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but can be needlessly opaque occasionally. Key information is often buried and difficult to find, especially if you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, particularly when it comes to minute details about strategies. As an example. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Email Newsletter Programs
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available nearly 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may 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 are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this program. The business also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You might also ask for a special webinar on a number of different subjects. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly helpful tool for those new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any setup on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Newsletter Programs
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most common observation regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People today are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the inclusion of features including AB testing and surveys in all programs; many firms charge extra for such attributes 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 compliments from a broad assortment 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 important factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. Should you want your emails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you may have to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews 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, causing receivers to mark them as junk rather than reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to stop this from happening, this might be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing strategies, such as a free plan and a huge scale of paid programs which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a small Benchmark emblem in the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan 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 to the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Newsletter Programs
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising depending on the number of mails that they send each 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 a month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a month
o Massive 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 you a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the very best in the business for anybody who just wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a small business which perspectives email as a little element of its advertising and has no desire to work beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Company trying to find a easy email marketing program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Though there might come a time when you launch the app, it provides a lot for the price, offers excellent support, and the business appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for much more.