Summary Email Newsletter Service
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and idea heart. Backed by a small programming team 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 simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the ideas were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from planning 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 marketing, while working hard to make a simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer needs. They also made sure from the outset that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company supplies a full page of testimonials from users of the app. You can read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with every single accounts — including the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries like 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 feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. 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 shipping management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part 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 Service
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers having 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 available templates. That is quite a bit more than many other companies offer on their mobile apps, which makes them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you can build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or designed as annual messages like birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around site 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 every web browser has a signature style, making sure your emails look great across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email screens 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 provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, 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 link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The business describes this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers 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
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my new account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path about how best to make my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, proceed to the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. Email Newsletter Service
From there, you have to decide If You Would like 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 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 set up how much tracking I desired on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automated tweet when the effort went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin building the email . If you want to, you are able to assemble your own email designs employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and much better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text form. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite simple. Once you have completed all your tweaks, you can either save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to check everything is well before unleashing your email on the world, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for delivery to view how timely the automatic system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was likely present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The 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 enroll in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve worked with several different programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each effort. The possibly most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given activity. Users can export this data for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Email Newsletter Service
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that need more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of this info with proper integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will reach that point varies, of course, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark made 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 key focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to make and customize events, promote and market tickets, and track the success of the events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to quickly build an email viewer through their readers. The plug-in can automatically produce email versions of blog articles and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to source images for your Benchmark emails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Newsletter Service
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social media and email advertising, it is very important to check out the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Email — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to every email which will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the 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 from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature that looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support resources. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning resources, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to find, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, especially in regards to minute particulars about plans. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Newsletter Service
· Live Email and Support — 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. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available 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 as it is closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer information that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of the app. The company 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 can also ask for a special webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for those new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All readers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any setup on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes 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 Service
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of features including AB testing and surveys in all programs; many companies charge extra for these attributes or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a wide assortment of demographics, from first time ESP users to people who have tried a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. But, I was able to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. If you need your emails to go out precisely when your program dictates, you might need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a massive array of paid programs that 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 catch. There will be a small Benchmark emblem at the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the features list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Newsletter Service
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing depending on the amount 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 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% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the best in the business for anybody who only wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little company which perspectives email as a little aspect of its marketing and has no desire to operate beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business looking for a easy email marketing program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the app, it provides a great deal for the money, offers excellent support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for much more.