Overview Email Open Benchmark
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought heart. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email advertising. Many of the thoughts were beyond the resources of this fledgling business, 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 use of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the time, the company 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 care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email advertising services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the planet, however, the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In reality, the company offers a complete page of testimonials from users of the program. You may read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single accounts — including the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users 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 is also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business describes the benefits 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 website or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans have 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 here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Open Benchmark
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the street. They can access and include contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a little more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile programs, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some colour 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 have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you can construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as annual messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be successful in email advertising is through growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and each internet browser has a signature style, making certain your emails look great across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full app (which checks everything out of 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 from their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply have to set up a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The company explains this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you have to validate your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction on the best way best to create my first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, proceed to the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Email Open Benchmark
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization using 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 went with the drag-and-drop option.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I desired on the message, as well as when I wanted an automated tweet once the effort went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email itself. If you want to, you can assemble your personal email designs using an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and better than I managed to do on my own.
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 numerous ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text form. When you make your Benchmark lists, they’ll show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is quite easy. Once you’ve finished all of 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 verify 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 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 obtained it in 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was likely present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you may have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I’ve worked with several different programs where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this information for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, who opens your emails. Email Open Benchmark
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who need more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will reach that point varies, naturally, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just beginning in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe the integration you need, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to create and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of the events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email audience via their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email variations of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to source images for your Benchmark emails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal customers for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview 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 offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to see how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Email Open Benchmark
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social networking and email advertising, it is important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list consists of societal 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 allows you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button into 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 Mail — Once you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to every email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users trying to engage in spam actions. The company is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides 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 delegated 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 assist large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning resources, but may be opaque at times. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to find, particularly in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute details about strategies. For instance. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every 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 register. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Open Benchmark
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible almost 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide advice which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this program. The business also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You can even request a special webinar on quite a few different subjects. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for those new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides 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 strategies, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Favorable 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 Open Benchmark
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it is really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys in all plans; many firms charge extra for such features or just include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a wide range of demographics, from first-time ESP users to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly significant factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping needs, but others will. If you want your emails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you might need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing recipients to mark them as junk and not studying the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP is to prevent this from happening, this may be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, so it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing strategies, 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 catch. There will be a small Benchmark logo in the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program allows 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 to the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Email Open Benchmark
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option 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 Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options might very well be the best in the business for anybody who only wants to dive into email marketing (particularly small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a small company which perspectives email as a little element of its marketing and does not have any desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a simple email advertising program with a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the app, it supplies a great deal for the price, offers excellent service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for more.