Summary Email Sender
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought hub. Backed by a little programming team 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 implement a deceptively simple concept. Simple email advertising. Many of the ideas were beyond the resources of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to make a simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the time, 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 quick access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email marketing solutions to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business 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 businesses. In fact, the organization supplies a complete page of testimonials from local users of this app. You can read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with each 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 classes, some of which are tailored to specific industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or build it directly 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 here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Email Sender
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can access and add contacts, read reports, send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a bit more than many other companies offer in their mobile programs, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to utilize on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages such as birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be prosperous in email advertising is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and every internet browser has a signature fashion, making certain that your emails look great 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 entire program (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 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 establish a template and campaign within 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 with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from some other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The company explains this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path on the best way to create my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go into the Emails segment, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Email Sender
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move 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 gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop option.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I desired on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automatic tweet once the effort went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email . If you want to, you can assemble your personal email layouts using an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and better than I was able to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input 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 right 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. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is quite simple. Once you’ve finished all your tweaks, you may either save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify everything is well before unleashing your email on the planet, it is possible to 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 really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was likely present in tolerance levels for many users. If you are one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost immediately. I have worked with a lot of other programs where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about each effort. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given action. Users can export this information for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, that opens your emails. Email Sender
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that need more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that information with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will reach that point varies, of course, dependent on the company.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s key focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just starting out in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger 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 is still hope. You can use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to make and customize events, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of the events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of programs are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review 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 versions of blog articles and permits 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 plugin allows you to source pictures for your Benchmark emails from places throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to various lists based on what they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to see how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library . Email Sender
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social networking and email marketing, it is very important to look at the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to each email which will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users trying to take part in spam activities. 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, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, 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 very likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Customer 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 resources, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Key information is often buried and difficult to find, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Email Sender
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to 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. Available nearly 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 is closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 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 their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide advice that’s 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 video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of the program. The business also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You can even request a special webinar on quite a few other subjects. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable 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 consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active site. All subscribers automatically obtain access to present 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 production strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely 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, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Email Sender
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it is really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the inclusion of features including AB testing and surveys in all plans; many firms charge extra for these attributes or just include them in their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to those who have attempted 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 an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. But, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but others will. If you need your mails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you may have to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing receivers to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, this might be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, therefore it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge number of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a huge array of paid programs which can 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 small Benchmark emblem at the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Email Sender
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising based on the amount of mails they send each 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 a month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the very best in the company for anyone who only wants to dive into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small business which views email as a little element of its advertising and does not have any desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Company looking for a easy email advertising program with a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the app, it supplies a lot for the price, provides excellent service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for much more.