Overview Enterprise Email Marketing
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea 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 on how best to execute a deceptively simple concept. Simple email advertising. Many of their ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning 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 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 novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer needs. They also made certain from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email advertising services to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, however, the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the company supplies a full page of testimonials from users of the program. You can read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout features of the ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most 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 particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using among 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 programs come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the option 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 shipping management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Enterprise Email Marketing
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several purposes on the street. They can access and include contacts, browse reports, send videos via integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a little more than a number of other businesses offer on their mobile apps, making them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize in your email campaign are not 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. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you can build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or designed as annual messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is through growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and every web browser includes a signature style, making certain that your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire app (which assesses everything out of 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 may create newsletters out of their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog 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 with no formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The business describes this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear path on how to create my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go to the Emails segment, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Enterprise Email Marketing
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic 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 are someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I desired on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet once the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email itself. If you would like to, you can construct your personal email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and much 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 those who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You can 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 to a text type. Once you create your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite easy. When you’ve completed all of your tweaks, you can save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before unleashing your email on the planet, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for shipping to see how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t 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 have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of other apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the available 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 exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users can export this data for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Enterprise Email Marketing
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point varies, of course, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just beginning in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you need, 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 software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to make and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of programs are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email audience via their readers. The plugin 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 plugin lets you source pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to various lists based on what they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of their PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Enterprise Email Marketing
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social media and email marketing, it’s very important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template list consists of social media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s involvement in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button to your own 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 readers.
· Social Links within Email — After you link your Benchmark account together 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 Business also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The whole platform 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 policy for any of the users trying to engage in spam actions. The company is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to preserve its reputation as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature which looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that is likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning resources, but can be opaque at times. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to locate, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Enterprise Email Marketing
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark in 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 restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive 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 incorrect, so in some cases, you might want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the program. The company also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You might also request a special webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for those brand new to email marketing who believe consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All readers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation strategies, 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 Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Enterprise Email Marketing
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of features like AB analyzing and surveys in most plans; many companies charge extra for such features or just include them into their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP users to people who have tried a variety of programs before settling 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 consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their Benchmark experience. But, I managed to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. Should you want your emails to go out precisely whenever your schedule dictates, you might have to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that remarked 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 recipients to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP is to stop this from happening, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, so it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing strategies, such as a free plan and a massive array of paid plans that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem at the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the attributes list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Enterprise Email Marketing
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email advertising depending on the amount of emails that they send every month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a 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 per 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 allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options might just be the best in the company for anyone who only wants to dive into email advertising (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a small business which perspectives email as a minor element of its marketing and has no desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a simple email marketing program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a great deal for the money, provides exceptional support, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for more.