Summary Epsilon Email Marketing
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 team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO pro ) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in close 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 very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the time, the company championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email marketing services 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 service, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company offers a full page of testimonials from local users of the program. You may read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority 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 most of its attributes come standard with each accounts — such as the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides 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 societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business explains the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to 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 Benchmark’s High Volume programs have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery 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 company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Epsilon Email Marketing
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can get and add contacts, browse reports, send videos via integration with a YouTube account, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a little more than many other companies offer on their mobile apps, making them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the power to design 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 emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be successful in email marketing is by way of growing your own 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 instrument to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and every web browser includes a signature style, making sure your emails look good 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. Employing the entire program (which checks 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 can create newsletters from their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only have to set up a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. The company describes this role in more detail .
· 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 account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you have to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my new account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear direction about the best way best to create my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, proceed to the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button in the top right-hand corner. Epsilon Email Marketing
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 with the built-in code editor. If you are somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I moved 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, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email itself. If you would like to, you can construct your own email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I was able to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text type. When you create your Benchmark lists, they’ll show up on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite easy. When you have finished all your tweaks, you can save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to check 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 opted to program my email for shipping 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 was not exactly ideal, it was likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with a lot of different apps where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users may export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s 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. Epsilon Email Marketing
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher level marketers who want more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this information with proper integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will get to that point changes, naturally, based on the business.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you need, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A number of programs are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to easily build an email viewer through their subscribers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog posts 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 plug-in allows you to supply images for your Benchmark emails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to different lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of the PayPal clients to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Epsilon Email Marketing
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral link between social networking and email advertising, it’s important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template list consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s involvement in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email which will direct your readers to each of your social networking 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 those nations. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users trying to take part in spam activities. The business 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 supplier, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature that 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’s very likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site 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 exactly what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Epsilon Email Marketing
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available almost 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might want 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 this program. The business also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You can even ask for a particular webinar on a number of other 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, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to sites, offer users guidance 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 absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active site. 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 may 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 doesn’t Require any setup on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Epsilon Email Marketing
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical observation regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the inclusion of features including AB testing and surveys from most programs; many companies charge extra for such features or just include them into their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to locate 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 attempted a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. Should you want your mails to go out precisely when your program dictates, you may have to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing recipients to mark them as spam and not studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is to prevent this from happening, this may 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 legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a huge array of paid plans that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem in the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Epsilon Email Marketing
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email advertising based on the amount of mails they send every month.
o Moderate 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 Enormous 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 teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options might very well be the best in the company for anyone who only wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a small business which views email as a little element of its marketing and has no desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business looking for a simple email marketing program using a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Even though there might come a time when you launch the program, it provides a great deal for the money, offers excellent support, and the business seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can not ask for more.