Summary Eric Almquist Benchmark Email
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office that served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea hub. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small businesses located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team 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 requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In reality, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from users of this app. You may read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout characteristics of the ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of 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 particular industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company explains the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans 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 about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a member 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. Eric Almquist Benchmark Email
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several purposes on the road. They can access and include contacts, browse reportsand send videos via integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a little more than many other companies offer on their mobile programs, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you can build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the ability to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be prosperous in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and each web browser includes a signature style, making sure that your emails look good 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. Employing the entire program (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only have to establish a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The business 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
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear direction on the best way to create my very first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, proceed into the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Eric Almquist Benchmark Email
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you’re 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 had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I desired on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automatic tweet once the campaign went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start building the email . If you would like to, you are able to assemble your personal email designs using a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and much better than I was able to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts to a text type. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather simple. When you’ve completed all of your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before unleashing your email about the world, 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 delivery to see how timely the automatic system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, you might have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a couple of reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of other programs where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about every campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the available speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this information for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your emails. Eric Almquist Benchmark Email
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will reach that point varies, naturally, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just beginning in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the reality 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 do not see the integration you need, there’s still hope. You can use the API or request 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 program permits users to make and customize events, promote and market tickets, and track the success of the 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 directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email viewer through their readers. 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 list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source images for your Benchmark mails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to different lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of the PayPal clients for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails 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 . Eric Almquist Benchmark Email
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral link between social networking and email advertising, it is important to check out the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template listing is made of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”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 fan pages, to help you convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to each email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking pages.
The Business 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 business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users hoping 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 maintain its standing 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 host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam check 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 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 Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning tools, but can be opaque at times. Key information is often buried and difficult to find, especially if you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Eric Almquist Benchmark Email
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 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 is closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a keyword 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 are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer information which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may want to contact support 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 app. The business also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can 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 special webinar on quite a few other subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly valuable tool for those new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active site. All readers automatically obtain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about 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 installation on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Eric Almquist Benchmark Email
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of features including AB testing and surveys from most plans; many companies charge extra for these features or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a wide range of demographics, from first time ESP users to people who have tried many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly important factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their Benchmark experience. However, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. If you want your mails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you might need to take into account this situation.
· 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 can feel like spam email, leading recipients to mark them as spam and not studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from occurring, this may be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge number of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a massive array of paid programs which 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 catch. There will be a small Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt 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 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the features list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Eric Almquist Benchmark Email
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing based on the number of emails that 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 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% discount 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 very best in the company for anyone who only wants to dive into email advertising (especially small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a small business which perspectives email as a minor aspect of its advertising and does not have any desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company looking for a easy email marketing program with a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Though there may come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a great deal for the money, provides excellent support, and the company appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can not ask for more.