Overview Free Email Marketing Software App
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and idea hub. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email advertising. Many of the ideas were beyond the resources of the fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team personally sold them on the usage of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the time, the business championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user needs. They also made certain 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 global email marketing services to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In reality, the company supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of the app. You can read more 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 the ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to particular industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your website or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other programs have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping 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 delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Free Email Marketing Software App
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the street. They can access and add contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a bit more than many other businesses offer on their mobile apps, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you can build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or designed as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be successful 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 entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each web browser has 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 your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (which assesses everything from 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 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 skills to retrieve data from some other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and check statistics. The business explains this role 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.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear path about the best way best to make my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, proceed to the Emails segment, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button at the upper right-hand corner. Free Email Marketing Software App
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 go 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 set up how much tracking I wanted on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet once the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start building the email itself. If you would like to, you can construct your own email designs employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and much better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You can 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 large lists of contacts into a text form. When you make your Benchmark lists, they’ll show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather easy. Once you have finished all your tweaks, you can either save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to verify all is well before unleashing your email about the planet, it is possible to send it to yourself 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 actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, therefore 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 demand on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I have worked with several other apps where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given action. Users may export this data for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social media area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Free Email Marketing Software App
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain increased level marketers who need more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point varies, of course, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s key focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you want, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to create and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to easily build an email audience through their readers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to supply images for your Benchmark emails from places throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to different lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal customers for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails 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 enormous integration library here. Free Email Marketing Software App
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social networking and email advertising, it’s 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 that directly promote your institution’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 add a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — After you link 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 company also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users hoping to take part in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides 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 is likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning resources, but can be opaque at times. Key information is often buried and hard to find, especially in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, particularly in regards 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 in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Free Email Marketing Software App
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to 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. Accessible nearly 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. You will find over 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 their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer advice which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might want to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this program. The business also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You might also request a special webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active site. All readers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts 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 favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any installation on your PC.
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. Free Email Marketing Software App
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the inclusion of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys from most programs; many companies charge extra for these features or just include them into their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to those who have attempted many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who disliked Their Benchmark experience. However, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping needs, but other people will. Should you want your emails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, this might be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, so it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge number of pricing plans, such as a totally free plan and a huge scale 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 grab. There will be a small Benchmark logo at the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 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 multiple users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Free Email Marketing Software App
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising based on the number of emails that they send each month.
o Moderate 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 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options might very well be the best in the business for anybody who just wants to dive into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a small company which perspectives email as a minor aspect of its marketing and has no desire to work beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a simple email marketing program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there might come a time when you launch the app, it provides a lot for the money, offers exceptional service, and the company appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can’t ask for much more.