Overview Free Email Marketing Software For Mac
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought 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 expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small companies located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff personally sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to create a simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the time, the business uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user requirements. They also made certain from the outset that anyone who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising services to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, but the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In reality, the company supplies a full page of testimonials from users of this app. You can read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most 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 nearly all its features come standard with every single account — including the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers 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’s also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company describes the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or build it 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 programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Free Email Marketing Software For Mac
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers having an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can access and include contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a bit more than a number of other companies offer on their mobile apps, which makes them much more operational.
· 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 photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· 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 mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as annual messages like birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and each internet browser has a signature fashion, making sure that your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire program (which 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 may create newsletters from their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only need 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-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The business describes this role in more detail here.
· 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 pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my new account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction on the best way best to make my very first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go to the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Email” button in the top right-hand corner. Free Email Marketing Software For Mac
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you’re someone 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 motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet once the campaign went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start constructing the email itself. If you want to, you can assemble your own email designs employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and better than I was able to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from your 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 appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is rather simple. When you have completed all your tweaks, you can either save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify everything is well before unleashing your email on the world, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for shipping to view how timely the automatic system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you may have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a few reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost immediately. I have worked with a lot of other programs where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides 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 activity. Users can export this data for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your mails. Free Email Marketing Software For Mac
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain increased level marketers who need more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will get to that point varies, naturally, based on the business.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark designed 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 main focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email advertising. 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 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 request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Occasions 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 market tickets, and monitor the success of their events via their Benchmark Email account. A variety of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plug-in 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 review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you supply images for your Benchmark emails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to various lists based on what they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of their PayPal clients for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Free Email Marketing Software For Mac
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social networking and email advertising, it is important to check out the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template listing consists of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Email — After you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to each email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users hoping to take part in spam actions. The company is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free provider, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words commonly utilized 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 high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning resources, but may 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 searching for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every 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 is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Free Email Marketing Software For Mac
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can 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. Available nearly 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 is closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are 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 of their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this 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 watch the recorded version at any moment. You might even request a particular webinar on a number of other subjects. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing generally, 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 advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly valuable tool for all those new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. All readers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides 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 discuss newsletter production approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Free Email Marketing Software For Mac
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most common monitoring regarding Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself as well. People are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it is really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of attributes like AB testing and surveys from most programs; many companies charge extra for such features or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to people who have tried many different programs before settling on 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 people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. Should you want your emails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you may have to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, leading recipients to mark them as spam and not studying the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP is to stop this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, so it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge variety of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a massive array of paid plans that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a small Benchmark logo at the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the features list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Free Email Marketing Software For Mac
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing based on the amount of emails that they send each month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the best in the company for anybody who just wants to dive into email marketing (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small company which views email as a minor element of its advertising and does not have any desire to operate past the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Business looking for a easy email advertising program using a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there may come a time when you outgrow the app, it provides a great deal for the price, offers exceptional service, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for more.