Overview Free Email Marketing Templates
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and thought heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the resources of the fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff sold them on the use of email advertising, while working hard to create a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the company uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user needs. They also made sure from the outset that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising solutions to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the planet, but the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the company supplies a full page of testimonials from users of the program. You can read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of 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 like education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company explains the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll 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 choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Free Email Marketing Templates
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers having an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can get and add contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a bit more than many other businesses offer in their mobile programs, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to use in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you can construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or designed as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be prosperous in email advertising is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The business 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. Since every email program is different and each web browser includes a signature fashion, making certain that your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need to set up a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The company describes this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers 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 pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction on how best to create my very first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, proceed to the Emails segment, then hit the big blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. Free Email Marketing Templates
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go 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 personally 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 observation I desired on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automatic tweet once the campaign went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to construct your personal email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that 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 certainly do as I did and manually enter 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 right 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 will appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is rather simple. When you have completed all your tweaks, you can either save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check all is well before distributing 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 delivery to view how timely the automated system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really quickly. 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 data about every effort. The possibly most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given activity. Users can export this information for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Free Email Marketing Templates
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of this info with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will get to that point varies, of course, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you need, there is still hope. You can use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to create and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events via their Benchmark Email accounts. 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 maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer through their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email versions of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to different lists based on which products they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of the PayPal clients to their 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 website builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Free Email Marketing Templates
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social media and email advertising, it is important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous 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 very simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to each email which will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking pages.
The company 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 these nations. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection 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 policy for any of the users hoping to engage in spam activities. The business is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to preserve its standing as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature that looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that is 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 reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning tools, but can be opaque at times. Crucial information is often buried and hard to find, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially when it comes to minute details about plans. For instance. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Free Email Marketing Templates
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 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. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to a 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 of their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this app. The business also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You might even ask for a particular webinar on quite a few different subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly helpful tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any setup on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Free Email Marketing Templates
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the inclusion of attributes like AB analyzing and surveys from most programs; many companies charge extra for these features or just include them in their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a wide range of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly important factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but others will. Should you need your mails to go out precisely whenever your program dictates, you might need to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing recipients to mark them as junk rather than reading the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, this might be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, so it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge number of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid plans that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a small Benchmark logo at the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always choose 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 around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the attributes list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Free Email Marketing Templates
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email marketing based on the amount of mails they send each month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may just be the best in the business for anybody who just wants to dive into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a small business which perspectives email as a little aspect of its marketing and has no desire to operate past the principles just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Company looking for a simple email marketing program using a multitude of amazing 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 excellent service, and the company appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for much more.