Summary Free Newsletters By Email
For many an evening 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 idea heart. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively simple concept. Simple email advertising. Many of the ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff personally sold them on the usage of email marketing, while working hard to create a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the business championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made certain from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email marketing solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help children 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 large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of this program. 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 industry, one of the standout characteristics of the ESP is the simple fact that most of its features come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There is 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 feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your website or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting customers’ 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 company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Free Newsletters By Email
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers having an Apple device to access several functions on the street. They can access and add contacts, read reports, send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than many other companies offer in their mobile programs, which makes them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to use on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or made as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and every web browser includes a signature style, making certain that your emails look good across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire app (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply have to set up a campaign and template within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check data. The company explains this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you need to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction on how best to make my first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, go to the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Free Newsletters By Email
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization with 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 personally gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I desired on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automatic tweet once the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin constructing the email . If you want to, you are able to assemble your own email layouts using 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.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts to a text form. When you make your Benchmark lists, they’ll show up on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is quite simple. Once you have finished all your tweaks, you may 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, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for delivery to see how timely the automatic system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, you may have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I’ve worked with several other apps where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this data for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, who opens your emails. Free Newsletters By Email
Though all of the 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 whole lot of this info with proper integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point changes, naturally, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s key 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 larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you need, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to make and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and track the success of their events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· 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 review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to quickly build an email audience through their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email versions of blog articles and allows 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 allows you to source pictures for your Benchmark emails from places throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to different lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal clients for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails 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 Newsletters By Email
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral link between social media and email marketing, it’s important to check out the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list consists of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s participation in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”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 fan pages, to help you convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email which 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 regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the security of all 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 their users hoping to take part in spam actions. The business is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to maintain its standing as a spam-free supplier, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
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 every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that is likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support resources. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning tools, but can be opaque occasionally. Key information is often buried and difficult to locate, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute particulars about plans. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Free Newsletters By Email
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form . Accessible 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. Accessible nearly 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 because it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a typical 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 subject (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. One 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 provide information which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may want to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of the program. The company also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You might also request a special webinar on a number of different topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those new to email marketing who feel consumed by all of 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 info regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically gain 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 latest newsletters on message boards in 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 does not Require any setup on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
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. Free Newsletters By Email
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most common monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys in all programs; many companies charge extra for these features or only include them in their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email layout 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 not able to find many people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. If you need your mails to go out precisely whenever your program dictates, you might have 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 may feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as spam and not studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is to prevent this from occurring, this might be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a huge array of paid plans which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem in the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Free Newsletters By Email
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising based on the number of mails that 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 a 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 lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the very best in the company for anybody who just wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small company which views email as a minor element 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 easy email marketing program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the app, it provides a great deal for the money, provides exceptional support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can not ask for much more.