Overview Genius Email Marketing Software
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and thought heart. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the resources of this fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail 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 usage of email marketing, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the time, the business championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email marketing services to small and medium-sized 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’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 roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In reality, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of this program. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with each account — such as the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users 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 retailstores. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company describes the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of 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 particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Genius Email Marketing Software
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers with an Apple device to get several purposes on the street. They can access and add contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a little more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile apps, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you may build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as yearly messages such as birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around website 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 style, making certain your emails look good across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire program (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from 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 inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows 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 play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The business describes this function 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 accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction about how best to make my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief 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. Genius Email Marketing Software
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move 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 gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop option.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I desired on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet when the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email itself. If you want to, you are able to assemble your personal email designs using an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and much better than I managed to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly 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 are able to 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 huge lists of contacts to a text form. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is quite easy. When you’ve completed all your tweaks, you may either save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before distributing your email about the world, it is possible to send it to yourself 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 actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I have worked with a lot of different apps where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about every campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, seems 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 associated with a given activity. Users may export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social media area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Genius Email Marketing Software
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that information 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 changes, naturally, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed 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 company’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you want, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or request 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 program allows users to create and customize events, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to easily build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically produce email versions of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you source images for your Benchmark emails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to different lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of the PayPal clients for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to see how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Genius Email Marketing Software
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social media and email advertising, it’s important to check out the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s involvement in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which permits you to bring 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 enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· 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 that 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 collection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users trying to engage in spam actions. The company 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, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature which looks for words widely used 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 help large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning tools, but can be needlessly opaque at times. Key information is often buried and hard to find, particularly in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, particularly when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Genius Email Marketing Software
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible almost 24 hours daily 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 foundation than a typical FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the app. The business also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You might also request a special webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions during 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 specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly helpful tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any installation on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Genius Email Marketing Software
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the inclusion of attributes including AB testing and surveys from all plans; many companies charge extra for such features or only include them into their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment of demographics, from first time ESP users to those who have attempted many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with 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 significant aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. However, I was able to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue 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 all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. Should you need your mails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you might have to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as spam and not studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is to prevent this from happening, this may be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a huge scale of paid plans 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 little Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the features list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Genius Email Marketing Software
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing depending on the amount of mails that they send each month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per 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 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may very well be the very best in the company for anyone who just wants to dive into email marketing (especially small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small company which views email as a minor aspect of its advertising and has no desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company trying to find a easy email advertising program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there might come a time when you outgrow the app, it supplies a great deal for the price, provides exceptional service, and the business seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can’t ask for much more.