Overview Get Email List
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea 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 search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of the fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the time, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. They also made certain from the outset that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email marketing solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has 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, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of the app. You can 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 business, one of the standout features of the ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with every single account — such as 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 retailstores. There is also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business explains the benefits of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or construct it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other programs have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Get Email List
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers having an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can get and include contacts, read reportsand send videos via integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a little more than a number of other businesses offer on their mobile apps, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· 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 mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and each web browser has a signature style, making sure your emails look great across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 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 have to establish a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and check 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
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you have to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path about how best to create my first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, proceed into the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Mail” button in the top right-hand corner. Get Email List
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move 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 alternative.
I had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I desired on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start building the email . If you would like to, you are able to construct your personal email designs employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I managed to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large 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 sending of the email is quite simple. When you have finished all your tweaks, you can save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify everything 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 program my email for shipping to view 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 perfect, it was likely present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, you may 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.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a couple of reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve 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 possibly most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given activity. Users can export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by country, that opens your emails. Get Email List
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain higher level marketers that need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will reach that point varies, of course, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there is still hope. You can 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 app permits users to make and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and track the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of subscriptions are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts 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 allows users to easily build an email audience through their readers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog articles and permits 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 plug-in lets you source pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures images you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to various lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal clients to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to see how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Get Email List
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key connection between social networking and email marketing, it is important to check out the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template list consists of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to every email which will direct your readers to each of your social media 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 these nations. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users trying to engage in spam actions. The company is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to preserve its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature that 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 is very likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning tools, but can be opaque at times. Key information can be buried and difficult to locate, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute details about strategies. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Get Email List
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible almost 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 as it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might need to contact support 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 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 watch the recorded version at any time. You can even ask for a particular webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly valuable tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain 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 latest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production strategies, vote for their favorite 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 PC.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
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. Get Email List
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most common monitoring concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of features like AB analyzing and surveys in all plans; many companies charge extra for such attributes or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a broad range of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to those who have attempted a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their Benchmark experience. But, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours after they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping needs, but other people will. If you need your mails to go out precisely when your program dictates, you may need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as junk and not reading the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, this might be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, so it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge variety of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a huge scale of paid plans that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a small Benchmark emblem in the bottom of each 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 allows you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the features list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Get Email List
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing based on the number of mails that they send each month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large 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 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the very best in the company for anybody who just wants to dive into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a little company which perspectives email as a minor element of its advertising and has no desire to operate beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company trying to find a easy email advertising program with a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Even though there may come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a lot for the money, offers excellent service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for more.