Summary Greathorn Email Security Benchmark
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the group’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, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail 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 usage of email marketing, while working hard to create a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the company uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made certain 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 global email advertising services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of the app. You may read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There’s also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other programs have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Greathorn Email Security Benchmark
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to access several functions on the street. They can get and include contacts, read reports, send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than a number of other businesses offer on their mobile programs, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to utilize in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages like anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become successful in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and each web browser has a signature style, making certain that your emails look great across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full app (which checks everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their sites automatically 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) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other apps that 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 effort sending, and assess data. The company explains this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides 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 fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear path on the best way to create my very first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, proceed to the Emails segment, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button in the top right-hand corner. Greathorn Email Security Benchmark
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you’re someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I wanted on the message, as well as when I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email itself. If you want to, you can assemble your personal email designs employing a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and much better than I was able to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You are able to 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 huge lists of contacts into a text type. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is rather easy. When you have completed all your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to check all is well before unleashing your email about the world, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for shipping to see how timely the automated system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was likely within tolerance levels for many users. If you’re among the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
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 quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. 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 Pieces of information about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given activity. Users can export this information for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by country, who opens your emails. Greathorn Email Security Benchmark
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain increased level marketers who need more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that information with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will reach that point varies, naturally, dependent on the company.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you need, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email audience through their subscribers. The plugin can automatically create email versions of blog posts and permits 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 plugin allows you to supply pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations across the web. Benchmark Power captures images you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to different lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal clients for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to observe how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Greathorn Email Security Benchmark
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social networking and email advertising, it is very important to check out the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s participation in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — After you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email which will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The Business also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users hoping to engage in spam activities. 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 provider, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature that looks for words widely used in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning resources, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to find, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t find 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. Greathorn Email Security Benchmark
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 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 daily Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide information that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of the app. The business also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You might even request a particular webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files 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 manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly helpful tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel consumed by all 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 info regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active site. All subscribers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards at 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 doesn’t Require any setup on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Greathorn Email Security Benchmark
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People today tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of features including AB analyzing and surveys from all plans; many companies charge extra for such features or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad range of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to people 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 an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly important aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who disliked Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. If you want your mails to go out precisely when your program dictates, you might have to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as spam rather than reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to stop this from occurring, this might be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge variety of pricing plans, such as a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid plans that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a small Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid plan 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 Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the features list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Greathorn Email Security Benchmark
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing depending on the number of emails that they send every 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 Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per 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 lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may very well be the best in the business for anyone who just wants to dive into email advertising (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a little business which perspectives email as a little aspect of its advertising and has no desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email advertising program with a multitude 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 money, offers excellent support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can not ask for much more.