Summary Group Mail Email Marketing Software
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought hub. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively simple concept. Simple email advertising. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving 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 that would be easy to operate. All the while, the company championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. 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 global email marketing services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In fact, the company offers a full page of testimonials from local users of this program. You can read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features of this ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single accounts — including the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to particular industries like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company explains the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website 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 benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Group Mail Email Marketing Software
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the road. They can get and include contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a little more than many other companies offer in their mobile apps, making them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you plan to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you can construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the power to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be prosperous in email advertising is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and every internet browser includes a signature fashion, making sure that your emails look good across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire app (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 from their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users only have to establish a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and check statistics. The company explains this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my new account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path about how to create my very 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 make a new effort, proceed to the Emails segment, then hit on the big blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. Group Mail Email Marketing Software
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to 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 gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet once 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 begin constructing the email . If you would like to, you are able to assemble your own email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I was able to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually input contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You are able to 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 dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather simple. When you’ve completed all of 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 verify all is well before distributing 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 view how timely the automated system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you may have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I have worked with several different programs where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about every effort. The possibly most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given action. Users can export this information for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social media area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Group Mail Email Marketing Software
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers who need more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a 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, naturally, based on the company.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the fact that customers 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’s still hope. You can use the API or request an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program permits users to make and customize events, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A number of programs are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email audience via their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email variations of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to supply images for your Benchmark emails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts 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 account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to different lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of their PayPal clients to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to observe how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library here. Group Mail Email Marketing Software
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social media and email advertising, it is very important to check out the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive 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 provides a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides 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 connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to each email which will direct your readers to each of your social networking 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 these nations. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy 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 maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature which looks for words commonly 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 the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support tools. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Key information is often buried and hard to locate, especially in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially when it comes to minute particulars about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to 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. Group Mail Email Marketing Software
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available nearly 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 as it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. There are over 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 their 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 offer advice which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this app. The company also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail 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 ask for a special webinar on a number of different subjects. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain 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 in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production strategies, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any setup on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Group Mail Email Marketing Software
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common monitoring regarding Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the addition of attributes like AB testing and surveys in all plans; many companies charge extra for these attributes or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad range 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 an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their emails 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 want your mails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you might need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user 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 email, leading recipients to mark them as spam rather than reading the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, this may be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous number of pricing plans, including a free plan and a massive scale of paid plans which 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 grab. There will be a small Benchmark logo in the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Group Mail Email Marketing Software
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising based on the amount of emails that they send every month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per 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 a 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 lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the best in the company for anybody who only wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little business which views email as a little element of its advertising and does not have any desire to operate beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email advertising program using a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, 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 not ask for much more.