Overview How To Send Bulk Email
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office which served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and thought heart. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO expert) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the company uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email marketing solutions to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, however, the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company supplies a full page of testimonials from users of this program. You can read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the simple fact that most of 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 classes, some of which are tailored to specific industries like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company describes the advantages of this feature 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 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 plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost 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 clients’ 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 clients’ behalf. How To Send Bulk Email
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers having an Apple device to get several functions on the street. They can get and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than many other businesses offer in their mobile programs, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to use in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you can build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the ability to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each web browser includes a signature fashion, making certain that your emails look good across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full program (which checks everything from 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 automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The company explains this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear direction on how to make my very first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, proceed to the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. How To Send Bulk Email
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go 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 moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start constructing the email . If you would like to, you can assemble your personal email designs using an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and much better than I managed to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for those 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 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 create your Benchmark lists, they’ll show up on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite simple. When you’ve finished all your tweaks, you may save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to check all is well before unleashing your email on the world, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for delivery to view how timely the automatic system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you are among 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 into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of other apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users can export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. How To Send Bulk Email
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers who need more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that information with proper integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will reach that point changes, of course, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s main focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe 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 Occasions is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of the events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to easily build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically produce 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 source images for your Benchmark mails from places across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark accounts 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 mechanically 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 any of their PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s enormous integration library . How To Send Bulk Email
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social media and email advertising, it’s very important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing is made of social media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal details.
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 trying to engage in spam activities. The company is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to maintain its reputation as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature that looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Client 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 resources, but can be opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to find, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially when it comes to minute details about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. How To Send Bulk Email
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to 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. Available almost 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer information that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this app. The business also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You might even ask for a special webinar on quite a few different subjects. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, in 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 compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active site. All subscribers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles 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 discuss newsletter production strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any setup on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
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. How To Send Bulk Email
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most common monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. 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 website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of features like AB analyzing and surveys in most programs; many firms charge extra for these attributes or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a wide range of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to those who have attempted a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with 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 factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who disliked Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. Should you need your mails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you may need to take into account this situation.
· 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 recipients to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to stop this from occurring, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, therefore it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge variety of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a huge array of paid plans that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a small Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the features list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. How To Send Bulk Email
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing depending on the number of emails they send each month.
o Moderate 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 per month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options may very well be the very best in the company for anybody who only wants to dive into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a small business which perspectives email as a minor aspect of its advertising and has no desire to work beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email advertising program with a host of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Though there may come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a lot for the money, offers excellent service, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for more.