Summary How To Use Benchmark Email
For many a day 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 thought heart. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email advertising. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients 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 create a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the time, the company uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer needs. They also made sure from the outset that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising solutions to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In reality, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of the program. You may read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout features of the ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with each account — including the free ones. Below are some 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 classes, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company describes the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. How To Use Benchmark Email
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers having an Apple device to get several functions on the street. They can get and include contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a little more than many other businesses offer in their mobile apps, making them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you have 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 customer has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each internet browser has 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. Employing the entire app (which checks everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters from their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish a campaign and template within 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 allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The company explains this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both Listing 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 account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear path on how to make my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, proceed to the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. How To Use Benchmark Email
From there, you have to decide If You Would like 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 are someone 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 had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I desired on the message, as well as if I wanted an automated tweet when the effort went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email itself. If you would like to, you can assemble your own email layouts using an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify 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’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text type. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is rather easy. Once you have completed all of your tweaks, you may save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to verify everything is well before distributing your email on the world, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for shipping to see how timely the automatic system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you’re among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you may have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I’ve worked with a lot of different apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given action. Users may export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. How To Use Benchmark Email
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that info 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 changes, naturally, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark made 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 beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you need, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask 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 program permits users to create and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of their events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of subscriptions are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email audience via their readers. The plugin can automatically produce email versions of blog articles and allows 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 plug-in lets you supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to 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 subscribers to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles 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 . How To Use Benchmark Email
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral link between social networking and email marketing, it’s very important to look at the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of social media-specific templates which 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 allows you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to every email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users hoping to take part in spam activities. The company is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to maintain its standing as a spam-free provider, one of 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 provides a spam test feature that looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning resources, but may be opaque occasionally. Key information can be buried and hard to find, especially in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially in regards to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. How To Use Benchmark Email
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 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. 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 normal FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer information that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may want 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 the app. The company also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You might even ask for a special webinar on a number of other subjects. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who believe consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter 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 doesn’t Require any setup on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. How To Use Benchmark Email
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself too. People are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the addition of attributes like AB testing and surveys from all plans; many firms charge extra for such features or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad assortment of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to people who have attempted many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who disliked Their Benchmark experience. But, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. If you need your mails to go out exactly when your schedule dictates, you might need to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, leading receivers to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, this might be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, so it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing strategies, including a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid plans which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a little Benchmark emblem in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features list. 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 Use Benchmark Email
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email advertising based on the amount of emails that they send every 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 a month
o Massive Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may very well be the best in the business for anybody who only wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a small business which views email as a little aspect of its marketing and does not have any desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a simple email advertising program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it supplies a lot for the money, provides excellent support, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for much more.