Summary Html Email Marketing
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought hub. Backed by a little 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 on how best to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email advertising. Many of their thoughts were beyond the resources of this fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team personally 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 innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user requirements. They also made certain from the outset that anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing services to small and medium-sized 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 has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In reality, the company supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of the app. You may read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the simple fact that most of its attributes come standard with every single accounts — including the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most notable 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 such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of 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 own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Html Email Marketing
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several purposes on the street. They can get and include contacts, browse reportsand send videos via integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a little more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile apps, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you can build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages like anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email marketing is through 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 provides an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and every internet browser includes a signature fashion, making sure that your emails look great across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which checks everything out of 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 may create newsletters from their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users only have 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 link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from some other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and assess data. The business explains this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both Listing 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 pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you need to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear path about how to make my very first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, go into the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button in the top right-hand corner. Html Email Marketing
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization with 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 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, in addition to when I wanted an automatic tweet when the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email . If you want to, you are able to construct your own email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I managed 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 at a time. However, for those who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the personal 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, then they will show up on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather easy. When you’ve finished all your tweaks, you may either save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to check all is well before distributing your email on the planet, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for shipping to view how timely the automated system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, you might have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of other apps where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about every campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given activity. Users can export this data for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Html Email Marketing
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher level marketers who need more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will reach that point changes, of course, dependent on the business.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there is still hope. You can use the API or request 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 allows users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of programs are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email audience through their readers. The plug-in can automatically create email versions of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to different lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Html Email Marketing
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social media and email advertising, it’s important to check out the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your subscribers 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 concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate 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 business is fully 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, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that is likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but can be opaque occasionally. Key information can be buried and hard to find, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises 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 are you going to see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Html Email Marketing
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark in 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 almost 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any topic (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 are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide information which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this app. The company also supplies 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 particular webinar on a number of different topics. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing generally, in addition to 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 compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly helpful tool for those 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.”
· Website 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 current newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t 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. Html Email Marketing
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most typical observation regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of attributes like AB testing and surveys in all programs; many firms charge extra for these features or just include them into their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first time ESP users to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers 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 is an increasingly important factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. If you need your emails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you may 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 concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading recipients to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to stop this from happening, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, so it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a huge array of paid plans which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a small Benchmark emblem in the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the features list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Html Email Marketing
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising depending on the number of emails 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 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 lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may very well be the best in the business for anyone who just wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small business which views email as a little aspect of its marketing and has no desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Business looking for a easy email advertising program with a host of great features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Though there may come a time when you launch the app, it provides a lot for the price, offers excellent service, and the business seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for more.