Overview Improve Email Marketing
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea hub. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff personally sold them on the use of email advertising, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the business championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user needs. They also made certain from the outset that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email marketing solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only 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 up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, but the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the company supplies a full page of testimonials from users of this app. You can read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout features of this ESP is the simple fact that most of its attributes come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business describes the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or build it directly 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 programs have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting clients’ 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 support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Improve Email Marketing
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can get and include contacts, browse reports, send videos via integration using a YouTube accounts, 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, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as yearly messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become successful in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and every internet browser includes a signature style, making certain your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire app (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply have to set up a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The business explains this function 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.
Benefits Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path on the best way to make my first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go to the Emails section, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Improve Email Marketing
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 with 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 went with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was prompted 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 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 are able to construct 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 managed to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are several 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 to a text form. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is quite simple. When you have finished all of your tweaks, you can save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to verify everything is well before distributing your email on the world, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for delivery to see how timely the automatic system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more infrequent users who demand 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 perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with a lot of different programs where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the available rate, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given activity. Users may export this information for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by state, who opens your emails. Improve Email Marketing
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain higher level marketers that need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will reach that point changes, of course, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s key focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe the integration you need, 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 create and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to easily build an email viewer through 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 listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to supply images for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may 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 app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and use the analytics to see how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library . Improve Email Marketing
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral link between social networking and email marketing, it is very important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template listing is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation 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”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email which will direct your readers 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 those nations. When clients 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 all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users hoping 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 standing as a spam-free provider, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam check feature which 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 is very likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning tools, but may be opaque occasionally. Key information is often buried and difficult to find, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, especially when it comes to minute details about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each 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 those resources Benchmark offers. Improve Email Marketing
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can 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. 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 typical FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide information which is wholly inaccurate, 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 this program. The company also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You can even ask for a special webinar on quite a few different topics. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly valuable tool for all those new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active site. All readers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their latest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favourite 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. Improve Email Marketing
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the inclusion of attributes like AB analyzing and surveys in most programs; many firms charge extra for such attributes or only include them into their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad assortment of demographics, from first time ESP users to people who have attempted a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more 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 people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. However, I was able to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. Should you want your mails to go out exactly when your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, causing receivers to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to stop this from happening, this might be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing plans, such as a 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, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There will be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the features list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Improve Email Marketing
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing depending on the amount of mails 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 a 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 teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the very best in the business for anybody who only wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a little business which views email as a minor aspect of its advertising and does not have any desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company looking for a easy email marketing program with a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there might come a time when you launch the app, it provides a lot for the money, provides excellent support, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for more.