Summary Interspire Email Marketer
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought hub. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the means of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small companies 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 create a simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the time, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising services to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the globe, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company offers a full page of testimonials from local users of the app. 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 business, among the standout features of this ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to particular industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business explains 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 website or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans have 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 own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting clients’ emails 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. Interspire Email Marketer
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers having an Apple device to access several functions on the street. They can get and add contacts, read reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than many other companies offer in their mobile programs, which makes them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. 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 provides an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and every web 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 that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (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 can create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply have to set up a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and check data. The company describes this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path on how best to create my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, proceed into the Emails segment, then hit on the large blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Interspire Email Marketer
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization using 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 alternative.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I desired on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email itself. If you want to, you are able to construct your personal email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and much better than I was able to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are 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 numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text type. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they will show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather easy. Once you’ve completed all your tweaks, you can either save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to check all is well before distributing your email on the planet, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for delivery to see how timely the automated system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a couple of reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve worked with a lot of other apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie chart and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given activity. Users can export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Interspire Email Marketer
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will get to that point changes, naturally, based on the business.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark designed 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 organization’s key focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you need, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to make and customize events, promote and market tickets, and track the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of subscriptions are available, including a free alternative.
· 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.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to quickly build an email audience via their subscribers. The plugin can automatically create email versions of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you supply pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of their PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Interspire Email Marketer
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral link between social media and email marketing, it’s very important to look at the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing is made of social media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers 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 subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to each 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 regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business 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 junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users trying to take part in spam actions. The company is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam check feature that looks for words widely 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” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning resources, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to find, especially if you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute details about plans. As an example. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Interspire Email Marketer
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 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 per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Founded 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. There are more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can 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 is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might want to contact assistance 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 Email Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You can also request a particular webinar on quite a few other subjects. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for those new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active site. All readers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides 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 discuss newsletter production strategies, 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 installation on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Interspire Email Marketer
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself as well. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of features including AB testing and surveys from most plans; many firms charge extra for these attributes or only include them into their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP users to people who have tried a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly important aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping needs, but others will. If you need your emails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you might have to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, leading receivers to mark them as spam rather than reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP is to stop this from occurring, this may be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, so it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge number of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a huge scale of paid programs which may 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’ll be a little Benchmark logo in the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Interspire Email Marketer
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing based on the number 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 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 allows you to 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 invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may just be the very best in the company for anyone who just wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little company which views email as a minor aspect of its advertising and does not have any desire to operate beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business looking for a easy email advertising program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it supplies a lot for the money, offers exceptional service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can not ask for much more.