Summary Joomla Email Marketing
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and idea 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 expert) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small businesses 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 marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user 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 marketing services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the globe, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In reality, the company offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of this program. You can read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout features of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with each 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 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 retail. There’s also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company explains the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website 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 rates. Users on other plans have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Joomla Email Marketing
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the street. They can access and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a bit more than many other companies offer on their mobile apps, which makes them considerably 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 picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you can construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each 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 Types . The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each web browser includes a signature style, making certain that your emails look good across the board is important. 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 full program (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters from their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog 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) enables different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other programs 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 check data. The business describes this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers 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
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you have to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my new account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path about how to create my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go into the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Joomla Email Marketing
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go 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 personally gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I desired on the message, in addition to 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 eventually able to start building the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to assemble your personal email designs using an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and much better than I managed to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can 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 huge lists of contacts into a text type. Once you make your Benchmark lists, they will appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is rather simple. When you’ve finished all your tweaks, you may save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to verify everything is well before distributing your email about the planet, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to schedule my email for shipping to view how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you may need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a few reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I have worked with several other apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about every effort. The possibly most important statistic, the open speed, appears in both pie chart and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this information for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is 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 emails. Joomla Email Marketing
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that need more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that info with proper integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point varies, naturally, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you want, there is still hope. You can use the API or ask an 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 app permits users to create and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events via their Benchmark Email account. A variety of programs are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to easily build an email viewer through their readers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to different lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails 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 . Joomla Email Marketing
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social networking and email marketing, it’s important to check out the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button to your own 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 Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The Business also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users hoping to engage in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to maintain its standing as a spam-free supplier, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature which 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 is very likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
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 hard to find, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about plans. For instance. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Joomla Email Marketing
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can execute a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. 1 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 offer advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this app. The company also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You might even request a special webinar on quite a few different subjects. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly helpful tool for all those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as 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 latest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any installation 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. Joomla Email Marketing
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most common monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the addition of attributes like AB analyzing and surveys from most plans; many firms charge extra for these features or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide range of demographics, from first time ESP users to people who have attempted many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of 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 own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. If you need your emails to go out precisely when your program dictates, you might have to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as spam and not studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to stop this from happening, this may be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, so it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge number of pricing strategies, including a totally free plan and a huge array of paid programs that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem in the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the attributes list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Joomla Email Marketing
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email advertising depending on the amount of mails that 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 Strategies. 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 credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the best in the company for anybody who just wants to dive into email marketing (especially small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a small company which views email as a little element of its advertising and does not have any desire to work beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Company trying to find 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 outgrow the program, it supplies a great deal for the money, provides excellent service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for much more.