Overview Maestro Email Marketing Software
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email advertising. Many of the ideas were beyond the resources of the fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail 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 usage of email advertising, while working hard to create a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the while, the business championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user requirements. They also made certain from the outset that anybody who needed help would have quick access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist children in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In fact, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from local users of the program. You can read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with each accounts — such as the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company explains the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your site or construct it 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 choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . 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 works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Maestro Email Marketing Software
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers having an Apple device to get 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. That is quite a bit more than a number of other businesses offer on their mobile apps, which makes them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or designed as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become prosperous in email advertising is through growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program is different and each web browser includes a signature style, making sure your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire program (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply need to set up a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The company explains this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides 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 pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you need to confirm your email address. This was 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 very clear path on how to create my first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides 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 Email” button in the top right-hand corner. Maestro Email Marketing Software
From there, you have to decide if you want 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 personally gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much tracking I desired on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wished 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 own email designs employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and much better than I managed to do in my.
Sending 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 those who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text form. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is quite easy. When you have completed all your tweaks, you can save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to verify all is well before unleashing your email on the planet, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for delivery to view how timely the automatic system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly perfect, it was likely present in tolerance levels for many users. If you’re one of the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with several different apps where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each effort. The arguably most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users can export this information for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Maestro Email Marketing Software
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers that need more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that info with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will reach that point varies, naturally, based on the business.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s main focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have constraints.
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’re able to use the API or request an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of the events via their Benchmark Email account. A variety of programs are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to quickly build an email audience via their readers. The plugin 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 review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source images for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of their PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to see how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Maestro Email Marketing Software
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key connection between social media and email marketing, it’s very important to check out the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s participation in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, 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 concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users trying to engage in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature which looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that is likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support tools. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning tools, but can be opaque at times. Key information can be buried and difficult to locate, particularly in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, particularly when it comes to minute details about strategies. For instance. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Maestro Email Marketing Software
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available 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 because it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from the 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. A few of the QandAs provide advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might want to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the app. The company also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may see 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 other subjects. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those new to email marketing who feel consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active blog. All readers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any installation on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Maestro Email Marketing Software
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most common monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself as well. People today are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys from most programs; many firms charge extra for these attributes or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a wide range of demographics, from first time ESP users to people who have tried many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers 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 take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping needs, but others will. If you want your emails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, causing receivers to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, so it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety 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 charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a little Benchmark emblem at the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Maestro Email Marketing Software
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing based on the amount of mails that they send each month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Strategies. 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 Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the very best in the business for anyone who only wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a small business which perspectives email as a minor element of its advertising and has no desire to work past the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company looking for a easy email advertising program using a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a great deal for the money, provides excellent service, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for much more.