Overview Marianne Scaffidi Benchmark Email
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought hub. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the while, the company uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email advertising solutions to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In fact, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of the program. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of this ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with each account — such as the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business describes the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your website or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Marianne Scaffidi Benchmark Email
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers having an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can get and include contacts, read reports, send videos via integration using a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. 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 plan to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as yearly messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become successful in email advertising is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each web browser includes a signature fashion, making certain that your emails look great across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply have to establish a campaign and template within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables 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 abilities to retrieve data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and check data. The company describes this role in more detail here.
· 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.
Benefits Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear direction about the best way best to create my first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, proceed to the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. Marianne Scaffidi Benchmark Email
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic 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 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 had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, in addition to 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 building the email itself. If you want to, you can construct your personal email designs using an extremely 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’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for those who already have a listing, 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 to a text form. Once you create your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather simple. Once you have completed all of your tweaks, you can either save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to check everything is well before unleashing your email on the world, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for shipping to view how timely the automatic system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was probably present in tolerance levels for many users. If you are one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary 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 would read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve worked with several different apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about each effort. The arguably most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. 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 media area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Marianne Scaffidi Benchmark Email
Though all of the information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain increased level marketers that want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with proper integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will reach that point varies, naturally, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you need, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or request an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to create and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of programs are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to easily build an email audience via their subscribers. The plug-in 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 list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you source pictures for your Benchmark mails from places throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to different lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of their PayPal customers for their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to see how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Marianne Scaffidi Benchmark Email
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social networking and email marketing, it is very important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list consists of social media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s participation in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email that will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The Business also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users trying to engage 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 maintain its reputation as a spam-free provider, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam test feature that looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that is likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning resources, but can be opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to locate, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute details about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Marianne Scaffidi Benchmark Email
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible nearly 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 is closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide information which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of the program. The company also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You can even request a particular webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, 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 compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly valuable tool for all those brand new to email marketing who believe consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active site. All subscribers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any setup on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Marianne Scaffidi Benchmark Email
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common monitoring regarding Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself too. People are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the inclusion of attributes including AB testing and surveys from all programs; many companies 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 extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad range of demographics, from first time ESP users to those who have tried many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who loathed 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 mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping needs, but others will. Should you want your emails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you might need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as junk rather than reading the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to stop this from occurring, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, therefore it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a huge array of paid programs that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem at the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Marianne Scaffidi Benchmark Email
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing depending 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 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 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer 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 best in the business for anyone who only wants to dive into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small business which perspectives email as a minor element of its advertising and does not have any desire to work beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email advertising program with a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the app, it supplies a lot for the price, offers excellent service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for more.