Overview Market Benchmark
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office that served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and idea heart. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the resources of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team personally sold them on the usage of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface that 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 certain from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide 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 has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, but the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization supplies a complete page of testimonials from local users of this program. You can read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout features of the ESP is the fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with each account — including the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless 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 retailstores. 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 business explains the advantages 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 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 boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Market Benchmark
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the street. They can get and add contacts, browse reports, send videos via integration with a YouTube account, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a little more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile apps, making them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some color 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 construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or made as annual messages like birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be prosperous in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each web browser has a signature style, making sure your emails look good across the board is important. You can 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 from 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 may create newsletters from their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only have to set up a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and check data. The company explains this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List 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 business name, you need to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my new account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear path about how to make my very first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, proceed into the Emails section, then hit on the big blue”Create New Email” button in the top right-hand corner. Market Benchmark
From there, you have to decide If You Would like an RSS Or classic email message. You can 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 was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted 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 wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email . If you want to, you can assemble your personal email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I managed to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from your personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text type. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is quite simple. When you have finished all of your tweaks, you may save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to verify all is well before unleashing your email on 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 actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, 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.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of other programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about each effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given action. Users may export this information for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, who opens your emails. Market Benchmark
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain higher level marketers who need more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that information with proper integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will get to that point varies, naturally, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe the integration you want, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to create and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of their events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer through their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically produce email versions of blog posts and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in allows you to supply images for your Benchmark emails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to different lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of the PayPal customers for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Market Benchmark
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral link between social networking and email marketing, it’s important to check out the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template list consists of social media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to every email that will direct your subscribers 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 those nations. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
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 hoping to take part in spam activities. The company is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores each 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” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning resources, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and hard to find, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. That 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 at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Market Benchmark
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available nearly 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation 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 key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this app. The company also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You might also request a special webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions during the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for those new to email marketing who feel absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain 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 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 entirely web-based and does not Require any setup on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Market Benchmark
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most common monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it is really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of attributes like AB analyzing and surveys in all plans; many firms charge extra for these features or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad range of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have attempted many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users 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 can be an increasingly important aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. Should you need your mails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you might need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, leading receivers to mark them as junk and not reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this might be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, so it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge variety of pricing plans, including a free plan and a massive scale of paid plans that can 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 small Benchmark emblem in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Market Benchmark
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising depending on the number of mails that they send each month.
o Medium 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 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 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may just be the best in the company for anybody who only wants to dip into email marketing (especially small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little business which views email as a minor element of its advertising and does not have any desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email advertising 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 provides a great deal for the money, offers exceptional support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for much more.