Summary Marketing Email Campaign Software
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that functioned as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the resources of the fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients 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 marketing, while working hard to make a simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the time, the business championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. 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 current focus. Providing worldwide email marketing solutions to small and midsize 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 functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the planet, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of the program. You can read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, among the standout features of this ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with every single account — including the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries like education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans 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 increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Marketing Email Campaign Software
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the road. They can access and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration using a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a little more than a number of other businesses offer on their mobile apps, which makes them considerably more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you can build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or made as annual messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be successful in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and each web browser has a signature style, making sure that 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. Employing the entire program (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters from their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply need to establish a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and check statistics. The business explains this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits 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 is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path about the best way to make my very first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, go into the Emails segment, then hit the big blue”Create New Email” button at the upper right-hand corner. Marketing Email Campaign Software
From there, you must 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 using the built-in code editor. If you are somebody 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 option.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I desired on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automatic tweet once the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email itself. If you want to, you can assemble your personal email designs using a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and better than I was able to do on my own.
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 listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You can 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. When you make your Benchmark lists, they’ll appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is quite simple. Once you’ve finished all your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to verify everything is well before unleashing your email on the world, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for delivery to see how timely the automatic system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably present in tolerance levels for many users. If you are one of 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 mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of different programs where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about every effort. The possibly most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this information for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Marketing Email Campaign Software
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a lot of this info with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will reach that point varies, of course, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the company’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 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 see 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 program allows users to make and customize events, promote and market tickets, and track the success of their events via their Benchmark Email account. A variety of programs are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email versions of blog articles and permits users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to supply images for your Benchmark emails from places throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and instantly 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 are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to different lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal clients to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Marketing Email Campaign Software
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social media and email marketing, it is important to check out the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of social media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which permits 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”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your subscribers 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 selection of personal data from citizens of these countries. 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 customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users trying to take part in spam actions. The business is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to maintain its standing as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam check feature that looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support tools. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning resources, but may be opaque at times. Crucial information can be buried and hard to find, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly in regards to minute details about strategies. For instance. 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 at the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Marketing Email Campaign Software
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. 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 countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and restricted 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 foundation than a normal FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. One 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 information that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may want to contact support 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 offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may 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 different subjects. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be 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 most popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active site. 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 at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any setup on your computer.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Marketing Email Campaign Software
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it is really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of features like AB analyzing and surveys from all programs; many firms charge extra for such attributes or only include them in their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a wide assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have tried many different programs before settling on 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 is an increasingly significant factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. But, I was able to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. If you want your emails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you may have to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user 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 recipients to mark them as junk rather than reading the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from occurring, this may be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid programs which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a small Benchmark logo at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Marketing Email Campaign Software
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing based on the number of mails they send each month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per 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 lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It is easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the best in the business for anyone who only wants to dive into email marketing (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a small company which perspectives email as a little element of its marketing and has no desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company looking for a simple email marketing program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it supplies a great deal for the price, provides excellent service, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for more.