Overview Marketing Email Marketing
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office that functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in close 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 very simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the time, the business championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user needs. They also made sure from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing solutions to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the planet, but the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of the app. You may read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout features of the ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There’s also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company describes the benefits of this feature 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 directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. 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 .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Marketing Email Marketing
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the street. They can access and include contacts, read reports, send videos via integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a little more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile programs, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to utilize in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop accessible.
· 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 build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as yearly messages such as birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely 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 is different and every internet browser has a signature style, making certain your emails look great across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using 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 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters from their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only have to establish 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-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with 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 permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The business explains this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my new account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction about the best way best to create my first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go to the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. Marketing Email Marketing
From there, you must 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’re someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally 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 setup how much tracking I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automated tweet when 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 start building the email . If you would like to, you can assemble your personal email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and much better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts one at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text type. When you make your Benchmark lists, they will show up on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather simple. When you have completed all your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify everything is well before unleashing your email on the world, you can 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 automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you’re among the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
The 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 from the Benchmark system almost immediately. I have worked with several different programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about each effort. The possibly 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 misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given action. Users can export this data for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by country, who opens your emails. Marketing Email Marketing
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher level marketers who need more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will reach that point varies, of course, based on the company.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just beginning in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe the integration you need, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to create and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of subscriptions are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email audience through their readers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations of blog articles and allows 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 plugin lets you supply pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures images you find and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark accounts 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 mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to various 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 account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and also use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Marketing Email Marketing
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social media and email advertising, it’s very important to check out the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section 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 simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to each email that will direct your readers 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 regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users hoping to engage in spam actions. The business is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words widely 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 high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning tools, but may be opaque at times. Key information can be buried and difficult to find, particularly in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute details about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Marketing Email Marketing
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 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 per day Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might want to contact assistance 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 this app. The company also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You might even ask for a particular webinar on a number of different subjects. Live webinars include the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, 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 readable chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for all those new to email marketing who feel consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active site. All subscribers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their latest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any setup on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star score on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Marketing Email Marketing
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the inclusion of features like AB testing and surveys from most plans; many firms charge extra for these features or just include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a wide range of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to people who have tried many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users 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 consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their Benchmark experience. However, I was able to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours when they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping needs, but other people will. Should you want your emails to go out exactly when your schedule dictates, you may have to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing recipients to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from happening, this might be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, so it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge number of pricing plans, including a free plan and a massive array of paid plans that 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 little Benchmark logo at the bottom of each email you send out. Of course, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Marketing Email Marketing
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email marketing based on the number of emails 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 Strategies. 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 a 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 solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the best in the business for anyone who just wants to dive into email advertising (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a small business which views email as a little element of its advertising and has no desire to operate beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company looking for a easy email marketing program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Though there might come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a lot for the price, provides exceptional support, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for more.