Summary Newsletter Templates
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office that served as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email advertising. Many of the 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 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 create a simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the time, the business championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email marketing services to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the globe, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In reality, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from local users of the program. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features of this ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with each account — such as the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of 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’s also a category for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company explains the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or construct it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume programs 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 here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Newsletter Templates
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the street. They can get and include contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a little more than many other businesses offer on their mobile programs, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly 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 choice with which you can construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and each web browser has a signature style, making certain 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 entire program (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply have to establish a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from some other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. The company explains this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers 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
Signing up for a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear direction on the best way best to make my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, proceed into the Emails segment, then hit on the big blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Newsletter Templates
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 move for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you’re 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 alternative.
I was prompted 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 automated tweet once the effort went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin constructing the email . If you would like to, you are able to assemble your personal email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and much better than I managed to do on my own.
Preventing 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 can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts to a text type. When you make your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is quite easy. When you have completed all of your tweaks, you can save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to verify everything is well before distributing your email on the planet, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for shipping to view how timely the automated system would really be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was likely present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with several other programs where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie chart and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given action. Users can export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Newsletter Templates
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that want more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with proper integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point varies, naturally, dependent on the business.
Specific 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. On the other hand, the company’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just beginning in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask 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 make and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of the events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A number of programs are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to easily build an email viewer through their readers. The plug-in 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 list. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of the PayPal clients for their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Newsletter Templates
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social media and email marketing, it’s 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 institution’s participation in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which permits 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 websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Email — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to every email that will direct your readers to each of your social media pages.
The company 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 nations. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users trying to engage in spam activities. The company 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, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam check feature which looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that is very likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a great deal of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning tools, but can be needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and hard to locate, especially in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, especially in regards to minute details about plans. As an example. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, but 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 said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Newsletter Templates
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at support[email protected] or via the company’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can 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 almost 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 because it is closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might need to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the app. The business also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You might even request a particular webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars comprise the opportunity 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 documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users advice 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 those brand new to email marketing who believe consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically gain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles 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 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 doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Positive 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. Newsletter Templates
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most common monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself as well. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it is really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the inclusion of attributes like AB testing and surveys in all programs; many firms charge extra for such features or just include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. But, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours when they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. If you need your emails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you might need to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, causing recipients to mark them as spam rather than reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP is to prevent this from happening, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge number of pricing strategies, such as a free plan and a massive array of paid plans which 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 catch. There will be a little Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan permits you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Newsletter Templates
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising depending on the amount of emails that they send every 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 a 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 a month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may just be the very best in the business for anyone who just wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a little company which perspectives email as a minor element of its marketing and has no desire to operate past the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email advertising program using a host of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Even though there may come a time when you outgrow the app, it provides a great deal for the price, provides excellent support, and the company seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for more.