Overview Opt In Email Marketing Services
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which served 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 pro ) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the resources of this fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small businesses located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff personally sold them on the usage of email marketing, while working hard to make a very simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the time, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user needs. They also made certain 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 services to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help 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 like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the globe, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from local users of this app. You can read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with every single accounts — including the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to specific 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 company describes the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website or build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The business is a part 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 clients’ behalf. Opt In Email Marketing Services
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can access and include contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a little more than many other businesses offer in their mobile apps, which makes them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or designed as yearly messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and each internet browser has a signature fashion, making sure that your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full 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 can create newsletters out of their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users only have to establish a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a 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 which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. The business describes this role in more detail .
· 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 account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you have to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction on how best to create my very first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go into the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Opt In Email Marketing Services
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or classic 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’re someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet when the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wished to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start building the email itself. If you want to, you can construct your personal email layouts employing 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 on my own.
Sending 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 those who already have a list, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to 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 into a text form. Once you create your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dashboard, 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 instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to verify all is well before unleashing your email about the planet, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for delivery to view how timely the automated system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was likely within tolerance levels for many users. If you are among the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, you may have 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.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a few reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system almost immediately. I’ve worked with a lot of different programs where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about each effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses related to a given activity. Users may export this data for additional analysis by means of 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 state, who opens your mails. Opt In Email Marketing Services
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain increased level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this info with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point changes, of course, dependent on the business.
Specific Size Of Business
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe the integration you need, there is still hope. You can use the API or ask 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 permits users to create and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their 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 participated. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to easily build an email audience through their subscribers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations of blog articles 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 source images for your Benchmark emails from places throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark account for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to different lists based on which products they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of their PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to see how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library . Opt In Email Marketing Services
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the integral connection between social media and email advertising, it is very important to look at the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to each 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 regarding the collection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The entire system 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 their users trying to take part in spam activities. The business is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to maintain its standing as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam test feature which looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that is likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a great deal of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque at times. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to find, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about plans. As an example. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to 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. Opt In Email Marketing Services
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at support[email protected] or via the organization’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it is closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a normal FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may 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’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer information which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might want to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this app. The business also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You can also request a particular webinar on a number of other subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing generally, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly valuable tool for those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email marketing terms 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 site. All readers automatically obtain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation strategies, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Opt In Email Marketing Services
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself as well. People are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it is actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the addition of features including AB analyzing and surveys from most plans; many companies charge extra for such features or only include them in their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a wide assortment of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to those who have tried many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all 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 important factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who disliked Their own 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 scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but others will. If you need your emails to go out precisely whenever your program dictates, you might have to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as junk and not studying the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP is to stop this from happening, 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 Provides a huge number of pricing plans, such as a totally free plan and a huge array of paid plans that may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, that is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the features list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Opt In Email Marketing Services
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email advertising based on the number of emails that they send each month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 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 you a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good 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 anybody who only wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a little business which perspectives email as a little element of its advertising and does not have any desire to operate past the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Company looking for a easy email marketing program with 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 service, and the business seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can not ask for much more.