Overview Outlook Email Marketing
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and thought heart. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the means of the fledgling company, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff personally sold them on the use of email advertising, while working hard to make a very simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the company uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user needs. They also made sure from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email marketing services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In fact, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from local users of this program. You may read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout features of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with every single accounts — such as the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, 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. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your website or build it 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 programs have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Outlook Email Marketing
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to get several purposes on the road. They can access and add contacts, browse reports, send videos via integration with a YouTube account, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a bit more than many other companies offer on their mobile apps, making them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the power to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each internet browser has a signature fashion, making sure your emails look great across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to 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 automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply need to establish a campaign and template inside 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 using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and check data. The company explains this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you need to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear direction about the best way best to make my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, proceed to the Emails segment, then hit the large blue”Create New Email” button in the top right-hand corner. Outlook 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 move 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 gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet once the effort went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start building the email . If you would like to, you can construct your personal email designs using a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and better than I was able to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can 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 can upload a CSV, xls, or txt file right from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text type. Once you make your Benchmark lists, they will appear on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather simple. Once you’ve finished all your tweaks, you can either save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to check everything is well before distributing your email about the planet, it is possible to send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for delivery to see how timely the automatic 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 present in tolerance levels for many users. If you’re one of the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, you may have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I’ve worked with a lot of different programs where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the open speed, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users can export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Outlook Email Marketing
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher level marketers who need more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of that info with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will reach that point changes, naturally, dependent on the company.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s key focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just starting out in email marketing. 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 roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you want, there is still hope. You can use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to create and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor 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 enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to easily build an email viewer via their readers. The plugin can automatically create 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 places throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to different lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of the PayPal clients to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making program and download it here.
· 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 react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Outlook Email Marketing
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social networking and email advertising, it’s important to look at the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s involvement in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button to your 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 subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to every email that will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The company also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users hoping to take part in spam actions. The company is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free provider, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature that looks for words widely utilized 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 top 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 lot of support resources. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning resources, but may be opaque occasionally. Key information can be buried and difficult to locate, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially in regards to minute details about strategies. As an example. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Outlook Email Marketing
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available almost 24 hours daily 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 base than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive 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 inaccurate, so in some cases, you may need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials which take users step by step through the features of the app. The company also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You can also ask for a particular webinar on a number of different topics. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, very similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly helpful tool for all those new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active site. All subscribers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production approaches, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any setup on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Outlook Email Marketing
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most common observation regarding Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the inclusion of features including AB analyzing and surveys from all plans; many firms charge extra for such features or only include them into their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a broad assortment of demographics, from first time ESP users to people who have attempted many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers 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 can be an increasingly significant aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who disliked Their Benchmark experience. But, I was able to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but others will. If you want your emails to go out precisely whenever your schedule dictates, you might need to consider this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, causing receivers to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to stop this from occurring, this may 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 Provides a huge variety of pricing plans, including a free plan and a massive array of paid programs that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require charge Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There will be a little Benchmark logo at the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid plan if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 mails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the attributes list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Outlook Email Marketing
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing based on the amount of mails they send each month.
o Medium 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 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 lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options might very well be the very best in the company for anybody who just wants to dive into email advertising (especially small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a small company which views email as a minor aspect of its advertising and does not have any desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Business trying to find a simple email advertising program using a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Even though there may come a time when you launch the app, it supplies a great deal for the money, offers exceptional support, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can not ask for more.