Summary Performance Email Marketing
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office that served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and idea hub. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to make a 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 anybody who needed help would have rapid access to excellent customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing global email marketing services to small and midsize businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the planet, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization offers a full page of testimonials from users of this app. You may read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout features of this ESP is the simple fact that most of its attributes come standard with each accounts — including the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers access to the library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to particular industries like 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 emails. The company describes the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website 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 rates. Users on other programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Performance Email Marketing
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers with an Apple device to access several functions on the road. They can access and include contacts, read reportsand send videos via integration using a YouTube account, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a little more than many other companies offer in their mobile programs, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to use on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you can construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the ability to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be prosperous in email advertising is through growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account entirely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and every web browser has a signature fashion, making certain that your emails look great across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full program (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply have to set up a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with 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 allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. The company describes this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List 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 account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you have to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a very clear direction about how best to create my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, go to the Emails segment, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Performance Email Marketing
From there, you must decide If You Would like an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move 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 option.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I desired on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automated tweet once the campaign went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email . If you want to, you are able to assemble your personal email designs using an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and better than I managed to do in my.
Preventing 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 listing, there are numerous 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 dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather simple. Once you’ve finished all of your tweaks, you can save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to check everything is well before unleashing your email about the world, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to schedule my email for shipping to see how timely the automated system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was likely present in tolerance levels for many users. If you are among the more infrequent users who demand 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 into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I have worked with a lot of different apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every effort. The possibly most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users may 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 which breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Performance Email Marketing
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain increased level marketers that need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this information with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point changes, of course, dependent on the company.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the organization’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 don’t see the integration you need, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or request an 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 permits users to make and customize events, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of the events through their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of programs are available, including a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows 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 plugin lets you source pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their 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 various lists based on what they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add some of the PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog posts and use the analytics to see how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library here. Performance Email Marketing
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social networking and email advertising, it is very important to look at the social networking features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of social media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which permits you to add a Facebook”Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers to readers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to each email that will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The Business 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 nations. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users trying to engage in spam activities. The company is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to maintain its standing as a spam-free supplier, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark supplies a spam test 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” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders reduce their spam amounts.
Client Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning tools, but may be opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to locate, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute details about plans. For instance. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, but you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in the fine print. Nor will you see it said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Performance Email Marketing
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’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 nearly 24 hours daily Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you may want to contact assistance 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 business also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Mail 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 even ask for a special webinar on quite a few other subjects. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth details on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, 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 brand new to email marketing who believe consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All readers 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 in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation 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 installation on your computer.
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. Performance Email Marketing
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most common monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys from all programs; many firms charge extra for these attributes or just include them in their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first time ESP users to those who have attempted many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with 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 important factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending needs, but others will. Should you want your mails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you might need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, 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 legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a huge variety of pricing plans, including a totally free plan and a huge scale of paid plans that can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem in the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Performance Email Marketing
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing depending on the number of mails 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 a month
o Extra Large Strategies. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might just be the best in the business for anybody who only wants to dive into email marketing (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little business which perspectives email as a minor element of its advertising and has no desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email advertising program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it supplies a great deal for the money, offers excellent service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can’t ask for more.