Summary Restaurant Email Marketing
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought hub. Backed by a small programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the resources of the fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in near 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 very simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the time, the business championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising services to small and medium-sized companies 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’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains 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 most of the features Benchmark provides Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout features of the ESP is the simple fact that most of its features come standard with each account — including the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 classes, some of which are tailored to specific industries such as education, entertainment, and retail. There is also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business describes the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your website or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability prices. Users on other plans have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Direction . Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Restaurant Email Marketing
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can get and add contacts, read reports, send videos through integration using a YouTube account, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a bit more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile apps, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to utilize in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture 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 construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the ability to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages such as birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be prosperous in email advertising is through growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and every web browser includes a signature style, 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 displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire app (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters out of their sites automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which manages an RSS-feed. Users only have to establish a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this permits them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The business explains this function in more detail .
· 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.
Benefits Of Use
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you have to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my new account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a clear path on how best to make my very first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, go into the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Email” button in the upper right-hand corner. Restaurant Email Marketing
From there, you have to decide if you want 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 are 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 prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I wanted on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automated tweet once the effort went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email . If you would like to, you are able to assemble your personal email designs employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and much better than I was able to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are 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 right from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts to a text form. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of this email is quite easy. When you have finished all your tweaks, you may either save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to verify everything is well before unleashing your email on the planet, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for delivery to view how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was likely present in tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a couple of reviews. They are really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost immediately. 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 data about each effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this data for additional analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by state, who opens your emails. Restaurant Email Marketing
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher level marketers that want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of this info with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will get to that point varies, of course, based on the company.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the organization’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the reality 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 observe the integration you want, there’s still hope. You can use the API or request a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to create and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of programs are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to easily build an email viewer via their readers. The plug-in 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 overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from places throughout the net. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account 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 contributors to various lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of their PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the accounts. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your subscribers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library . Restaurant Email Marketing
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key link between social media and email marketing, it’s important to check out the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template listing is made of social media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s involvement in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Just Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Email — After you link 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 media pages.
The Business also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of those countries. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of the users hoping to take part in spam actions. The business is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to maintain its standing as a spam-free provider, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the program SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its server.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam check feature which looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that is likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Key information is often buried and hard to find, particularly if you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute details about strategies. As an example. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on every email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Restaurant Email Marketing
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the organization’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to 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. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation 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 key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may need 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 program. The business also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You can also request a special webinar on a number of different topics. 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, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable documents also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users guidance 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 feel consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active site. 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 can post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any setup on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Restaurant Email Marketing
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most common observation regarding Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its blog posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of features including AB analyzing and surveys in all programs; many companies charge extra for these attributes or only include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have attempted many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly significant factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who disliked Their Benchmark experience. However, I was able to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced a problem with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. Should you need your emails to go out exactly whenever your program dictates, you might need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer 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 may feel like spam mail, leading recipients to mark them as junk rather than reading the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP would be to prevent this from happening, this may be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, so it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous number of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a massive scale of paid plans which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a small Benchmark emblem at the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the attributes list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Restaurant Email Marketing
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email advertising depending on the number of mails that they send each month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a 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 per 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 solid program. It is easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the very best in the business for anyone who just wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a small business which views email as a minor aspect of its marketing and has no desire to operate past the principles just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Company looking for a easy email marketing program with a host of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there might come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a lot for the money, offers excellent support, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can not ask for much more.