Summary Robust Email Marketing Software
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 team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email advertising. Many of their thoughts were beyond the resources of this fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email 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 usage of email marketing, while working hard to create a very simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the while, the company uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer requirements. They also made sure 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 midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the planet, but the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from local users of this app. You may read more about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, one of the standout features of the ESP is the simple fact that nearly all its attributes come standard with every single accounts — including the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all customers access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There’s also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business describes the advantages of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site 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 prices. Users on other programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Robust Email Marketing Software
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps make it possible for customers having an Apple device to get several purposes on the road. They can get and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube accounts, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a bit more than many other businesses offer in their mobile programs, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to use in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the ability to style around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as yearly messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be prosperous in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program differs and each web browser includes a signature style, making sure that your emails look good across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full program (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 can 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 need to establish a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities 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, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. The business describes 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.
Benefits Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging in to my account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an attractive UI that gave me a very clear direction on how best to make my very first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, proceed to the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Email” button at the upper right-hand corner. Robust Email Marketing Software
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or traditional 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 somebody 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 setup how much tracking I wanted on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet once the effort went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin building the email . If you would like to, you are able to assemble your personal email layouts employing a very intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and better than I managed to do in my.
Preventing 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 listing, there are several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the 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, they will show up on your dash, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is rather simple. When you’ve finished all of your tweaks, you may save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you want to check everything is well before distributing your email on the world, you can send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for shipping to view 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 wasn’t exactly perfect, it was likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you are among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a couple of reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system almost immediately. I have worked with several other programs where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the available speed, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this data for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social media place which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by state, that opens your emails. Robust Email Marketing Software
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain increased level marketers who need more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this info with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will reach that point varies, of course, dependent on the company.
Specific Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the fact that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you want, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app allows users to create and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of programs are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plugin can automatically create email variations of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from locations across the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to different lists based on what they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of the PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this very simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and site builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library . Robust Email Marketing Software
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the integral connection between social networking and email advertising, it’s important to look at the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of social media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s involvement in social networking forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers 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 websites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — After you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to every email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The Business also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the collection 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 information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users hoping to take part in spam actions. The business is fully in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to preserve its reputation as a spam-free supplier, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam test 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 reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support resources. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning tools, but can be needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information can be buried and difficult to find, particularly in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, especially when it comes to minute particulars about plans. For instance. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on every email, but you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at the fine print. Nor will you see it mentioned when you register. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Robust Email Marketing Software
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible almost 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a key word search of any subject (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 are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs provide information which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might 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 the program. The business also supplies a webinar known as”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You might even request a special webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, at 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 than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This is a particularly helpful tool for those brand new to email marketing who believe consumed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising terms from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current info about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any setup on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
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. Robust Email Marketing Software
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and something I discovered for myself too. People are inclined to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some customers praise the addition of attributes like AB testing and surveys from all plans; many companies charge extra for these attributes or just include them in their pricier plans.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a wide assortment of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have tried many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with all 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 important aspect to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who disliked Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping needs, but others will. If you want your emails to go out precisely whenever your program dictates, you may need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, causing recipients to mark them as junk and not reading the contents. Since the whole point of an ESP would be to prevent this from occurring, this may be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, so it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing plans, including a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid plans that 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 will be a little Benchmark emblem at the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 emails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Robust Email Marketing Software
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising depending on the number of emails they send every 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 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% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It’s easy to use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may very well be the very best in the company for anybody who just wants to dip into email advertising (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a little company which views email as a minor aspect of its advertising and has no desire to work beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Business looking for a easy email advertising program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it provides a lot for the money, offers exceptional service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can not ask for much more.