Summary Software Companies Marketing Emails
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a small medical office — an office that served as the team’s conference room, lunch room, and idea hub. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively simple concept. Simple email advertising. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail 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 very simple user interface which would be easy to operate. All the time, the business uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to consumer needs. They also made certain from the outset that anybody who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email advertising services to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based companies. In fact, the company offers a complete page of testimonials from users of the app. You can read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout characteristics of the ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single accounts — including the free ones. Below are a few 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 categories, some of which are tailored to specific industries like education, entertainment, and retailstores. There’s also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company describes the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or construct it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans have 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 Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is all about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The company is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery service. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Software Companies Marketing Emails
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers having an Apple device to get several purposes on the road. They can access and include contacts, browse reportsand send videos through integration with a YouTube account, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a little more than many other companies offer on their mobile programs, which makes them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to utilize on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you may build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark client has the power to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or event lead-up, or made as yearly messages such as anniversary or birthday mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to be successful in email marketing is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via 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 differs and every web browser has a signature style, making sure your emails look great across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire program (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their blogs mechanically 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 with no formal plug link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from some other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and check statistics. The business describes this function in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers 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 pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact 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 appealing UI that gave me a very clear path on the best way best to create my first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go into the Emails segment, then hit on the large blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Software Companies Marketing Emails
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 go for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you are somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop option.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automatic tweet when the effort went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start building the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to assemble your own email layouts using an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and better than I managed to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are numerous ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text form. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is quite simple. Once you have finished all of your tweaks, you can either save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check all is well before unleashing your email about the planet, it is possible to 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 automatic system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably present in tolerance levels for many users. If you are one of the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually 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 Pieces of information about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the available rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this information for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social media area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map which breaks down, by country, that opens your emails. Software Companies Marketing Emails
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain higher level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of this information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will reach that point varies, naturally, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the organization’s key focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not see the integration you need, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask an 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 program permits users to make and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events via their Benchmark Email account. A number of programs are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email audience via their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically produce email versions of blog posts and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts with a Benchmark list. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to source images for your Benchmark mails from locations across the web. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add contributors to various lists based on which products they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of their PayPal customers to their 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 .
· WordPress — The ever-present site and website builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your subscribers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s huge integration library . Software Companies Marketing Emails
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social media and email marketing, it’s very important to check out the social networking 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 company’s involvement in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button to your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both websites and Facebook enthusiast pages, so you can convert followers to subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — Once you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to every email which will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking pages.
The company 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 business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The whole platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal information.
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 company is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several measures to preserve its standing as a spam-free provider, among them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature that looks for words commonly utilized in spam messages. It scores each email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce 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 site provides good learning resources, but can be opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and hard to locate, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, particularly in regards to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even in 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 the resources Benchmark offers. Software Companies Marketing Emails
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark in 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all states ). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Available almost 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday. Founded 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 typical FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may perform a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice which is wholly inaccurate, 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 that take users step by step through the features of the program. The business also offers a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any time. You might even request a special webinar on a number of other subjects. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during 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 especially, in 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 digestible chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly helpful tool for those brand new to email marketing who believe consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” to”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info regarding email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active blog. All readers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers 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 production strategies, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and doesn’t Require any installation on your PC.
Favorable Reviews and Reviews
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. Software Companies Marketing Emails
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical observation concerning Benchmark, and some thing I discovered for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of attributes like AB analyzing and surveys from most plans; many firms charge extra for these features or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers compliments from a wide assortment of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to people who have tried a variety of programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who disliked Their Benchmark experience. But, I was able to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise in lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. Should you need your emails to go out exactly when your program dictates, you might have to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as spam rather than reading the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is 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, therefore it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous number of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a huge 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 catch. There’ll be a little Benchmark logo 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 need the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and gives you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the attributes list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Software Companies Marketing Emails
Users with small contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing 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 Strategies. 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 allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the very best in the business for anybody who just wants to dive into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a small business which views email as a minor aspect of its marketing and does not have any desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Company trying to find a simple email marketing program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Though there may come a time when you outgrow the app, it supplies a great deal for the money, offers exceptional service, and the company seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its users. You can’t ask for much more.