Overview Software Email Marketing Free
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and idea hub. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the means of the fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Mail were small businesses located in close 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 championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing worldwide email marketing services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s stuck to its core principle of adaptability and serves large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Enterprise plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, but the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In reality, the organization supplies a full page of testimonials from users of the program. You can read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of the ESP is the simple fact that most of its attributes come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all users access to its library of over 400 templates. These are organized into 19 categories, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company explains the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online polls using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your website or build it 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 choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Software Email Marketing Free
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow 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 accounts, and even design and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. That is quite a little more than many other businesses offer in their mobile programs, which makes them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to use on your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These can be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or designed as yearly messages such as birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . 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 business bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and each internet browser includes a signature fashion, making sure that your emails look great across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire app (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 per 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters from their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another with no formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from some other apps that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and assess statistics. The business explains this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is offered in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction on the best way to make my very first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new campaign, proceed to the Emails segment, then hit on the big blue”Create New Mail” button in the upper right-hand corner. Software Email Marketing Free
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go 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 gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I had been 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 automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to assemble your personal email designs employing a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that can be great, and much better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter 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 right from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts to a text form. Once you make your Benchmark lists, then they will appear on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is quite easy. Once you’ve completed all of your tweaks, you may save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check all is well before unleashing your email about the planet, you can send it to your self 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 actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it at 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was likely within tolerance levels for most users. If you are one of the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email 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 almost immediately. I have worked with several different apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users may export this information for further analysis via a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by state, that opens your emails. Software Email Marketing Free
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain increased level marketers who want more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although 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 or not a small company will reach that point changes, of course, dependent on the company.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark designed its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s main focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe the integration you need, there is still hope. You can use the API or ask 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 create and customize occasions, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of programs are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to easily build an email audience through their readers. The plug-in can automatically produce email variations of blog posts and permits 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 plug-in lets you supply pictures for your Benchmark emails from places throughout the web. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and instantly uploads them to a Benchmark accounts 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 customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to various lists based on which products they bought. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present site and site builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and also use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library . Software Email Marketing Free
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social networking and email marketing, it’s very important to look at the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to every email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The company also fully Complies with all 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 company uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of their users hoping to engage in spam actions. The company is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to preserve its reputation as a spam-free supplier, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam check feature which looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that is very likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support resources. Customer support is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning resources, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Crucial information is often buried and difficult to find, especially if you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, especially in regards to minute details about strategies. As an example. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t see that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even in the fine print. Nor are you going to see it said when you sign up. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Software Email Marketing Free
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the company’s contact form here. Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone 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. Accessible almost 24 hours per day 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 a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a typical FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from the FAQ as a whole. 1 caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might want to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of the program. The company also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You can also ask for a special webinar on quite a few other subjects. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly helpful tool for all those new to email marketing who feel consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing terms from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its extremely active site. All readers automatically obtain access to current newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter production approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and does not Require any installation on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Software Email Marketing Free
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical monitoring concerning Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People today tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and some say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of attributes including AB analyzing and surveys from all plans; many companies charge extra for these features or only include them in their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to find Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to those who have tried many different programs before settling Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of 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 people who disliked Their Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. One customer theorized that the issue might arise in long lists of recipients. Not all customers of Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but others will. If you want your mails to go out exactly when your schedule dictates, you might need to take into account this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that remarked the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam email, leading receivers to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP would be to stop this from happening, 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 valid of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a huge variety of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a huge 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 catch. There’ll be a small Benchmark logo in the bottom of every email you send out. Of course, you can always choose to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and gives you access to most but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences into the attributes list for free accounts comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Software Email Marketing Free
Users with little contacts lists and limited Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email marketing based on the number of mails that they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per 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 educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It is easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may very well be the best in the business for anybody who only wants to dive into email marketing (particularly small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a little business which views email as a little element of its marketing and does not have any desire to work beyond the basics just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email marketing program using a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an exceptional choice. Though there might come a time when you launch the program, it provides a lot for the money, provides exceptional support, and the business appears to be sensitive to the needs of its users. You can’t ask for more.