Overview Software Email Marketing Mac
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office which functioned as the team’s conference room, breakfast area, and thought heart. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an search engine optimization expert) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the means of the fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff personally sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to create a simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the while, the company 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 rapid access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email marketing services to small and midsize companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it’s adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from across the globe, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based companies. In reality, the company offers a full page of testimonials from users of the program. You can read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout characteristics of the ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Here are a few of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Countless Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark provides all customers access to its 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. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The company 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 site or construct 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 .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The company is a member 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 Mac
· 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, browse reports, send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a bit more than a number of other businesses offer in their mobile apps, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you may build your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the ability to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or event lead-up, or designed as annual messages like birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to be prosperous in email marketing is through growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and supplies an easy-to-use tool to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each internet browser has a signature fashion, making sure 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 screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the entire app (which assesses everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on provider, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their blogs mechanically through the RSS-to-Email feature, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply have to establish a campaign and template within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to recover data from other programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to perform three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and check data. The company explains this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark offers both Listing Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you have to confirm your email address. This was a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my account (with the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction about how to create my first email campaign. Good beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, proceed to the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Software Email Marketing Mac
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or classic email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you’re someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much observation I desired on the message, in addition to when I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to select which contacts I wanted to receive the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to begin building the email itself. If you would like to, you are able to construct your own email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and much better than I managed to do on my own.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a list, there are several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from the personal computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste huge lists of contacts into a text form. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll show up on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is rather easy. Once you have finished all your tweaks, you may save the email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to check all is well before unleashing your email about 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 see how timely the automatic system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, therefore while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for most users. If you’re one of the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you might have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was mechanically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read in a few reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll from the Benchmark system virtually immediately. I’ve worked with a lot of different programs where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about each campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the open speed, seems in both pie chart and numerical form. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses related to a given activity. Users may export this information for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social networking area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map that breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Software Email Marketing Mac
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it isn’t enough to sustain increased level marketers who want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small business will reach that point changes, naturally, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s key focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just starting out in email advertising. This is particularly reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers approximately 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you want, there’s still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask a 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 allows users to create and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of subscriptions are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plugin which permits users to quickly build an email viewer 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 overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin lets you supply images for your Benchmark mails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you find and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to various lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of their PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Know more about this simple list-making app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder offers an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Software Email Marketing Mac
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key connection between social networking and email advertising, it is important to check out the social networking features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list consists of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a simple function which permits you to bring a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add switches to every email which will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The Business also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the collection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the business utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users trying to engage in spam actions. The business is fully in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several measures to maintain its reputation as a spam-free provider, among them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages sent through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam test 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’s likely to be blocked. In the event of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning resources, but may be opaque occasionally. Key information can be buried and hard to find, particularly in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re searching for, particularly when it comes to minute details about strategies. As an example. The Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you register. The only place it is mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Software Email Marketing Mac
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark provides live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark in 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 restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. You will find over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a keyword search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer advice which is wholly inaccurate, so in some cases, you might need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this app. The company also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or see the recorded version at any moment. You might even ask for a particular webinar on quite a few other topics. 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 generally, as well as the Benchmark program especially, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark gives a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email advertising conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current info regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally 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 may post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any setup on your computer.
Favorable Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Software Email Marketing Mac
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Support. This is perhaps the most common observation regarding Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The business also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of features including AB analyzing and surveys in all programs; many firms charge extra for such attributes or just include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a broad range 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 the mobile-friendly email layout of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this can be an increasingly significant factor to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. However, I managed to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails 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 needs, but other people will. If you want your mails to go out precisely whenever your program dictates, you may need to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that commented the social media integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, leading recipients to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to stop this from happening, this might be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way while looking through the template list, therefore it might not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid programs which can service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free plans do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem in the bottom of each email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 emails to around 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all Benchmark’s features list. Notable absences to the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (allowing many users to get one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Plans. Software Email Marketing Mac
Users with small contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing based on the number of emails 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 per 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 charge cards and also allows you to pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may just be the best in the company for anybody who only wants to dive into email advertising (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a small business which perspectives email as a little element of its advertising and has no desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company looking for a simple email marketing program using a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Even though there might come a time when you outgrow the app, it supplies a lot for the price, offers excellent support, and the business seems to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can not ask for more.