Summary Software Used In Email Marketing
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office that served as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and idea heart. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (comprising Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO expert) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively straightforward concept. Simple email marketing. Many of the ideas were beyond the resources of the fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving 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 staff personally sold them on the usage of email marketing, while working hard to create a simple user interface which would be simple to operate. All the time, the business uses such innovative ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user needs. They also made certain from the beginning that anybody who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email marketing solutions to small and medium-sized businesses while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves upwards of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still keeps good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In fact, the organization offers a full page of testimonials from users of the program. You may read about Benchmark’s background and development here.
While most of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features of this ESP is the fact that nearly all its features come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Here are a few 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 such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There’s also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. 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 poll on your website or build it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs have a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other programs have the option of paying for this service ($30/month) to boost their own delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is about getting clients’ emails into inboxes. The business is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Software Used In Email Marketing
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs make it possible for customers having an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can access and add contacts, read reports, send videos via integration with a YouTube account, and even design and send fast email blasts with one of 10 templates that are available. This is quite a little more than many other companies offer in their mobile apps, which makes them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the pictures you intend to utilize on your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you can use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization option with which you can construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a string or occasion lead-up, or made as yearly messages such as birthday or anniversary emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email advertising is by way of growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use tool to create custom templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and every web browser has a signature style, making sure that your emails look great across the board is crucial. You can use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full app (which checks everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into 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 site which manages an RSS-feed. Users simply have to establish a template and campaign inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) allows different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug-in link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to recover data from other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In brief, this allows them to play three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and effort sending, and check statistics. The business describes this function in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both List Segmentation and AB Split Testing.
· Multiple-Language Interface. Benchmark is available in seven languages. Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Benefits Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark accounts is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and company name, you need to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my account (using the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear direction on how best to make my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark provides users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To create a new effort, go to the Emails segment, then hit on the large blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Software Used In Email Marketing
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 go 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 personally gifted that way, so I went with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and setup how much tracking I desired on the message, as well as if I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was eventually able to start constructing the email . If you would like to, you are able to assemble your own email layouts employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and much better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts at a time. However, for those who already have a list, 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 huge lists of contacts into a text type. When you create your Benchmark lists, then they’ll appear on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of the email is quite simple. Once you have finished all of your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before unleashing your email about the planet, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for shipping to see how timely the automated system would actually be. I scheduled my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, therefore while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was probably present in tolerance levels for most users. If you’re among the more rare users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
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 quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I have worked with several other apps where these reports require hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of information about every effort. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, seems in both pie chart and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given action. Users can export this information for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social media area which reports shares via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by state, that opens your mails. Software Used In Email Marketing
Though all of this information Is Excellent and Necessary, it isn’t sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that need more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Although Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that information with appropriate integration, there might come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point varies, naturally, dependent on the company.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everybody from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just beginning in email marketing. This is especially reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while bigger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t see the integration you need, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Events is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to create and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A number of programs are available, including a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts into Benchmark and utilize Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our overview of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to easily build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plugin can automatically create email versions 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 plug-in allows you to source pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and immediately uploads them to a Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr to their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review 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 app and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain entry to Zapier’s huge integration library . Software Used In Email Marketing
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social media and email marketing, it’s important to check out the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s massive email template list consists of social media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s participation in social media forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to every email which will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The company 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 nations. When customers provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the security of all customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All legitimate ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users hoping to take part in spam actions. The business is entirely in compliance with all the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark additionally takes several steps to maintain 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 sent through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam check feature which 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 likely to be blocked. In the event of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam numbers.
Customer Support and Service
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer support is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning resources, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Key information is often buried and difficult to find, especially in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute particulars about plans. As an example. That the Free For Life plan includes Benchmark branding on each 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 said when you register. The only place it is mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Software Used In Email Marketing
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form . Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone 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. Offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled because it is closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. You will find more than 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a key word search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such a comprehensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. A few of the QandAs offer information which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might want to contact assistance 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 may see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You can also ask for a special webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — There are more in-depth information on email marketing generally, in addition to the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks than the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the most popular email advertising 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 present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their latest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation strategies, 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.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
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 Used In Email Marketing
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is maybe the most common observation concerning Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People tend to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it’s really the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the inclusion of attributes including AB testing and surveys in all programs; many companies charge extra for such attributes or only include them into their pricier plans.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a broad assortment of demographics, from first time ESP users to people who have tried a variety of programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Users were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since more and more people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly important factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. But, I was able to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced a problem with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will possess time-sensitive shipping needs, but other people will. Should you want your mails to go out exactly when your schedule dictates, you may have to consider this issue.
· 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 can feel like spam mail, causing receivers to mark them as spam rather than studying the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP would be to stop this from happening, this may be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, so it might not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Offers a enormous variety of pricing strategies, such as a totally free plan and a massive scale of paid programs 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 will be a little Benchmark emblem in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always choose to upgrade to a paid program 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 of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the features list for free account comprise email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Strategies. Software Used In Email Marketing
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying to get their email advertising based on the amount of mails that they send every month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a month
o Large Plans. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 a month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 a month
o Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major credit cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer a 25% reduction for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It’s Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives may just be the best in the business for anybody who just wants to dip into email marketing (particularly small, local businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work well for a small company which perspectives email as a minor element of its advertising and has no desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a little or even medium-sized Business trying to find a simple email marketing program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there might come a time when you outgrow the program, it supplies a lot for the money, provides excellent service, and the business seems to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can’t ask for more.