Summary Tom Grape Benchmark Email
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around a single desk in a tiny medical office — an office which 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, along with an search engine optimization pro ) discussed ideas for how to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email advertising. Many of the ideas were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that didn’t stop Keller from planning ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Mail were small companies located in near proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff personally sold them on the usage of email marketing, while working hard to create a very simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the time, the business championed such innovative ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to user requirements. They also made sure from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer care.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to assist kids in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions big organizations such as UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente via its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from across the planet, but the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In fact, the organization offers a complete page of testimonials from local users of the app. You can read more about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While most of the features Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the industry, one of the standout characteristics of this ESP is the simple fact that most of its attributes come standard with each account — including the free ones. Below are a few of Benchmark’s most noteworthy 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 class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business explains the benefits of this attribute here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using one of Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your survey on your website or construct it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume programs 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 increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the benefits of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting customers’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting support. The business also communicates with ISPs on its customers’ behalf. Tom Grape Benchmark Email
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers with an Apple device to get several purposes on the road. They can access and add contacts, browse reportsand send videos via integration with a YouTube account, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a bit more than many other companies offer on their mobile programs, making them considerably 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. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you can build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to style up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or made as yearly messages like birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become successful in email marketing is by way of growing your list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this via sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create custom templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and each web browser has a signature fashion, making sure your emails look great across the board is important. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way that your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire program (which assesses everything out of AOL to Yahoo, Explorer to Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers can create newsletters out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply need to establish a template and campaign inside 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 allows users with XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET abilities to retrieve data from some other apps which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to perform three functions. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and check data. The company explains this role in more detail .
· 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.
Ease Of Use
Signing up for a Benchmark account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and business name, you have to validate your email address. This was a five-minute process for me. Upon logging into my new account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear path on how to create my first email campaign. Good start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new effort, go into the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Email” button at the top right-hand corner. Tom Grape Benchmark Email
From there, you must decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. You can use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or go for more customization using the built-in code editor. If you’re somebody who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop alternative.
I was prompted to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, in addition to if I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The following task was to select which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin building the email . If you would like to, you can assemble your personal email layouts using a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and better than I managed to do in my.
Sending the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can 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 large 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 this email is rather simple. Once you’ve finished all of your tweaks, you may save email as a draft, send it immediately, or schedule a date and time for delivery. If you would like to verify 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 delivery to view how timely the automated system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it in 2.50, so while the timing wasn’t exactly ideal, it was likely within tolerance levels for many users. If you are among the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you may need to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read in a couple of reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system virtually instantaneously. I have worked with several other programs where these reports take hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about each effort. The arguably most important statistic, the available speed, seems in both pie graph and numerical form. In addition, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and misuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given action. Users can export this data for further analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There’s also a social media place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, who opens your mails. Tom Grape Benchmark Email
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain increased level marketers that want more information such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will get to that point varies, of course, dependent on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the goal of serving everyone from the smallest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. On the other hand, the company’s main focus is on small to medium companies, especially those just beginning in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the fact that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited mails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you don’t observe the integration you want, there is still hope. You can use the API or request a 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 app permits users to make and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and monitor the success of their events through their Benchmark Email account. A number of programs are available, including a free option.
· 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.
· Twitter — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email audience through their subscribers. The plug-in can automatically create email variations of blog articles 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 allows you to source images for your Benchmark mails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures pictures you locate and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their own Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to various lists based on which products they purchased. Read our review of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add some of the PayPal customers to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our overview of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this simple list-making program and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder provides an integration with Benchmark. Use it to send mails 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 . Tom Grape Benchmark Email
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key link between social networking and email marketing, it’s very important to look at the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template listing consists of societal media-specific templates that directly promote your company’s involvement in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a simple function which permits 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 sites and Facebook fan pages, to help you convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to every email that will direct your subscribers to each of your social media pages.
The Business also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of these countries. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the information. The entire system is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy for any of the users trying to engage in spam activities. 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 supplier, one of them membership in the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark supplies a spam check feature that looks for words widely 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 case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” choices. Individualized IP addresses also assist large-volume senders decrease their spam amounts.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website offers good learning tools, but may be needlessly opaque occasionally. Key information is often buried and difficult to locate, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially in regards to minute particulars about strategies. As an example. That the Free For Life plan includes 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 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. Tom Grape Benchmark Email
· Live Email and Support — 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 restricted hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You can 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 nearly 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 is 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 perform a key word search of any topic (or sub-topic) or of their FAQ as a whole. One caveat. With such an extensive knowledge base, it is pretty much inevitable that some entries are going to be out of date. Some of the QandAs provide advice which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might need to contact support to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark provides about two dozen video tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this app. The business also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You may view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You can also request a particular webinar on quite a few different subjects. Live webinars comprise the chance to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program especially, in the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, similar to sites, offer users guidance beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Requirements — This can be a particularly helpful tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel absorbed 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 about email marketing trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to 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 can post their latest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation approaches, vote for their favorite newsletters, and gain inspiration from other Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is completely web-based and does not Require any setup on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Tom Grape Benchmark Email
Some common points of praise.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most typical observation regarding Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People today are inclined to find support prompt and helpful, and a few say it is actually the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the addition of features including AB analyzing and surveys in all programs; many companies charge extra for these attributes or just include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers praise from a broad range of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to those who have tried a variety of programs before settling on 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 significant aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many people who loathed Their Benchmark experience. However, I managed to discover a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently some users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their emails were sent hours after they were scheduled. One customer theorized the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all clients of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending demands, but other people will. Should you want your emails to go out precisely when your schedule dictates, you might have to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user testimonials that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been worried that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading recipients to mark them as junk rather than studying the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to stop this from happening, this might be a problem. On the flip side, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, therefore it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing plans, including a free plan and a massive array of paid plans which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, that is always refreshing. The only grab. There’ll be a little Benchmark emblem at the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid plan in case you don’t need the Benchmark branding. The free program permits you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all 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 accounts ).
Paid Plans. Tom Grape Benchmark Email
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising depending on the number of mails that they send each month.
o Moderate Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 per month
o Large Strategies. 55,000-100,000 subscribers, $285.99-$494.99 per month
o Extra Large Plans. 125,000-1,000,000 subscribers, $659.99-$4,273.99 per month
o Massive 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% discount for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is Simple to Use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the very best in the company for anybody who only wants to dip into email advertising (particularly small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a little company which perspectives email as a little element of its marketing and has no desire to operate past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or maybe medium-sized Business trying to find a easy email marketing program using a multitude of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent choice. Though there may come a time when you outgrow the app, it provides a lot for the money, provides exceptional support, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for much more.