Summary Tool Email Marketing
For many a day 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 hub. Backed by a little programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, and an SEO expert) discussed ideas on how best to implement a deceptively straightforward idea. Simple email marketing. Many of the thoughts were beyond the means of the fledgling company, but that didn’t stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small companies located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his staff sold them on the usage of email advertising, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be easy to operate. All the while, the company uses such novel ideas as customizable templates and software which adapted to consumer needs. They also made sure from the beginning that anyone who needed help would have rapid access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to rise and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email advertising services to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help children in need. This doesn’t indicate that Benchmark is a little-guys-only company, however; it’s adhered 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 across the globe, however, the company has not forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In reality, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of this program. You can read about Benchmark’s history 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 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 classes, some of which are tailored to particular industries such as education, entertainment, and retailstores. There is also a category for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The company describes 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 build it directly into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All Benchmark’s High Volume plans come with a dedicated IP address to help increase deliverability rates. Users on other programs have the choice of paying for this service ($30/month) to increase their particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers here.
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email delivery management program is about getting clients’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a top email delivery and consulting support. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Tool Email Marketing
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to get several purposes on the street. They can access and add contacts, browse 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. This is quite a little more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile programs, making them much more operational.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to use in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or need some color adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop accessible.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization option with which you may construct your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark client has the ability to design around eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages like anniversary or birthday emails.
· Sign-Up Forms. The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark actually promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The business bases its Free For Life account completely around website and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for every medium.
· Inbox Checker. Since every email program is different and each web browser includes a signature style, making certain that your emails look good across the board is crucial. It is possible to use Inbox Checker to look at the way your email screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Using the full program (which checks everything from AOL to Yahoo, Explorer into Safari, mobile to PC) is a paid add-on service, available for $14 each 100 checks.
· RSS-to-Email. Regular bloggers may create newsletters from their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which handles 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 link. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using XML-RPC, HTTP POST, or HTTP GET skills to retrieve data from some other programs which use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this allows them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and check data. The company explains this role in more detail here.
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides 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
Enrolling in a Benchmark accounts is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you have to validate your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging in to my new account (using the free plan) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear path on how best to make my very 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 campaign, go to the Emails section, then hit the large blue”Create New Email” button at the upper right-hand corner. Tool Email Marketing
From there, you must decide If You Would like 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 are someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not personally 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 desired on the message, as well as if I wanted an automated tweet once the campaign went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wished to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email . If you want to, you can construct your own email layouts employing a very intuitive editor. On the flip side, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, which are great, and better than I was able to do in my.
Preventing the Email Campaign
If You’re just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually input contacts at a time. However, for people who already have a listing, there are several ways to import it. You are able to upload a CSV, xls, or txt file directly from your computer; import contacts directly from Salesforce.com, Hotmail, or Gmail accounts; or copy and paste large lists of contacts into a text form. Once you create your Benchmark lists, they will show up on your dashboard, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is rather easy. When you’ve completed all 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 verify everything 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 opted to program my email for delivery 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 wasn’t exactly perfect, it was likely present in tolerance levels for many users. If you are among the more infrequent users who need on-the-minute email sending, then you may have to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my main inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not perfect.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a couple of reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens register from the Benchmark system almost immediately. I have worked with a lot of other programs where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Pieces of data about each campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. In addition, Benchmark supplies users with stats for clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users may export this data for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social networking area which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, in addition to a map that breaks down, by state, who opens your emails. Tool Email Marketing
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain higher level marketers who want more info such as conversions, which links were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of that info with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether or not a small company will get to that point changes, naturally, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Business
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to large email marketers. However, the company’s main focus is on small to medium businesses, especially those just starting out in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the reality that customers subscribing to the medium plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have constraints.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 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 Events — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to make and customize events, promote and sell tickets, and track the success of their events via their Benchmark Email accounts. A variety of subscriptions 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 participated. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plug-in which permits users to quickly build an email viewer via their readers. The plugin can automatically produce email variations of blog articles and allows users to connect up to five Benchmark accounts.
· Highrise — Merges Highrise contacts using a Benchmark listing. Read our overview of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plugin allows you to supply images for your Benchmark emails from places throughout the web. 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 for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and automatically add Shopify clients to Benchmark lists. You can even add subscribers to various lists based on what they bought. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of their PayPal customers to their own Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making app and download it .
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder provides 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 here. Tool Email Marketing
Social Media Integrations
Since Of the key connection between social media and email marketing, it’s very important to check out the social media features included in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of societal media-specific templates which directly promote your company’s participation in social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark provides a very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button into your emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Features” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Email — Once you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add switches to each email which will direct your subscribers to each of your social networking pages.
The Business also fully Complies with the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks regarding the selection of personal data from citizens of those nations. When customers provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the company uses secure socket layer (SSL) protection to encrypt the info. The whole system is encrypted to ensure the safety of customers’ personal details.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes spam seriously and summarizes a clear zero-tolerance coverage for any of their users trying to take part in spam actions. The company is entirely in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Benchmark also takes several steps to maintain its standing as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The company employs the program SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its host.
To prevent users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam test feature that looks for words commonly used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are delegated to content that’s very likely to be blocked. In case of a high score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Customer Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its users a lot of support tools. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site offers good learning resources, but can be opaque occasionally. Key information can be buried and difficult to locate, especially in the event that you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for, especially when it comes to minute particulars about strategies. For instance. The Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life webpage, not even at 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. Tool Email Marketing
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one support through the following means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form . Accessible 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to 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 nearly 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’s closer to some QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 subjects ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users can perform a keyword search of any subject (or sub-topic) or from the 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. Some of the QandAs offer advice which is wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen video tutorials which take users step by step through the features of this app. The business also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can view it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You can even request a special webinar on a number of other topics. Live webinars comprise the opportunity to ask questions throughout the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing in general, as well as the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific troubles. Articles, very similar to blogs, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more readable chunks compared to the guides provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This is a particularly helpful tool for those new to email marketing who believe absorbed by all the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Blog and Newsletter — For current information regarding email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, in addition to its extremely active blog. All readers automatically gain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also offers an archive of newsletter articles from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users can post their newest newsletters on message boards in the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to discuss newsletter creation strategies, vote for their favourite 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 score on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Tool Email Marketing
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Service . This is perhaps the most common monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself too. People today tend to find support prompt and helpful, and some say it is actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The business also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Aims . Some customers praise the inclusion of features like AB analyzing and surveys in most plans; many firms charge extra for such features or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Ease of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely user-friendly and intuitive. The program gathers compliments from a broad assortment of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to people who have attempted many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with the mobile-friendly email design of Benchmark’s templates. Since an increasing number of people access their email from mobile devices, this is an increasingly significant factor to consider.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many Men and Women who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their mails were sent hours after they were scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise from lengthy lists of recipients. Not all clients of Benchmark will have time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. Should you want your mails to go out exactly whenever your schedule dictates, you might need to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer testimonials that remarked the social networking integrations in Benchmark are not up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam mail, causing recipients to mark them as spam and not reading the contents. Since the entire purpose of an ESP is to prevent this from happening, this might be an issue. On the other hand, I never felt this way while searching through the template list, so it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous number of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a huge array of paid programs which may service anywhere between 600 and 7,140,000 subscribers.
Benchmark’s free programs do not require credit Cards, which is always refreshing. The only catch. There’ll be a small Benchmark emblem in the bottom of every email you send out. Obviously, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program if you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free program allows you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to most but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences into the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to access one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Tool Email Marketing
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the choice of paying for their email advertising based on the amount of emails that they send each 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 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 you a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a good program. It is easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the very best in the company for anybody who just wants to dive into email marketing (especially small, neighborhood companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark strategy can work nicely for a small company which views email as a minor aspect of its advertising and has no desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Business looking for a simple email marketing program with a multitude of great features, Benchmark is an exceptional option. Though there may come a time when you launch the app, it provides a great deal for the price, offers exceptional service, and the business appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can not ask for more.