Summary Top Email Marketing Software
For many a day in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a tiny medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, breakfast area, and idea hub. Backed by a little programming team in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO pro ) discussed ideas on how best to execute a deceptively simple idea. Simple email marketing. Many of their ideas were beyond the means of the fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Clients of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in near 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 time, the business championed 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 quick access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its current focus. Providing worldwide email advertising solutions to small and medium-sized 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 has stuck to its core principle of adaptability and functions large organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the planet, however, the company hasn’t forgotten its origins. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with small, locally-based businesses. In reality, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of the app. You can read about Benchmark’s history and development here.
While the Majority of the attributes Benchmark supplies Are on par with the rest of the business, among the standout features of the ESP is the fact that most of its attributes come standard with each accounts — such as the free ones. Below are some of Benchmark’s most noteworthy offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users access to the 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 is also a class for societal media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Perhaps the best-known advantage of Benchmark is its support for video emails. The business describes the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You’ll be able to create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your website 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 rates. Users on other plans have the choice 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’ mails into inboxes. The business is a part of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and works with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and delivery service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Top Email Marketing Software
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile apps allow customers with an Apple device to get several functions on the road. They can get and include contacts, browse reports, send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send quick email blasts with one of 10 available templates. This is quite a little more than a number of other companies offer in their mobile apps, making them considerably more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you plan to utilize in your email campaign aren’t perfectly sized or need some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated picture editor. This is a pretty handy feature if you do not have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. If you’ve got the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark offers this ultra-customization choice with which you may construct your emails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Each Benchmark customer has the power 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 Types . The only way to be prosperous in email marketing is through growing your list, and Benchmark really promotes doing this through sign-up forms. The company bases its Free For Life account entirely around site and Facebook sign-ups and provides an easy-to-use instrument to create customized templates for each medium.
· Inbox Checker. Because every email program differs and every web browser includes a signature fashion, making certain 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 screens in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the full app (which assesses everything from 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 from their blogs automatically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any blog which handles an RSS-feed. Users only need to establish a campaign and template inside Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) 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 programs that use JSON, XML, XML-RPC, or PHP serialization strings. In a nutshell, this permits them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, manage campaigns and campaign sending, and assess data. 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
Enrolling in a Benchmark account is pretty straightforward. After entering your name, email, phone number, and business name, you need to confirm your email address. This is a five-minute procedure for me. Upon logging into my account (with the free program ) I was greeted by an appealing UI that gave me a clear path about the best way best to make my first email campaign. Great beginning!
Email Campaign Creation
On its dashboard, Benchmark offers users five chief options. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go into the Emails section, then hit the big blue”Create New Mail” button at the top right-hand corner. Top Email Marketing Software
From there, you have to 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 somebody 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 alternative.
I was motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I desired on the message, as well as when I wanted an automatic tweet when the campaign went out. The next task was to choose which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to start building the email . If you would like to, you are able to assemble your own email designs employing an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can alter one of Benchmark’s templates, which can be great, and much 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 right 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’ll appear on your dash, along with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The sending of this email is quite simple. When you have finished all your tweaks, you may either save the email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you want to verify everything is well before distributing your email on the world, it is possible to send it to your self to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I chose to program my email for shipping to view how timely the automatic system would really be. I advised my email for 2.45 and obtained it in 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly perfect, it was likely within tolerance levels for many users. If you are one of the more infrequent users who demand on-the-minute email sending, you might have to appear elsewhere. More worryingly, my email did not go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted into my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Mail Campaign Reporting
The first thing I Noticed about Benchmark email reports was something I would read about in a few reviews. They’re really, really quickly. I mean lightning fast. Opens register in the Benchmark system almost instantaneously. I’ve worked with several different apps where these reports take hours or even days to appear.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of data about every campaign. The possibly most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie chart and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats such as clicks, forwards, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Every stat further breaks down to the exact email addresses associated with a given activity. Users can export this data for additional analysis by means of a csv or xls file. There is also a social media place which reports shares through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, as well as a map which breaks down, by country, that opens your mails. Top Email Marketing Software
Though all of the information is great and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain increased level marketers that want more info such as conversions, which hyperlinks were clicked, and revenue analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a lot of this info with appropriate integration, there may come a time when serious entrepreneurs need more info than Benchmark provides. Whether a small business will get to that point changes, of course, based on the business.
Particular Size Of Company
Benchmark made its 3-tiered pricing Structure with the objective of serving everyone from the tiniest kitchen-table startup to big email marketers. However, the company’s key focus is on small to medium businesses, particularly those just starting out in email advertising. This is especially reflected in the reality that clients subscribing to the moderate plans get unlimited emails, while larger plans have limitations.
Integrations and Add-Ons
Benchmark Offers roughly 20 plug-ins and integrations. If you do not observe the integration you want, there is still hope. You’re able to use the API or ask a integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Events — Benchmark Events is event marketing applications designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this program allows users to make and customize occasions, promote and market tickets, and track the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A number of programs are available, such as a free alternative.
· Salesforce.com — This integration enables users to import contacts directly into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to maintain Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· Twitter — Benchmark Mail Lite is a WordPress plugin which allows users to quickly build an email viewer via their subscribers. The plugin can automatically produce email versions of blog posts and permits 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 lets you supply pictures for your Benchmark mails from locations across the net. Benchmark Power captures images you find and immediately uploads them to your Benchmark accounts for future usage.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts can link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You can link a Shopify account to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add contributors to different lists based on which products they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users may add any of their PayPal clients to their Benchmark email lists bylinking the account. Read our review of Paypal here.
· Easy List — Learn more about this very simple list-making program and download it here.
· WordPress — The ever-present blog and website builder offers an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send emails of your blog articles and use the analytics to observe how your readers react to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Top Email Marketing Software
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key connection between social networking and email advertising, it’s important to check out the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One section of Benchmark’s massive email template list is made of social media-specific templates that directly promote your institution’s participation in social networking forums like facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
· Facebook”Like” Button — Benchmark offers a very simple function which allows you to add a Facebook”Just Like” button into your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark supplies easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both websites and Facebook fan pages, so you can convert followers into readers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you link your Benchmark account together with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, you can add buttons to each email which will direct your readers to each of your social networking pages.
The company also fully Complies with all the U.S.-E.U. and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks concerning the selection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When clients provide credit card amounts to Benchmark, the business uses secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the info. The entire platform is encrypted to ensure the safety of all customers’ personal information.
Anti-Spam Policy and Protection
Like All valid ESPs, Benchmark takes junk seriously and outlines a clear zero-tolerance policy 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 also takes several steps to maintain its reputation as a spam-free supplier, one of them membership from the Email Sender and Provider Coalition. The business uses the app SpamAssassin to filter messages delivered through its server.
To stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like substances, Benchmark provides a spam test feature which looks for words widely used in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that is very likely to be blocked. In the event of a 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 customers a great deal of support tools. Customer service is usually responsive, with minimal waiting times. The site provides good learning tools, but can be needlessly opaque at times. Key information is often buried and difficult to find, particularly if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, particularly when it comes to minute particulars about plans. As an example. The Free For Life plan comprises 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 are you going to see it said when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is in the FAQ, here.
Here are some of those resources Benchmark offers. Top Email Marketing Software
· Live Email and Support — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Support. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or via the company’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday.
· Telephone Support. You can reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or even 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible 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 is closer to a QandA-format knowledge foundation than a normal FAQ. You will find over 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 an extensive knowledge base, it’s pretty much inevitable that some entries will be out of date. Some of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you might want to contact assistance to hash things out.
· Video Tutorials and Webinars — Benchmark supplies about two dozen movie tutorials that take users step by step through the features of this program. The business also offers a webinar known as”Benchmark Mail Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any time. You might also request a particular webinar on quite a few different topics. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth information on email marketing in general, in addition to the Benchmark program specifically, at the Manuals Section. These downloadable files also cover industry-specific issues. Articles, similar to sites, offer users advice beyond that found in the FAQ section, but in shorter, more digestible chunks than the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for those brand new to email marketing who feel consumed 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 information about email advertising trends, check out Benchmark’s monthly newsletter, as well as its exceptionally active blog. All subscribers automatically obtain access to present newsletters, and Benchmark also provides an archive of newsletter posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may 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 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 Reviews
Benchmark Includes a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, using a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Top Email Marketing Software
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most typical monitoring regarding Benchmark, and something I noticed for myself as well. People tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it’s really the component that distinguishes Benchmark from its competitors. The company also receives praise for its blog articles and videos.
· Characteristic Selection Across All Plans. Some users praise the addition of features like AB analyzing and surveys from all plans; many companies charge extra for such features or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users tend to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a wide assortment of demographics, from first time ESP consumers to people who have tried many different programs before settling on Benchmark.
· Mobile Friendly Emails. Consumers were impressed with all 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 take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was Unable to find many Men and Women who loathed Their Benchmark experience. But, I managed to discover a couple of complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark where their mails were sent hours when they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will possess time-sensitive sending needs, but other people will. Should you need your mails to go out precisely whenever your program dictates, you might need to take into account this situation.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I saw several user reviews that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users have been concerned that Benchmark’s templates may feel like spam email, causing receivers to mark them as spam and not studying the contents. Since the whole purpose of an ESP is to stop this from occurring, this may be a problem. On the other hand, I never felt this way whilst searching through the template list, therefore it may not be the most legitimate of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing strategies, including a free plan and a massive scale of paid plans which can 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 each email you send out. Obviously, you can always opt to upgrade to a paid program in case you don’t want the Benchmark branding. The free plan allows you to send up to 14000 mails to up to 2000 subscribers and provides you access to all but not all of Benchmark’s features record. Notable absences to the attributes list for free accounts include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling many users to access one Benchmark accounts ).
Paid Strategies. Top Email Marketing Software
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying for their email marketing based on the amount of mails that they send every month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a 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 a 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 a 25% discount for nonprofits and educators.
Benchmark is a solid program. It is Simple to Use, Open to invention, and competitively priced. Its free options may just be the best in the business for anyone who just wants to dive into email marketing (particularly small, local companies ). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work nicely for a little business which views email as a little element of its advertising and does not have any desire to work past the basics just yet.
If you are a small or even medium-sized Company 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 supplies a great deal for the money, offers exceptional support, and the company appears to be sensitive to the needs of its customers. You can’t ask for more.