Summary Unlimited Email Marketing
For many an evening in 2004, three people sat Around one desk in a small medical office — an office which functioned as the group’s conference room, lunch room, and thought hub. Backed by a small programming group in India, the trio (consisting of Benchmark Internet Group founder Curt Keller, his wife Denise, along with an SEO pro ) discussed ideas for how to implement a deceptively simple concept. Simple email marketing. Many of their thoughts were beyond the means of this fledgling business, but that did not stop Keller from moving ahead.
The first Customers of Benchmark Email were small businesses located in close proximity to Benchmark’s one-room HQ in Long Beach, CA. Keller and his team personally sold them on the use of email marketing, while working hard to make a simple user interface that would be simple to operate. All the while, the business championed such novel ideas as customizable templates and applications which adapted to user requirements. They also made sure from the outset that anyone who needed help would have quick access to outstanding customer support.
Benchmark Has continued to grow and advantagesper. Its present focus. Providing global email marketing solutions to small and medium-sized companies while continuing to honor a commitment to help kids in need. This does not mean that Benchmark is a little-guys-only service, however; it has adhered to its core principle of adaptability and serves big organizations like UNICEF and Kaiser-Permanente through its High Volume Business plans.
Today, Benchmark serves up of 73,000 users from throughout the globe, but the company has not forgotten its roots. Benchmark still maintains good relationships with little, locally-based businesses. In fact, the company supplies a complete page of testimonials from users of this app. 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, one of the standout features of the ESP is the fact that most of its features come standard with every single account — such as the free ones. Here are some of Benchmark’s most notable offerings.
· Hundreds of Industry-Specific, Themed Templates. Benchmark offers all users 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 retail. There is also a class for social media-specific templates.
· Video Emails. Possibly the best-known benefit of Benchmark is its support for video mails. The business explains the advantages of this feature here.
· Online Surveys. You can create professional-looking online surveys using among Benchmark’s 6 templates. Post your poll on your site or construct it into an email.
· Dedicated Email Server. All of Benchmark’s High Volume programs 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 particular delivery stats. Read more about the advantages of dedicated servers .
· Email Delivery Management. Benchmark’s email shipping management program is all about getting customers’ emails into inboxes. The company is a member of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition and operates with ReturnPath, a leading email delivery and consulting service. The company also communicates with ISPs on its clients’ behalf. Unlimited Email Marketing
· Mobile App. Benchmark’s mobile programs allow customers with an Apple device to access several purposes on the road. They can get and include contacts, read reports, send videos through integration using a YouTube accounts, and even layout and send fast email blasts with one of 10 available templates. That is quite a little more than many other companies offer on their mobile programs, making them much more functional.
· Photo Editing. If the photos you intend to utilize in your email campaign are not perfectly sized or want some colour adjustment, you may use Benchmark’s integrated photo editor. This is a fairly handy feature if you don’t have photoshop available.
· Code Editor. In case you have the know-how to work magic with HTML, Benchmark provides this ultra-customization choice with which you may build your mails from scratch.
· Autoresponder. Every Benchmark customer has the power to design up to eight custom autoresponder messages. These could be scheduled as a series or occasion lead-up, or made as annual messages such as birthday or anniversary mails.
· Sign-Up Types . The only way to become prosperous in email marketing is through growing your own list, and Benchmark really promotes doing so through sign-up forms. The company 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 each internet browser has a signature style, making certain your emails look good across the board is important. You can use Inbox Checker to have a look at the way your email displays in Gmail using Explorer and Outlook 3. Employing the entire app (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 out of their sites mechanically through the RSS-to-Email attribute, which works with any site which handles an RSS-feed. Users simply have to set up a template and campaign within Benchmark once.
· API Integration. An API (Application Program Interface) enables different software programs to communicate with one another without a formal plug connection. Benchmark’s API Integration feature permits users using 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 allows them to play three purposes. Manage contact lists, handle campaigns and campaign sending, and assess statistics. The business explains this role in more detail .
· Advanced Metrics. Benchmark provides both Listing 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 account is fairly straightforward. After entering your name, email, contact number, and company name, you need to validate your email address. This is a five-minute process 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 about the best way best to make my first email campaign. Great start!
Email Campaign Creation
On its own dashboard, Benchmark offers users five main choices. Emails, Automations, Contacts, Surveys, and Reports. To make a new campaign, go into the Emails segment, then hit the large blue”Create New Mail” button in the top right-hand corner. Unlimited Email Marketing
From there, you have to decide if you want an RSS Or traditional email message. It is possible to use Benchmark’s drag-and-drop editor, or move for more customization with the built-in code editor. If you’re someone who codes their own email, then my hat is off to you, but I am not gifted that way, so I moved with the drag-and-drop option.
I had been motivated to enter a subject line for my Email and set up how much observation I wanted on the message, as well as if I wanted an automated tweet when the campaign went out. The following task was to choose which contacts I wanted to get the campaign. With that, I was finally able to begin constructing the email itself. If you want to, you can construct your personal email layouts using an extremely intuitive editor. On the other hand, you can modify one of Benchmark’s templates, that are great, and much better than I managed to do on my own.
Sending the Email Campaign
If you are just Starting out, you can certainly do as I did and manually enter contacts one 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 the 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, they will appear on your dashboard, together with a Master Unsubscribe List.
The actual sending of the email is rather simple. Once you have completed all of your tweaks, you can save email as a draft, send it instantly, or schedule a time and date for delivery. If you would like to check everything is well before distributing your email about the world, you can send it to yourself to preview it as many as 10 times/day. I opted to program my email for delivery to see how timely the automated system would actually be. I advised my email for 2.45 and received it at 2.50, so while the timing was not exactly ideal, it was probably within tolerance levels for many users. If you’re among the more rare users who demand on-the-minute email sending, then you might need to look elsewhere. More worryingly, my email didn’t go to my primary inbox but was automatically sorted in my”promotions” folder. Definitely not ideal.
Email Campaign Reporting
First thing I Discovered about Benchmark email reports was something I’d read about in a couple of reviews. They are really, really fast. I mean lightning fast. Opens enroll in the Benchmark system almost immediately. I’ve worked with a lot of other apps where these reports require hours or even days to look.
Benchmark provides users with several key Bits of information about every campaign. The arguably most important statistic, the open rate, appears in both pie graph and numerical type. Additionally, Benchmark provides users with stats for clicks, forward, bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse. Each stat further breaks down to the specific email addresses associated with a given activity. Users may export this data for further analysis via 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 country, that opens your emails. Unlimited Email Marketing
Though all of this information is great and Necessary, it is not enough to sustain higher level marketers who need more information such as conversions, which links were clicked, and earnings analysis. Though Google Analytics provides a whole lot of this information with proper integration, there may come a time when serious marketers need more information than Benchmark provides. Whether a small company will reach that point varies, of course, dependent on the company.
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 organization’s key focus is on small to medium companies, particularly those just starting out in email marketing. This is particularly reflected in the reality 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 observe the integration you want, there’s still hope. You can use the API or ask an integration by sending an email to [email protected]
· Benchmark Occasions — Benchmark Occasions is event marketing software designed to integrate fully with Benchmark Email. Launched in 2012, this app permits users to create and customize events, promote and market tickets, and track the success of the events through their Benchmark Email account. A variety of subscriptions are available, such as a free option.
· Salesforce.com — This integration allows users to import contacts into Benchmark and use Benchmark’s email system to keep Salesforce customers engaged. Read our review of Salesforce here.
· WordPress — Benchmark Email Lite is a WordPress plug-in which allows users to easily build an email audience through their subscribers. The plugin 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 listing. Read our review of Highrisehere.
· Benchmark Power — This free plug-in lets you source images for your Benchmark mails from places across the web. Benchmark Power captures images you locate and instantly uploads them to your Benchmark account for future use.
· Flickr — Users with Flickr accounts may link Flickr for their Benchmark image galleries.
· Shopify — You are able to link a Shopify accounts to Benchmark and mechanically add Shopify customers to Benchmark lists. You may even add subscribers to various lists based on what they purchased. Read our overview of Shopify here.
· PayPal — Users can add any of the PayPal customers to their own 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 site and website builder provides an integration using Benchmark. Use it to send mails of your blog articles and use the analytics to see how your readers respond to them. Learn more here.
· Zapier — Gain access to Zapier’s enormous integration library . Unlimited Email Marketing
Social Media Integrations
Because Of the key connection between social networking and email marketing, it’s important to check out the social media features contained in Benchmark.
· Social Media Templates — One segment of Benchmark’s enormous email template list is made of societal 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 very simple function which allows you to bring a Facebook”Like” button to your own emails.
· Facebook Sign-Up Form — Benchmark provides easy-to-create sign-up forms (see”Characteristics” above) for both sites and Facebook enthusiast pages, to help you convert followers into subscribers.
· Social Links within Mail — After you connect your Benchmark account with your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, you can add buttons to every email that will direct your readers 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 collection of personal data from citizens of these nations. When clients provide credit card numbers to Benchmark, the company utilizes secure socket layer (SSL) security to encrypt the information. The whole 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 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 measures 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 stop users from Unknowingly sending spam-like materials, Benchmark provides a spam check feature which looks for words widely utilized in spam messages. It scores every email on a scale from 1 to 5; 5s are assigned to content that’s likely to be blocked. In case of a top score, the program suggests”less spammy” alternatives. Individualized IP addresses also help large-volume senders reduce their spam numbers.
Client Service and Support
Benchmark Offers its customers a lot of support resources. Customer service is generally responsive, with minimal waiting times. The website provides good learning tools, but can be needlessly opaque at times. Key information is often buried and hard to locate, especially in the event that you don’t know exactly what you’re searching for, especially in regards to minute details about plans. As an example. That the Free For Life plan comprises Benchmark branding on each email, however you won’t find that mentioned on the Free For Life page, not even at the fine print. Nor are you going to see it mentioned when you register. The only place it’s mentioned is at the FAQ, here.
Here are some of the resources Benchmark offers. Unlimited Email Marketing
· Live Support and Email — Benchmark supplies live one-on-one aid through these means.
· Email Service. Contact Benchmark at [email protected] or through the organization’s contact form here. Available 24 hours Monday — Friday and limited hours on Saturday.
· Phone Support. You are able to reach Benchmark at 800-430-4095 (U.S.) or 001-562-252-3789 (all countries). Available weekdays from 6 am to 5 pm PT.
· Chat Support. Accessible almost 24 hours per day Monday — Friday and restricted hours on Saturday. Founded in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
· FAQ — Benchmark’s FAQ section is somewhat mislabeled as it’s closer to a QandA-format knowledge base than a typical FAQ. There are over 900 entries, sorted into 18 topics ranging from”Getting Started” to”API.” Users may execute a key word search of any topic (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. Some of the QandAs offer advice that’s wholly incorrect, so in some cases, you may want to contact support 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 the program. The business also supplies a webinar called”Benchmark Email Crash Course.” You can see it live each Friday at 10.00 a.m. PST or watch the recorded version at any moment. You can even request a special webinar on quite a few other topics. Live webinars include the opportunity to ask questions during the demonstration.
· Email Marketing Manuals and Articles — You can find more in-depth details on email marketing generally, 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 digestible chunks compared to the manuals provide.
· Glossary of Email Marketing Terms — This can be a particularly valuable tool for all those new to email marketing who believe consumed by all of the jargon. Benchmark provides a glossarywith 50 of the very popular email marketing conditions from”above-the-fold” into”whitelists.”
· Website and Newsletter — For current information about email advertising 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 posts from November 2007-October 2012.
· Benchmark Community — Benchmark users may post their newest newsletters on message boards at the Benchmark Community. This forum allows users to talk about newsletter production strategies, vote for their favourite newsletters, and gain inspiration from additional Benchmark users.
Web-Based Or Locally-Installed
Benchmark is entirely web-based and doesn’t Require any setup on your PC.
Positive Reviews and Reviews
Benchmark Has a four-out-of-five star rating on G2 Crowd, with a slightly better showing on GetApp and Capterra. 4.5 stars each. Unlimited Email Marketing
Some common points of compliments.
· Top Notch Support. This is maybe the most common observation regarding Benchmark, and some thing I noticed for myself as well. People today tend to find support prompt and beneficial, and a few say it’s actually the element that distinguishes Benchmark from its rivals. The company also receives praise for its website posts and videos.
· Feature Selection Across All Aims . Some users praise the addition of attributes like AB analyzing and surveys from most plans; many companies charge extra for these features or only include them into their pricier programs.
· Benefits of Use. Users have a tendency to locate Benchmark’s interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. The program gathers praise from a wide range of demographics, from first-time ESP consumers to people who have tried a variety of 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 important aspect to take into account.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
I was not able to find many people who loathed Their own Benchmark experience. But, I managed to find a few complaints.
· Inconsistent Send-Times. Apparently a few users experienced an issue with Benchmark in which their emails were sent hours after they were first scheduled. 1 customer theorized that the issue might arise from long lists of recipients. Not all customers of all Benchmark will have time-sensitive shipping demands, but other people will. Should you want your emails to go out precisely whenever your schedule dictates, you might have to consider this issue.
· Buggy Social Media Integrations. I watched several consumer reviews that commented the social networking integrations in Benchmark aren’t up to par.
· “Spammy” Templates. Some users were concerned that Benchmark’s templates can feel like spam mail, leading receivers to mark them as spam and not studying the contents. Since the entire point of an ESP would be to stop this from happening, this may be an issue. On the flip side, I never felt this way whilst looking through the template list, therefore it may not be the most valid of complaints.
Benchmark Provides a enormous variety of pricing plans, such as a free plan and a huge scale of paid plans which can 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 each email you send out. Of course, you may always opt to upgrade to a paid program if 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 list. Notable absences into the features list for free account include email automation and sub-accounts (enabling multiple users to get one Benchmark account).
Paid Plans. Unlimited Email Marketing
Users with little contacts lists and restricted Monthly messages have the option of paying to get their email marketing based on the amount of mails that they send each month.
o Medium Plans. 600-50,000 subscribers, $13.99-$254.99 a 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 Enormous Plans. 1,070,000-7,140,000 subscribers, $4,500-$29,200 per month
Benchmark accepts all Major charge cards and also lets you pay through PayPal. They also offer you a 25% reduction for nonprofits and teachers.
Benchmark is a good program. It is easy to use, Open to innovation, and competitively priced. Its free alternatives might very well be the best in the company for anybody who only wants to dive into email advertising (especially small, neighborhood businesses). For that matter, any Benchmark plan can work well for a small company which perspectives email as a little element of its marketing and does not have any desire to work beyond the principles just yet.
If you are a little or maybe medium-sized Company looking for a easy email advertising program with a host of amazing features, Benchmark is an excellent option. Though there might come a time when you launch the program, it supplies a great deal for the price, offers exceptional support, and the company appears to be sensitive to the requirements of its customers. You can not ask for much more.